Keeping Safety in Mind when Shopping for Foosball Tables
Staying safe while playing foosball might seem a little silly, since most people look at it as a game that couldn’t possibly have risks involved. While it’s by no means a dangerous game, there are a few key factors to think about in order to keep it safe for everyone, especially if you’re buying the table for children to use. Read on to learn more about what to look for when it comes to foosball safety.
Define Your Own Safety Needs
The exact safety concerns you should think about actually depend a lot on how you plan to use the table. For me, I’m planning on playing foosball with my grandchildren, so I’m thinking about the ways kids could get hurt. However, this is might be a totally different list if I were buying a foosball table for an office break room. In order to focus on safety, you need to understand what safety actually means for you and your situation.
Outlining your top safety concerns helps you create priorities when you start looking at different tables. It also helps you think about anything else you might need to buy or do to make sure that you can use the table the way you plan. I can’t tell you how to define your own list of safety priorities, but to help you with the task I can explain what areas most commonly present safety issues.
The Rods – Pinching
By and far, the rods on a foosball table present the biggest safety concern for a variety of reasons. First off is the fact that you can get your fingers or hands pinched if you get too close to the holes in the table. As the rods slide in and out of the holes, it’s pretty easy to accidentally get your skin caught. It’s definitely happened to me more than a few times. If you’ve got kids, I would definitely look for a table that has some protective covering around the holes, so that your kids can’t stick their fingers in and get them stuck.
The Rods – End Impact
Another serious way rods can get dangerous is if you get too close to the back end. When you play foosball, you’re constantly moving the rods in and out to reposition your players and try to kick the ball. Most tables have some bumpers on the rods to keep you standing back a bit, but the fact is the rods are still moving in and out. If you stand close, you can have the end of the rood hit you in the stomach – if you’re a kid and standing close, it could even catch you in the face. You definitely want a table with rods that have caps, since exposed metal can scratch you and make getting hit much worse.
The Ball Return
Foosball tables without a proper ball return can pose a big safety risk. Ideally, the table should have a system in place that takes the ball from the goal box and sends it into a tray so you can easily pick it up and put it back into play. If you have to reach into the goal box by going over the table, you’re exposing yourself to getting hit by the players if someone accidentally spins one of the rods. Generally speaking, you never want to put your hands or any other part of your body into the field, because you could get hit or end up getting stuck reaching into a tight space.
This one is a little less obvious than the others, but still incredibly important when it comes to safety. You want to look at the overall construction of the foosball table to understand how it’s put together and spot any possible issues with it. It could be uncovered corners that look like they might be too sharp for kids, or it could be crossbars that run along the length of the table that whoever uses it might kick while playing.
It’s also a good idea to read about the materials used in the table to get a feel for how durable it is. A table that is made out of materials that can’t withstand a lot of use might not be the best choice in certain situations, since this could lead to damage or other issues. Think about the big picture with this one, and keep an eye out for any other special considerations you may have according to your situation.
Closing Words on Safety
When you finally find a foosball table that meets your safety needs, I would strongly recommend creating a clear list of rules for whoever is going to use it. Explain how to handle the rods and the other components responsibly, so each player knows what they should and should not do while playing. You can even write up the rules and leave it near the table to remind everyone how to play safely.