Tablehockey – from hobby to sport
Table hockey was originally designed as a tabletop game to simulate ice hockey. Although generally marketed as a children's game for the home, it is very popular among players of all ages and is also played as a serious sport, often at extremely high speed. Due to the almost endless combinations and tricks that players can invent, learn, practice and master, players can continue to develop and improve over decades.
During the 2005 World Championships in the Latvian capital Riga, the International Table Hockey Federation (ITHF) was established, which suddenly took table hockey to another level.
Although there was already a long history of people playing table hockey all over the world, the launch of the ITHF saw the introduction of official rules for use with the Stiga Play Off table hockey game, which is the game used at all official ITHF tournaments and definitely also the world's best table hockey game.
Table hockey is most widespread in parts of the world where ice hockey is traditionally played: Scandinavia, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and North America, but the sport is also becoming more popular in countries outside these areas.
Table hockey is not only played at large international tournaments, but also at local and regional tournaments, where young players and older players either play against each other or in separate groups. In many countries, there are clubs that arrange training sessions like in other sports and visit schools in order to introduce table hockey to school pupils.
If you are a table hockey enthusiast and want to play in a club, you are very welcome to contact the ITHF. We can help you to find a club near you or perhaps to establish a new club. Perhaps you have already been organising tournaments of your own for years: in that case, we can tell you how to send in your results for inclusion in our world ranking list.
Who knows, maybe one day you could be representing your country at the ITHF Table Hockey World Championships!