History and Goals
Since the 1950s, when table soccer was first played competitively, it has quickly become one of the most popular sports around the world. The activity was developed in several countries thanks to the work of their national federations.
The only thing missing was an international organization to coordinate all these efforts. Several attempts were made in that regard; however, communication problems between the different countries thwarted these efforts for years. Finally several heads of federations started working closely together in the late 1990s, aiming at helping players discover different styles of play as well as different tables. Very soon, co-operation between federations began in earnest.
Finally, on the 9th of May 2002, the first meeting to officially create the ITSF took place in Franconville, France, during the world cup tournament on French style tables.
Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the USA were the first countries working on the statutes of the ITSF.
On the 16th of August 2002, the International Table Soccer Federation was officially created at a meeting in Oberwart in Austria.
On the 26th of August 2002, the ITSF was declared a non-profit association under the French law.
The mission of the ITSF is to develop and promote different aspects of table soccer without discrimination of any kind, in close cooperation with its member federations and partners.
By aspects of table soccer we mean:
- Sport with its natural and universal values of competition, effort and character-building, well-being and fair play
- A healthy form of recreation and leisure
Part of the aims of the ITSF (art. 1.1 - statutes-):
- To promote the development of table soccer throughout the world, to tighten the ties of friendship which unite players of all countries, by setting up lasting relations between representative groups, and to nurture the improvement of the practice of our sport in every way
- To promote and develop the struggle against doping
- To study and legislate on all matters pertaining to table soccer in international relations
The present move towards a close cooperation with other international sports institutions (IOC, GAISF, WADA…) fits perfectly with these efforts.