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International foosball series returns to Appleton for annual tournament

Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-24 18:46:39-04

APPLETON (NBC 26) — Most die-hard sports fans associate March with college basketball. But this weekend, Foosball reigned supreme for some.

  • International Foosball Promotions held its annual Wisconsin Foosball State Tournament over the weekend at Mad Apple Billiards
  • Beginners through pros alike tried their hands at winning prizes upwards of $16,000

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story, with additional details for the web)

It’s a tournament that brought people together from across the nation and beyond, says tournament organizer Brett Nooyen.

“We got New Hampshire, California, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Canada…I mean from all over. Florida, Texas, you name it. We almost hit all 50 states!”

Nooyen also says turnouts like this are growing the league's presence in Wisconsin and growing the sport itself.

“There are promoters like me all over the nation, all over the world, even," says Nooyen. "We have one common goal to spread the world of Foosball. How competitive it is, how mental it is, how tough it is, you know? It is not just a frat room sport, or just a bar sport.”

With prizes like a pro Foosball table and upwards of $16,000 up for grabs, everyone from beginners to pros stepped up to the table.

17-year-old pro Jacob Balcos came from Minnesota to compete. He says he might be young, but knows how to hold his own.

“It might be intimidating for younger people to be playing just cause it’s mostly like adults and there’s some kids but everybody... welcomes you and takes you in as part of the family pretty much.”

Pro world champion Michael Stahl also came to compete. But, Foosball is more than just a sport for him. Stahl is the spokesperson for Foosball Clubs USA, a nonprofit that works to teach children about Foosball and puts tables in schools around the country.

“We’re working on using the profits from this weekend to purchase the table to put in Little Chute [at] the intermediate high school.”

No matter the reason for coming out, it seems that Foosball is family in the Fox Valley.