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How does FISTF, WASPA & The ESA all work?

Playing in FISTF, WASPA & ESA events

There are situations that occur when involved in Subbuteo Table Football that we don’t quite understand and one of these instances is when it comes to playing in FISTF events and WASPA events, but not playing for the same club! This is allowed but not so straight forward to understand. I will try to explain how it works.

With different Associations it all can be a little confusing, Firstly I’m going to try and explain who the different parties are and how they run alongside with one another.

Below are some backgrounds on the different associations we have in our game.

Federation International Sports Table Football Club (FISTF) & The English Subbuteo Association (ESA)

For many years, the company who made the game controlled the ‘sport’ of Subbuteo Table Football in England. This control was eventually passed over to the players in 1992-3 when the Subbuteo company helped the players to form their own world organisation. This fledgling association was called the Federation International Sports Table Football (FISTF), and it was tasked with running the world game, including the World Cup.

Each nation was then to form its own association and so the English Sports Table Football Association (ESTFA) was born. In 2010 we dropped the ‘Sports’ in our title and replaced it with ‘Subbuteo’ to better reflect the nature of our game. For 2012-13 we have removed the Table Football part to become just the English Subbuteo Association.

World Amateur Subbuteo Player Association (WASPA)

The philosophy of the WASPA is to make unity between all amateur Subbuteo players in the world, to organize tournaments and meetings between players at regional, national and international level. There are world rankings organized. Players of every country should have the same importance. There should not be difference between players in or outside Europe. Players from small nations should have the same rights and duties as those from bigger countries.

What do these associations do and what do they offer you. (In very short terms as they all do a lot more)

FISTF, the world governing body for Subbuteo Table Football who organise tournaments and ranking systems for Table Football worldwide.

The ESA, the association that runs the game in England.

WASPA, a ranking system that is open for all players.

What do I need to do to join each Association.

How to play in FISTF events and be a ranked player in the FISTF Association? For players living in England, you will have to join the ESA and become a member, which is currently £20 for a 1-year membership. The ESA will then register you into the FISTF federation and pay your FISTF membership fee.

How do I join The ESA? visit the ESA website and find on the home page, Join the ESA/renew. Answer all the questions and pay the entry fee of £20 for 1 year membership (this is a rolling year membership, so your membership will last for 12 months from the day you join and pay the fee)

How to play in and have a WASPA ranking System? If you play for a local Subbuteo club and they hold WASPA Ranking events, then you can ask the club organiser if you could represent that club for WASPA, you will then gain WASPA points for yourself and gain points for your club in the WASPA ranking system. If you are not a member of a club but want to play in a WASPA event, the organiser of that event will send the event result to WASPA, and you will gain ranking points against your name but not for a team, as you don’t represent one. WASPA points can be seen by visiting their website

For information this is who I play for.

FISTF events - Wolverhampton TFC

WASPA Ranking events – Pedmore Subbuteo Club

ESA (Non FISTF or WASPA like Wobbly Hobby League) events – Pedmore Subbuteo Club

How all this works for me personally and how I achieved it.

How I Joined a FISTF team, Firstly I joined the ESA membership, and it asked me what team do I represent/play for? (If you want to play in FISTF events then please put your FISTIF team not your local Club team if this is different to the team you will play FISTF events for)

How I joined the WASPA Ranking system, I asked the organiser of my local Subbuteo Club if I could represent them in WASPA events, they then did the paperwork with WASPA and from then on, I have been gaining WASPA points for each qualifying event I played in both personally and for Pedmore TFC.

Other instances that may occur.

You are a player for one FISTF team, but you want to play for another. There is a transfer window. You should tell your current manager that you would like to leave the club. Your proposed new club will fill out a transfer form (from the FISTF website) and fill out all the information and you can then play for your new club once you are given permission.

FISTF Player Registration Form

You represent one WASPA club but want to represent another. You should tell your current club organiser that you would like to represent another club. Your proposed new WASPA club will contact WASPA and give the information of the club that you will now represent, and you can then gain points for the new club you represent once you are given permission.

I really hope this helps you to understand the processes to play in FISTF, WASPA and ESA events in the future. If you have any questions about what I have discussed then please don’t hesitate in contacting me at or find Simon Bodily on Facebook and drop me a message.


Simon Bodily

The English Subbuteo Association.

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