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Foos around the world: Canada

Posted by on November 16, 2011

Foos around the world: Canada

Team Canada at World Cup 2009

My name is Eric Dunn, I'm from Victoria, BC, Canada. I started playing table-soccer at the age of 17 at my first year of university. I first noticed table soccer when I went to highschool, and used to hang out at the local arcade. A bunch of real tough looking guys used to always get in arguments over foosball, or at least there was lots of smack talk and being macho. So I stayed away, until I got to university and there was a table in residence. I could not stop playing. There was one guy who was the best, and he beat me pretty solidly for the entire first year. I don't think I ever won a game. We used to play to 10 and no lucky shots, so the better player usually won. The next year, I started to beat him, and I was hooked.

When I graduated from university, I always felt I ended up with a Major in Computer Science and a minor in Foosball. I played so much, skipping classes, etc. Most days we'd play for 4 hours.

Since then I've won multiple pro and semi pro titles, won a few 35 and over and limited events at Majors. The highest I've placed in an open event at a Major was 5th. My greatest accomplishment has probably been representing Canada at many ITSF World Cup and World Championship events, once even taking silver in the 2006 ITSF World Doubles Championships, playing with another great player from Canada Mario Ariganello. I'm ranked a Pro Master on the USTSA (now IFP) Tour.

The Tornado table is the most popular here in Canada, but in the east you'll find a few Garlando and Bonzini tables. Tornado is such a strong, solid table, where with a bit of practice you can do whatever you want very consistently. So this means that normally the smarter player or the player that utilizes the best strategies wins on Tornado.

There's not much foosball action here in Victoria, there's a couple of locals that come over to my place once in a while to help me keep my game sharp. I've told them all my secrets and bad habits, so they make me play a smart game if i want to beat them.

Table soccer is played is most every major city in Canada, its just a matter of finding the local hangout where the best local players play. Usually hitting a few web sites or local message boards will allow one to find a game. We have lots of good message boards in Canada that are very active. Canada is a very large country so it's great that we have the internet to be able to communicate with each other still, and keep the foosball love going strong!

Where ever you find a good table soccer community in Canada, there's usually a group of passionate promoters/ players being it. There is not much money in promoting foosball, and there are no big money leagues or anything. So the people that usually go the extra step to promote are just in it for the love of the game. And I'd like to personally thank them all for what they do. I used to promote foosball in Ottawa, when I lived there many years ago, it was a great experience, but a lot of work.

The one bad thing about table soccer in Canada (and this is due to our exposure to table soccer in the USA), is that we're a bit spoiled when it comes to the money involved. Due to the amount of very large tournaments that are relatively easy to get to, we expect (or have gotten used to) being able to win big amounts of money in tournaments. So often for players to decide to travel or represent Canada at international events, it comes down to a money thing - and right now there is no money for players to win when they travel to ITSF international events. Which is a shame, as it should be about the chance to represent Canada on the biggest stage foosball has to offer, and not about how much money it costs, and can I offset my costs with how much I win at the event.

Add to that the fact that we have no foosball sponsorships from the government, and our national table soccer federation is not in a position to help, it comes down to the players to pay their own way.

Most good players have at one time or another traveled internationally to experience that, but I'm hoping that at some point (while i still have game) we can send our best team or actually send our best players to those events.

We have some really excellent players in Canada. Some are very strong on Tornado (like myself) where we have 3-4 that would be considered top 20 in North America on Tornado. Then we have some excellent multiplayer players in the east as well - who have very strong games on a number of Tables.

Table soccer in Canada is still growing I'd say, mostly because of the efforts of those special promoters I referred to earlier. As table soccer gets in the press more, and you start to see it more and more in the media, more people are interested in trying it out. With the help of the internet, people can go out and find information on the game like my youtube videos B-)

But it's still considered by most Canadians, as that silly game with the guys that you spin?? Then we show them how we can play, and they go," wow - I never knew".

It looks like Canada will be sending a team to this years ITSF World Cup and Championships, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be a part of it yet or not. I have to decide in the next few days, but I really do want to go, it's just comes down to a money thing again - can I afford to go? Plus, Canada is in the lower teir now, as we have not had much team representation at ITSF World Championship events - as they're all over in Europe, and the Tornado World Championships doesn't hold a team event any more. But we'd kill everyone in the lower tier - as when we do have a team we've always finished 5th - and that's not even with our best players. So yes, we would likely win the lower teir, but do our players really want to spend $2000 dollars of their own money to do that?

I'm still tempted.

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