Cameras banned from Subbuteo tournaments over crushed player fears

The governing body of Subbuteo-style games has banned cameras and headphones from matches amid fears players could be crushed by equipment falling onto the pitch.

Any Subbuteo player will know that a stray foot or an overzealous pet may result in a permanent injury for one of the players on the pitch and it seems the professional game is no different to worries about injuries to the plastic figures.

The FISTF is the governing body for modern table football, a non-Subbuteo version of the game that uses flatter bases and unusual ‘flat line’ formations, has banned the use of headphones and cameras at its tournaments.

The game, which is more rigid in its rules than players of ‘old Subbuteo’, will now not allow players to wear chest or head cameras such as Go Pros because of fears they could fall onto the playing surface while a game is taking place.

A statement says: “The Board has decided that the wearing of these devices (GoPro etc), either head-mounted, or chest-mounted, is also not permitted.
Our reasoning concerns:
> The likelihood of distraction of the player wearing the device.
> Possibility of the device falling onto the playing surface.
> Possible interference with the decision making of the referee.”

The board also banned the use of headphones by players because listening to music is disrespectful to an opponent and could mean players miss referee calls during the fixture.

It says: “The wearing of such equipment — even if the music level was low — would hamper the natural directions that are provided by referees, and the conversations that goes on between players and referees. It would open the way to mishearing calls from the referee or opponent.”

The rules will come into effect immediately. Luckily, more casual players of Subbuteo will not be affected by the rules unless they are entering an official FISTF tournament.

Stephen Hurrell
Stephen Hurrell
Stephen is the founder and editor of The Hobby Online and The Hobby by Subbuteo.Online print magazine. He is a giant nerd and specialises in Subbuteo, retro football kits and consumer stories. A journalist and editor of 15 years, he has written about football for some of the UK's biggest publications.

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