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Foosball vs. Football: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 2, 2023
Foosball is a tabletop game simulating soccer with rotating rods and figures, while football is a team sport played on a field, aiming to score goals or points.

Key Differences

Foosball is a game often played in indoor environments, requiring players to manipulate small figures attached to rotating rods to hit a ball into the opponent's goal. Football, conversely, is played outdoors on a large field, where players physically run, pass, and kick a ball to score against the opposing team.
The term "foosball" originated from the German word "fußball," which actually means "football" in English, but it has come to represent the table-top game in North America. The word "football" refers to several sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal, the most popular being association football (soccer) globally.
In foosball, the player's dexterity and hand-eye coordination are crucial, as they turn, push, and pull rods to control figures. In football, it’s not just about the hands or eyes but involves the whole body's athleticism and strategy, including running, tackling, and teamwork.
Foosball tables are designed to be compact, fitting within homes, bars, or recreational centers, facilitating a mock version of the football experience. Football fields are expansive, with specific dimensions regulated by leagues, and are designed to host two teams in a competitive and physically demanding environment.
While foosball is typically played one-on-one or with two teams of two, football is a team sport with a set number of players per side, often 11 in association football or varying numbers in other versions like American football. The social experience of football is characterized by team cohesion and spectatorship, whereas foosball is more intimate and casual.

Comparison Chart

Nature of Game

Tabletop sport
Outdoor/indoor physical sport

Playing Figures

Small, mounted on rods
Human players

Field/Play Area

Table with defined dimensions
Pitch/field with larger dimensions


Score by moving the ball into opponent's goal using rods
Score by getting the ball into opponent’s net or end zone

Number of Players

1-2 per team
11 per team (association football), varies in other forms

Foosball and Football Definitions


A competitive sport with organized tournaments and a specific set of rules.
She entered a foosball competition and won third place.


A team sport involving kicking a ball to score goals on an open field.
Every Sunday, the city park fills with amateur football teams competing against each other.


A tabletop game with figures mounted on rotating rods to play a soccer-like game.
We crowned Jim the foosball champion after he beat all of us in the tournament.


A regulated competitive activity with professional leagues worldwide.
Football season is his favorite time of year because he loves to watch the games with his friends.


A recreational activity featuring a ball, miniature players, and scorekeeping methods resembling soccer.
The kids decided to play a quick game of foosball before dinner.


An athletic event played between two teams with specific positions like quarterback or striker.
She made the school's football team as the star striker.


A game of skill, involving strategy to manipulate rod-mounted figures.
Mastering the pull shot in foosball took him months of practice.


A physical and strategic game with a variety of playing styles and formations.
Coaching youth football has taught him the importance of teamwork and strategy.


An entertainment form often found in social spaces like arcades and bars.
They installed a foosball table in the office lounge for employees to unwind.


A cultural phenomenon that includes events like the Super Bowl and FIFA World Cup.
Their family hosts a party every year for the football World Cup finals.


A table game in which participants try to score goals on a miniature soccer field by turning different rods mounted with plastic figures. Also called table soccer.


A game played by two teams of 11 players each on a rectangular, 100-yard-long field with goal lines and goalposts at either end, the object being to gain possession of a ball and advance it in running or passing plays across the opponent's goal line or kick it through the air between the opponent's goalposts.


Table soccer (US), table football (UK)


The inflated oval ball, slightly pointed at both ends, that is used in this game.


How many players are on a foosball team?

Each foosball team can have one or two players controlling the rods.

Is foosball considered a sport?

Yes, foosball is considered a sport, often played recreationally and in competitive tournaments.

What skills are needed for foosball?

Dexterity, strategy, and quick reflexes are key skills for foosball.

Are there official foosball rules?

Yes, organizations like the International Table Soccer Federation have official rules.

How many players are on a football team?

In association football (soccer), there are 11 players on each team.

What is football?

Football is a team sport where players aim to score points or goals by moving a ball on a field or pitch.

Can foosball be played competitively?

Yes, there are professional foosball tournaments with established rules.

What is a foosball table?

A foosball table is a piece of furniture designed for playing the game, with a playing field, rods, and figures.

What is foosball?

Foosball is a table-based game that mimics soccer with small figures attached to rotating rods.

What is a football pitch?

A football pitch is the playing surface for the sport, typically grass or synthetic turf.

What types of football are there?

There are various types of football, including association football (soccer), American football, and rugby.

What are the rules for football?

Rules vary by league, but generally include guidelines for gameplay, scoring, and conduct.

How long is a football game?

A professional association football match lasts 90 minutes, plus additional time for stoppages.

Where can I buy a foosball table?

Foosball tables can be purchased at game stores, online retailers, or sports shops.

What equipment is needed for football?

Basic equipment includes a ball, cleats, and sometimes protective gear.

What skills are important in football?

Athleticism, teamwork, strategy, and ball-handling are important in football.

How do you maintain a foosball table?

Keep it clean, lubricate the rods, and ensure the figures and ball are in good condition.

How do you maintain a football field?

Regular mowing, watering, and marking the field are essential for maintenance.

Can foosball be played solo?

While typically played with two players, one can practice or play solo using both sets of controls.

Is football a contact sport?

Yes, most forms of football are contact sports, with physical challenges part of the game.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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