Football with a Twist

Table football, also known as foosball, is a tabletop version of football in which the ball is moved by manipulating rods where miniature figures of players are attached. The game is a popular pastime enjoyed by many, especially teenagers and children.

To add excitement to the game, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Ipoh decided to take things a level up by introducing humans to the game. It is called human-table football.

Set on a 35-by-14-foot pitch, the game is played by two teams of six players each. Each team has three midfielders, two strikers and a goalkeeper. A match usually lasts 15 minutes, with two seven-minute halves and a one-minute interval in between.

“All players, including the goalkeepers, are required to keep their hands on the bars at all times. They’re only allowed to move sideways, and use their legs to kick the ball. Should a player let go of the bar, his or her team will be penalised with a foul. For every three fouls committed by a team, a point will be given to the opposing team,” said church elder, Lim Hock Chang.

Lim added that players should have a minimum height of 120cm and that their shoulders should not go below the bars. Players are not allowed to keep both feet in the air at the same time.

According to Lim, the tabletop version of the game was introduced around the 1880s to 1890s, but the life-size version was invented about a decade ago.

“Human table football is quite popular in some foreign countries. It can be played both outdoors and indoors.

“When I first saw a footage of the game being played overseas on Facebook last year, I thought if others could do that, why not us?” Lim remarked, adding that the construction of the pitch, which was fully sponsored by Alfa Omega Tuition Centre, cost over RM8000.

The game is open to members of the public to try out.

“Players are to wear proper sports shoes. Food, pets and flavoured beverages are not allowed,” said Lim.

Game sessions are usually held on weekends, 5pm to 7pm. Interested readers can register with the church office. Here are the details:

Address: 47, Jalan Golf Club, Ipoh
Phone: 05 5472420
Church office hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Leanne Tan

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