German-Style Table Construction
In Germany the game is a loose transliteration of the German word "Fußball", which itself means simply football. It is also referred to as Kicker in some parts of the country.
German Playing Style
A major playing characteristic between countries is related to how much grip the man, ball and playing field are in combination with one another. On German-style, it offers a slicker interaction than other European styles, making for less pinning against the table surface and more shots starting with side controlled movement. Compared to America, their men have more rounded or blocked toes rather than a cross-hatched design that allows for a little more ball control when pinning it.
German Table Design Characteristics
German design is known for having the longest standing history when compared to other countries that have greatly evolved over the years. Early American tables from the 1960s and 1970s resembled this style prior to changing with the removal of sloped corners and transition from single goalies to three man goalies. Some models have straight legs while others can have angled legs which is a little more characteristic of European design. German models typically have plastic men with blocked feet that are mounted directly to the rods as a single piece along with a hard playing surface. This prevents the men from becoming loose.
German games can be hard to follow due to the fast pace set by the hard surface interactions with one another. Some tables even use glass or acrylic along with plastic men and balls, making the ball really move at high speeds. Builders of these tables achieve maximum speeds by having stiff and slippery components that interact with one another to cause movement: the man, ball and table top surface. These three components reduce the friction making the ball fly across the table at much higher speeds than its French counterpart.