Slow Death of Foosball

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Slow Death of Foosball
« on: June 27, 2016, 10:53:19 AM »
I've been absent from Foosball play for several years, and have never really played competitively in the United States. I played a few tournaments way back in 2002 when I was living in Germany but nothing sanctioned. I've moved to the Kansas City area, and have realized that the only viable Foosball site is Sharks, which is way over in the Kansas side of the metro. I'm also an avid disc golfer. One thing that the disc golf community seems to do much more successfully than Foosball, or similar sports, is to have local leagues and a regulatory organization (in the case of disc golf the PDGA). I started looking for regulatory bodies in Foosball, and looking for alternative play sites in Kansas City and I'm just drawing blanks everywhere.

Is this a systemic problem in other parts of the country, or is Kansas City (flyover country) just really lacking in Foosball. I remember St. Louis had a good scene for a while and some active players on the forums. Is Foosball just not structurally organized in a fashion that helps promote the sport and help grow clubs and local organizations to promote the sport? Is it because the sport is contingent on bars (typically) having tables to play on? What are you seeing in your part of the country?

Again, just wanting to get back into the sport, and realizing that the quality of tables and lack of organized play is very prohibitive.

Re: Slow Death of Foosball
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2016, 03:05:12 PM »
Sharks use to have a weekly tournament. I think it was on Wednesday night. I lived in Olathe for about 18 months and would practice a little when I had time. They typically have a once a year 5K event.

Re: Slow Death of Foosball
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2016, 08:50:09 PM »
In case you didn't get the memo...

At the lower levels, Foosball is poorly funded/supported, poorly promoted and exposed, and not well organized.  This severely limits youth exposure, and new intake.  It is lacking organizers, venues (pool halls and arcades), and players in the mid-range to attract/sustain players long enough to develop competitive drive and community in all but the largest cities.  Furthermore, to me, it seems at times elitist by discouraging newer players in various ways along the whole development path and at tournaments through a skills and table time "barrier to entry".  Finally,  it is no easy task to develop and build a committed mindset from newer players;  Only a few who give it a reasonable chance maintain the passion and love long enough and consistently enough to develop competitive skills.

In my opinion, individuals with an active mind that avoid physical sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball etc now have a wide variety of at home video games to choose from and/or can't afford to go to a bar all the time.  This reduces the pool of players to friends and family of the few players that remain. 

Fortunately, it is very possible to reignite the popularity of this sport.  Players of all levels need to orient themselves at encouraging intake of newer players. 

The three pillars of a successful Foosball community:
1) Equip your Community - Ensure your community has a good location and good tables.  Important considerations are two high quality tables, hopefully all ages, easy access via transit or parking.

2) Promote the sport publicly - Foosball needs exposure both in the physical and virtual worlds.  Important considerations are regular weekly events, social media, websites and search engines, popular public community events, community notice boards.

3) Welcome everyone - say hi to the new guy and keep him engaged through conversation and exchange, provide lots of table time through round robin, DYP, and playing with the new guys.  Do not try to restrict or control access too much because every player is valuable.

Good luck!

Re: Slow Death of Foosball
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 05:21:05 PM »
Very good insight and strategy hackjob. Just wish I had the time and means to contribute that to the Kansas City area. It seems like a lot of people I talk to are in similar states of limbo. There's a lack of semi-competitive play or organized casual play to promote sport growth.

Zier was a second profile I created because I'd forgotten I had one here already.

Re: Slow Death of Foosball
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 11:36:28 AM »
I hope that foosball won't die. If you ask me we just need to organize better!  ;)

Re: Slow Death of Foosball
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2019, 10:36:45 PM »
If anyone is still interested in foosball in or around Kansas City the scene is still going. Sharks is still the staple every Thursday DYP. However there is now also tournaments on saturdays at nick and ninos in north Kansas City. Lots of people have been making a push for better tables and better access. If you have questions hit up KC foosball on Facebook!