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雖然早在19世紀90年代手足球運動就可能存在, 可是我們知道今天是第一個手足球的專利是在1923年 (英國專利. 205991 application：1922年10月14號). 由一個英國倫敦的哈羅德發明(Harold S. Thornton, 1895年-1951年). 手足球運動的想法是在他看過一場足球賽(Spur隊, 且他是死忠球迷), 之後他就想提供一個可以在家中推廣足球運動的遊戲. 這個靈感的來自火柴盒, 目的是將所以基本足球運動的概念能夠在一個盒子之中表現出來.
他的叔叔後來（Loius P. Thornton，美國波特蘭人）拜訪哈羅德後, 並將他的想法帶回美國並在1927年申請專利 (美國專利號1615491).
2002年，國際桌上足球協會（ ITSF ）於法國成立，首要任務就是推廣桌上足球(手足球)運動的一個組織機構, 定期規劃國際手足球賽事, 並且積極與國際奧林匹克委員會(IOC)以及國際體育組織協會(GAISF)等國際體育組織合作, 讓手足球接受全世界人的認可.
Although patents for similar games may exist from as far back as the 1890s, the game of Table Football as we know it today was first invented and patented in 1923 (U.K. patent no. 205,991 application: dated 14th October 1922 and accepted: 1st November 1923) by an Englishman by the name of Harold S. Thornton of North London (1895-1951).
The concept was conceived after Harold had been to a Spurs football match (he was an avid supporter). He wanted to provide a game that replicated football that could be played at home. The inspiration came from a box of matches; by laying the matches across the box he had formed the basis of his game.
His uncle (United States resident Louis P. Thornton, who lived in Portland Oregon) visited Harold and took the inspiration back to the States where it was patented in 1927 (United States Patent Office No. 1,615,491). The patent eventually expired.
Alejandro Finisterre thought of making a form of soccer that would be fun for children who could not play traditional soccer. He commissioned Francisco Javier Altuna to create this form of recreational game, which as a result was supported by patenting during 1937.
In 2002, the International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) was established in France with the mission of promoting the sport of Table Soccer as an organizing sports body, regulating international competitions, and establishing the game with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and General Association of International Sport Federation (GAISF).
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