Table Football

A Brief History of Table Football

Although patents for similar games may exist from as far back as the 1890s, the game of Table Football as we know it today, was first invented by Harold Searles Thronton in 1921 and patented in 1923.

The concept was conceived after Harold had been to a Tottenham Hotspur football match. He wanted to provide a game that replicated football that could be played at home. The inspiration came from a box of matches: by laying the matches across the box he had formed the basis of his game.

His uncle (Louis P. Thornton, who lived in Portland Oregon) visited Harold and took the inspiration back to the USA where it was patented in 1927.

In 2002, the International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) was established in France with the mission of promoting the sport of Table Soccer as an organizing sports body, regulating international competitions, and establishing the game with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and General Association of International Sport Federation (GAISF).

Table Football

  • Coin operated game
  • Playing field covered with tempered unbreakable glass
  • Choice of price of play

Air Hockey

A Brief History of Air Hockey

Although it was believed for many years to have been invented by a Brunswick Billiards employee named Bob Lemieux in 1972, Air Hockey was actually invented by a trio of Brunswick engineers – Phil Crossman, Bob Kenrick, and Brad Baldwin – who were attempting to create a game utilizing a frictionless surface, circa 1969. The project was on hold for several years, but Bob Lemieux later resurrected the project and refined the design to a certain degree. Some accounts of the story claim that Lemieux played the game on the table using a round disk and square mallets. Doorbells were hooked up at each end with a photo sensor to signal a “goal”. It was then decided that the “game” may appeal to a larger market and Air Hockey was born. How much of this is truth and how much of this is the result of gaps in the story being filled in over time through multiple storytellers may never be truly known, given that Lemieux died in the early 1990s. What is certain is that the original patent references Phil Crossman, who, along with the other engineers, pioneered the frictionless table surface – and, almost by chance, created an instant classic.

Air Hockey was an immediate financial success, and by the mid-1970s there arose substantial interest in tournament play. As early as 1973, players in Houston had formed the Houston Air Hockey Association, and soon thereafter, the Texas Air-Hockey Players Association, codifying rules and promoting the sport through local tournaments at Houston pubs Carnabys, Damians,and the University of Houston. To ensure uniform play standards of the highest competitive quality, the United States Air-Table Hockey Association (USAA) was formed in 1975 by J. Phillip “Phil” Arnold, largely as an official sanctioning body. In this way, non-player friendly rules imposed by Brunswick corporation were rendered void, and the sport of Air Hockey was secured under the control of players since that time. Since its inception, the USAA has sanctioned at least one national-level or World championship each year, crowning 12 different champions over 30 years. The USAA remains at present the only recognized worldwide player organization for Air Hockey, and has maintained a close relationship with table manufacturers and event promoters over the years.

Air Hockey

  • 8ft table available
  • Choice of price of play
  • Sport themed play field

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