The Hathaway Playoff Soccer Table is another good choice for families with a wide age range of players. The table height is comfortable enough for adult players up to 6ft tall. The full panel end supports give this table a solid look. Beyond just looks the Hathaway Playoff table has 1/2 in. player rods, the same size as more serious tables. Ergonomic grips, ABS molded players, and the 3 goalie configuration are nice features for a table at this price point.
Checking the verified purchaser reviews shows satisfied buyers. They report durability and good gameplay. Assembly time is about an hour. The included Allen wrench, and a Phillips screwdriver is required. That’s pretty much standard with any table where the assembly is required.
- 3 goalie configuration
- ABS molded players
- End ball returns
Features To Look For When Choosing a Foosball Table
Goalie Bar: Foosball tables come in two varieties, one-goalie setups and three-goalie setups. One-goalie setups are standard in European regions. Foosball tables with one goalie will have slightly raised corners that feed the ball back into play. Single goalie tables do take a more precise style of play to succeed.
You can find three-goalie configurations in North America. The additional players on the bar can dig the ball out of the corners more quickly and lead to a faster style of play.
There is no right choice here, just a matter of preference.
Bearings: Follow along. The bars go through the holes. The bars spin in the holes. Bearings are the hidden little part between the bar and the table. They extend the life of the table and provide the smooth movement that determines the quality of play.
Bearing quality varies greatly. Bearings have what is called an ABEC rating (Annular Bearing Manufacturers Association). The ABEC ratings suitable for foosball tables are 1, 3, 5 and 7.
Rods: Foosball table rods will either be solid or hollow. The best option here is the later. Hollow rods are lighter and easier to move. They move faster and will give smoother gameplay.
Counterbalanced Players: Higher end tables have counterbalanced players. A counterbalanced player has additional weight moved toward its head. The test is to rotate the handle so that the player is horizontal. A table with counterbalanced players will stay horizontal after you let go. Counterbalance also affects gameplay. The handle rotation will be uniform and make for smoother gameplay.
Ball Returns: Ball returns can be on each end, under the goal or on each side where the players stand. Side returns require some additional plumbing. You will find them on the more expensive tables.