Saturday, January 1, 2000

About the American Subbuteo Association

Who Are We?
The American Subbuteo Association is the only national organization in the United States that promotes the sport of Subbuteo®-style table soccer. The organization was reorganized by the players for the players in the early 1990's. At the bottom of this page is a recap of the colorful history of the ASA.

The ASA promotes table soccer by providing the medium through which players can organize tournaments throughout the country. Players earn ASA Rankings points by participating in tournaments. The rankings are weighted to give tournaments with larger participation more possible rankings points.

The current form of the association involves five board members, each of whom represents one region of the country. The board members are made up of one President and four Vice Presidents. All of the members are players themselves, and each individual volunteers his/her time. The ASA has no paid employees or members.

The American Subbuteo Association does not charge memberships fees or dues. However, beginning September 1, 2003 the ASA does require tournament organizers to collect nominal ASA Fees from participants to help defray the costs of purchasing trophies, renting venues for tournaments, purchasing equipment, etc...

The current ASA Fees structure is thus:
ASA Open Tournament:
  • Tournament participants are required to pay $2.00 each

U.S. FISTF Tournament:
  • Tournament participants are required to pay $2.00 each
  • FISTF tournaments are ranked as ASA Opens
  • Additional FISTF fees apply
ASA Fees do not take into account any other fees charged by tournament organizers. Failure by participants or organizers to submit ASA Fees to the treasurer may lead to forfeiture of ASA Rankings Points.

ASA History
In the early 1990's the current form of the American Subbuteo Association was reorganized as a player run organization. In 1992, Matt Miller became the first National Champion of the player run era. The following year, Steve Aberle of Holland, Massachusetts won the event. The group from Holland was the most powerful in the USA. Aberle's half brother Jeremy Meyer was the National Champion in 1995 and their father, Mick Bodley, was the ASA President for several years in the early 1990's. The most dominant player of the early 1990's though came from the Midwest. Jon Schultz of LaPorte, Indiana dominated the 1994 season, winning all but one of his tournament matches. He went on to represent the USA at the Subbuteo World Cup in Chicago. Schultz played well but didn't make it to the knockout rounds. The tournament proved to be very valuable to the ASA as Schultz, and three other members of the ASA, gleaned valuable skills and strategies from Europe's best.

Rick Wilcox, Gregg Deinhart and Matt Wintersteen were at the tournament in 1994. Wilcox was part of Global Sports Marketing (GSM), American distributor at the time, and Deinhart was a volunteer, working with GSM to help put on the event. Fueled by the high level of skill and competition, they returned to the Washington, DC area and founded the Washington Tuesday Subbuteo League. Within two years, the WTSL would become the strongest club in ASA history. Wilcox won the National Championship in 2002, making it the seventh consecutive year that a WTSL player has won the event. He was also the first US player to be nominated for World Subbuteo player of the year and he shared the ASA #1 ranking with Deinhart in 1996. Wilcox also won the inaugural FISTF Grand Prix in 1999. It was one of the biggest Subbuteo upsets ever on American soil as Wilcox was the first to defeat a top-ranked European. Deinhart won the National in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. He has also won, 2 FISTF Open tournaments and over 30 ASA events. Deinhart has also played in the World Cup in 1998, 2000 and 2002, where he was a seeded player. He's the first US player to advance to the second round of the World Cup, and has held the ASA #1 ranking from 1996-2002. Deinhart was also nominated for World Subbuteo player of the year and served as ASA President from 1996-2000. The 1997 National Open was won by WTSL player Marco Silva.

In 1999 the ASA officially joined FISTF as a Partner Nation and annually hosts three International tournaments per year. Other traditions include tournaments such as the Holiday Silver, the ASA MLS Cup and the Mary Jane. In 2002 both Deinhart and Jim Taylor traveled to the Subbuteo World Cup, making it the first time that two Americans have played at the same World Cup in nearly twenty years.

The 2002-03 season concluded with 70 players being ranked. By contrast the previous year saw only 21 players ranked. This unprecedented spike in participation is a testament to the wide-reaching efforts of the ASA members to get out and promote the game.

The early 2000's have seen unparalleled growth in the game of Subbuteo in America. Aided by the Internet, the ASA has developed a network of players from across the country and has gained closer ties with the players across North and South America and Europe. New clubs in Connecticut, Texas, and Minnesota represent the growth the game has realized in the past few years. Along with the growth has come a much higher quality of play that has caught the eye of the Subbuteo establishment. The future looks bright for the ASA. If you'd like to participate in writing the next chapters of the ASA history, contact a member and join today! Experience the joy of having the "beautiful game" at the tip of your finger.