ITSF World Championships and World Cup 2017 Tournament Debrief by Linda Ly (Women’s Team Captain)


The 2017 ITSF (International Table Soccer Federation) World Championships and World Cup competition held April 12-16, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany is in the books.  5 days of international foosball competition represented by 36 Nations made for some of the most intense competition out there.  Team Canada sent over both a Women’s and Men’s Team to play in both the World Championships & World Cup events.


My first opportunity to attend the ITSF World Championships/World Cup came in 2013 in Nantes, France.  I had the privilege and honor of Captaining our inaugural team, and was excited to have the opportunity once again in 2017.  On this years team we had 3 returning competitors (myself, Jennifer Caron, Adrianne Lee) and 3 first timers (Jamie To, Zoe Labelle, Christine Baxter).  It was my job to prepare each team member as best possible for both their individual events as well as the Nations Cup event.  This included roster pairings & positions for (hopefully) the best strategic option going into each match.  This aspect was somewhat challenging as team coordination and discussions had to be done via group messaging.  While easy in theory, we are everyday people with full time jobs and lives, spread all over Canada in 3 different time zones.  Throw in the fact that multiple team members had never met each other before.


World Championship Event Results (Women) – Events and played by partners of the same nation

Competitor / Team Qualified Position Eliminated Round Final Ranking
Classic Doubles

Matches are best 2 out of 3 games – single elimination

Linda & Adrianne N/A Round of 16 9th
Jennifer & Zoe N/A Round of 16 9th
Jamie & Christine N/A First Round 33rd
Speedball Doubles

Matches are best 2 out of 3 games – single elimination

Linda & Jamie N/A Semi Final / Bronze Match 3rd
Adrianne & Zoe N/A First Round 33rd
Jennifer & Christine N/A First Round 33rd

7 Qualification matches for seeding into a single elimination bracket (top two thirds of teams qualify/advance – elimination matches are best 3 of 5 games)

Jennifer 38th Third Round 17th
Linda 17th Second Round 33rd
Adrianne 29th Second Round 33rd
Jamie 68th Second Round 33rd
Christine DNQ

7 Qualification matches for seeding into a single elimination bracket (top two thirds of teams qualify/advance – elimination matches are best 3 of 5 games)

Linda & Adrianne 30th Quarter Finals 5th
Jennifer & Zoe 34th Round of 16 9th
Jamie & Christine DNQ


World Cup Event Results (Women) – Team event pitting nations vs nations.

Teams are composed of 2 singles players and 2 doubles teams.  In qualification, matches are 2 sets.  Each set consists of 40 balls (10 per team) with the winner being whichever team reaches 21 points first.  In elimination rounds, matches are best 2 sets out of 3, single elimination.

  • Qualification Rounds: Canada had a tough set of matches lined up for the qualification rounds.  Our opponents included 2 top seeded teams in Bulgaria (S4) and France (S1) as well as Italy and Russia.  
    • Vs Bulgaria – 2 sets to 0 loss:  I think the nerves on our team got the better of us here.  It was our first team match of the weekend, using the new format, and testing our roster selections.  
    • Vs France – 1 set to 1 set tie:  Safe to say, our nerves were fading as we took on top seeded France.  All our players stepped up their level of play and we won the first set by a fair margin.  We lost set 2, but not without putting up a fight.  Everyone was quite pleased with the 1-1 tie against the top ranked team in the World, and on arguably, the most difficult style of table to adapt to.
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      • Vs Italy – 1 set to 1 set tie:  Qualification matches resumed early on Saturday morning and Canada continued to improve.  We played on the same table as was played vs Bulgaria, but this time with a much better result.
      • Vs Russia – 2 sets to 0 win:  Everyone really hit their stride during this match.  We all knew that winning at least 1 set would guarantee us a spot into the elimination round, but getting a 2 set win would put as a higher seed.

Team Canada qualified in 9th position (12 of 17 teams qualified in total).

  • Elimination Round: Our first round match would be against the national team from Denmark.  Their home table is the French style Bonzini table, which is a very difficult table to play on and adapt to.  However based on our results during qualification versus France on the very same table, we knew we had a shot.  Team Canada came out of the gates very strong in set #1.  It was a battle back and forth, with both teams scoring points on both each team’s home table.  While at times Canada fell behind in the match with our struggles on the Bonzini, we would gain ground playing on our home Tornado table.  Our MVP performance would come from Canada’s Bonzini specialist Jennifer Caron.  Her singles matches on both the Tornado and Bonzini table gained a large amount of points to bring Canada level.  Canada’s last doubles match of the set on Bonzini would bring us to a 20-20 tie.  With no tie’s possible, it came to a final ball on our opponent’s table, which unfortunately we lost 21-20. Talk about a tough one to swallow.  In our second set, Canada lost a bit of steam.  While we fought tooth and nail for every point, it was not to be.  We lost in 2 sets, placing 9th overall.  Kudos to Team Denmark.  Tough opponents on the table, but great friends off.  
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Reflections on Team Performance

Our Canadian women qualified in 9th place and our final placement would be 9th.  A very respectable showing for a young team in the World Cup.  As mentioned before, this is only the 2nd time the Canadian women have participated in the World Cup.  We had moments where we shined, moments where nerves got the better of us, and moments where we were just out played.  Overall I am very proud of our team.  Our “vets” led the way and took on the task of leading by example and our “rookies” played their hearts out.  I wasn’t quite sure how our rookies would perform, and while no doubt nerves and foreign tables played a factor, they never let the situation get the better of them.  Every single member of the team took on each challenge head on.  We supported one another at every moment with coaching and encouragement.  Win or lose, everyone gave their 100% not only for themselves, but each other, and our Country.  We will learn, and come back stronger.  I strongly believe this is only the beginning for our team and the only place to move us upwards.


Reflections on Personal Performance

From a personal standpoint, I went into the World Championship events with a high level of expectations & goals for myself.  I knew full well that winning individual World Titles at this level of competition would be ridiculously hard, especially as we threw in different table styles that I don’t play on normally into the mix.  The competitor in me however didn’t care – play hard and aim high, there is no other way of thinking for me (I think any competitive person out there would agree with me).  Take the pressure you put on yourself, and embrace it.  

In doubles, finishing 5th is a great accomplishment when competing against the worlds best players.  But I can’t say I’m happy with the result.  In our quarterfinal match against the US team, I had a shot to win the match in the 4 game but didn’t execute.  We ended up losing that game, as well as the deciding 5th game.  We have competed again the US ladies many times in North America, and they are great competitors (current Tornado Womens Doubles World Champions).  That match up could have gone either way.  My disappointment lies in the fact that I had a chance, and didn’t close out.  If we had advanced to the semi finals, with our skills on our home Tornado table, I really did think we would have had a shot at winning the whole thing.  That said, I can’t really know how things would have turned out.

My singles results were poor.  Let’s not mince words here. I qualified well (winning 6 of 7 qualification matches) and my game was rolling.  In elimination, my performance on my opponent’s home table was dreadful.  Even worse, my performance on my home table was probably the worst it had been all week.  Not exactly the best time to have a dip on performance.  Kudos to my opponent from Great Britain.  She hustled hard and did what she needed to in order to win and I did not.   I was out played.

My personal silver lining – I get to go home with a medal around my neck. A bronze medal in Speedball Doubles with Jamie To.  I’m extremely happy with the result.  Myself and Jamie had never played together before, nor had either of us ever played this Speedball format before.  Our goal was to have fun and play as hard as we could.  To have that result in a medal is extremely satisfying.  Many thanks to Jamie for being a rock solid goalie in the event.  Her calmness and composure was impressive.


Next on the Horizon

After all is said and done though, Canada Foosball had an amazing time in Hamburg. We all had lots of time to bond as a team and support each other along the way.  It’s great to be able to play a match, and have all your teammates surrounding the table cheering you on every single point.  

Sadly, all of us players have to wait another 2 years before having another chance.  We’ll all be using those 2 years to continue to compete (on the American tour), practice, learn, improve and prepare for the next challenge that comes along.  And even better news?  The next World Championships & World Cup for 2019 was announced and will be held in Murcia, Spain.  I’ll speak for everyone at Canada Foosball (men and women) and say that we are incredibly lucky that we get to play the sport that we get to travel the world playing a sport that we love.  There’s not other camaraderie greater than what comes along with what we know as a “Foosball Family”.


Foos on the TV (and other) news

Hello CanadaFoosball fans! The World Cup is right around the corner, and we’ve done some interviews on TV and newspapers recently to try to get the word out. You can see all the past work we’ve done on our media page, but here’s the most recent stuff from Edmonton and Montreal –

Montreal Gazette Video – Christine Baxter heads to International Foosball tournament in Hamberg

Montreal Gazette – Foosball supremacy is the goal for two Montrealers headed to world championships in Germany

Global News – Mathieu Bigeault and Christine Baxter from Canada’s foosball team join Global’s Laura Casella and Kim Sullivan to talk about the upcoming world championships in Germany.

Global News – Zoe Labelle and Will Stranks talks about the upcoming World Championships in Germany.

CBC Edmonton – Wednesday, March 29, 2017 – Zoe Labelle and Will Stranks are interviewed by CBC Edmonton.

Edmonton Sun – Sunday, March 26, 2017 – Zoe Labelle talks about her journey to the international platform with local paper Edmonton Sun.




3 weeks to go!

Hi loyal foos fans,

We’ve been a bit slow on the updates, but we’ve been up to lots of preparation for the World Cup. The team has been practicing hard across Canada with events and massive amounts of table time. We’ve got our flights booked, our wraps ready to go – and we also just got our sweet new uniforms! Here’s a preview with a completely anonymous model:


Face phoned for anonymity. 

Coming up this weekend, there will be a multi-table tournament in Quebec City that will have Bonzini, Garlando, and Tornado tables; several team Canada members will be there warming up for Hamburg, trying to get used to the jarring (no pun intended) chaos of multi-table life.

Next update soon!


Announcing: The 2015 World Cup Team Members!

UPDATE 12/9/2014

Remy Lemerre has opted to give up his spot as a substitute. The elected team and the selection committee held a vote to see who from the reserve list would fill the substitute spots. The substitute list is now as follows:

Alexandre Lehouillier (Quebec)
Simon Giguere (Quebec)
Olivier Levesque (Quebec)


Thanks to all the applicants! The selection committee had a very difficult time choosing between all of the amazing players that applied. However, after much deliberation and discussion, their final choices can be seen below.

Welcome the members of Canada’s 2014 Men’s World Cup Team!

Men’s Starters

Eric Dunn (British Columbia)
Francois Veilleux (Quebec)
Laurent Paquin Marcotte (Quebec)
Mario Iannuzzi (Ontario)
Nhu Tran (Ontario)
Sean Lee (Ontario)

Men’s Substitutes
Alexandre Lehouillier (Quebec)
Remy Lemerre (Quebec)

Men’s Reserve – other players who applied for the team will be contacted and will be next in line if a spot opens up, in the order of the number of votes that they tallied up from the selection committee.

Applications re-opened for 10 days! Tornado added as 5th table

The World Cup and World Championships are two separate Multi-Table tournaments that will be held simultaneously in Torino, Italy in April of 2015.

Until yesterday, the only tables that would have been available to choose from were Bonzini, Leonhart, Roberto Sport, and Garlando. Yesterday, the ITSF announced that Tornado would be the 5th official table for the 2015 World Cup.

With this change in condition, TSAC has decided that the application window should be re-opened for a short period of time. This will allow players who previously chose not to apply due to the table availability another chance to think about applying. As before, the final selected team will be able to choose their home table.

Players interested in joining the 2015 Canadian World Cup team should fill out an application form (link below) with relevant information and experience and pay a non-refundable fee of $20 by midnight on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.  This small fee is to ensure that only serious applicants are attracted, and will also help to fund the eventual team. We are also accepting applications of people interested in Coaching the teams.

Once the applications have been collected,  a committee of 5-7 members, selected by the President of TSAC, will be assembled, as per the details in the previous post.

***Fill out the application by clicking here. Payment instructions are included inside.***

Accepting 2015 Team Canada applications!

The World Cup and World Championships are two separate Multi-Table tournaments that will be held simultaneously in Torino, Italy in April of 2015.

The World Cup is a team event, which consists of Men’s, Women’s, Junior, and Senior teams.

For the last three years Canada has fielded Men’s teams in the World Cup. Last year, we sent a men’s and a women’s team. We’d like to try to send both again.

The Men’s World Cup team has placed 1st in Division 2 in 2012, and was very close to qualifying for the top 8 in 2013. Additionally, the 2013 Men’s team had several corporate sponsors (FlightHub, Fox and Fiddle, and Teamplay) supporting their efforts.

In 2014, the Men’s team finished at the top of their qualification pool, and finished 5th out of 21 teams! The Women’s World Cup team also qualified and finished 5th out of 11 teams!

The quest for gold continues in Italy in 2015…

If you or someone you know wants to participate on the Men’s or Women’s teams, please submit an application!  The process is described below.

***Note that as Fireball will no longer be a table option at this World Cup, TSAC has decided that the table the selection committee should consider as its base for team member selections for Torino will be BonziniThe selected team may decide on another table, if they so choose.

Players interested in joining the 2015 Canadian World Cup team (likely playing on Bonzini) should fill out an application form (link below) with relevant information and experience and pay a non-refundable fee of $20 by midnight on October 26, 2014.  This small fee is to ensure that only serious applicants are attracted, and will also help to fund the eventual team. We are also accepting applications of people interested in Coaching the teams.

Once the applications have been collected, a committee of 5-7 members, selected by the President of TSAC, will be assembled. The restrictions on the committee members are that they should be well-informed citizens of the Foosball community, and that they should be appropriately geographically distributed throughout the major Canadian foosball cities. The committee shall independently form their own lists of members for the teams. Each time an applicant’s name is mentioned, they shall receive a point. An alternate mention will receive a half point. Those with the highest number of points shall be named to be the team. Any ties will be solved by a tie-breaking vote from the committee. At this point, a larger deposit (~$200) will be requested from the voted-upon team members to ensure their commitment. This deposit shall be used towards team expenses (i.e., uniforms).

***Fill out the application by clicking here. Payment instructions are included inside.***


Hi everyone,

As some of you are aware, last year, with the blessings of the existing officers, TSAC took a giant, official step forward: we officially incorporated as a Canadian not-for-profit corporation! Not only does this establish credibility for foosball in Canada, but also opens many doors and opportunities that were not open before. The founding board of directors for this official organization were Chris Thomas, Julien Beaumier-Ethier, and Terri Mattucci.

Along with these opportunities come certain responsibilities and certain bureaucratic red tape. Both to manage this red tape and to keep things moving forward, TSAC needs a solid foundation of directors and various officers. As announced previously, these roles were recently filled via a vote by the heads of the existing TSAC clubs. The current directors and officers are:

Chris Thomas
Terri Mattucci

President – Mario Iannuzzi
Vice-President – Mathieu Bigeault
Treasurer – Dan Packer
Secretary – Alexandre Lehouillier
Director of Tournaments – Jesse Haw
Director of Communications – Terri Mattucci
Director of Player Development – Rob Nelson

Together, we hope to not only make all Canadians aware of foosball, but also to legitimize and grow the sport of foosball in Canada. The pillars of this organization that will keep it moving forward will be communication and cooperation.

We will not ignore lessons from the past – we will try to keep TSAC as democratic a corporation as possible, and try to maintain communication and transparency as much as we can. If you have any questions about how the organization is run, what our goals are, and what we are planning, please feel free to contact any of the above people. You can reach any of them by emailing their first name at canadafoosball dot ca.

This is going to be a very exciting and very busy time for foosball in Canada. As we’re all running this on our own volunteer time, and there are not many of us, we will need help. If you have any ideas about initiatives, please contact us. If you have some need for support, please contact us.  If you have any connections (publicity or sponsorship), please contact us. In the near future, several committees will be formed around local and national initiatives that we are planning to launch; these initiatives will require everyone that’s willing and able. If you have time that you’re willing to donate, please contact us.

Remember: one person laying bricks can build a wall. Thousands of people laying bricks can build a pyramid. Let’s all pull together and make foosball in Canada what we really want it to be!

Mario Iannuzzi, President
Table Soccer Association of Canada