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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Foosball champ writes book

Kathy Brainard, center, plays foosball with students at Cheney High School last week. Brainard recently won third place in the world championships of foosball in Italy. 
 (Brian Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Jeslyn Lemke Correspondent

CHENEY – A Cheney woman who helped pioneer foosball in the U.S. recently published an almanac on the sport.

Cheney High School language teacher Kathy Brainard is co-author of “The World Table Soccer Almanac,” a 700-page “encyclopedia of everything table soccer.”

Brainard was already nationally known within certain foosball circles, having placed third on the U.S. team in this year’s table soccer world championships in Italy.

The almanac, which sells online from $36.95 up to $74.95, depending on the cover material, details the history of foosball, particularly within the U.S. in the 1970s.

Brainard was deeply involved with the game then, and attended some of the first major U.S. tournaments. She had already attained professional status by 1976. Brainard’s photos, some of them featuring her and her teammates, are throughout the book.

“When I got to the 1970s, I had to choose, ‘Am I going to write “I” or just put it in the third person?’ ” she said of including her own performances within the book. Johnny Lott, a past world foosball champion, is the co-author of the new almanac.

Brainard, who teaches foosball at the high school, said her interest in the sport is driven by her own competitive nature.

“You are face to face with your competition,” she said. She can tell you all about the right ways to work the table, where you’re going to develop callouses, and how you may very well work up a sweat.

“It’s very, very intense,” she said. “Your adrenaline gets flowing.”

The book is not her first. In 1980, she and Lott co-wrote “The Complete Book of Foosball,” a book that became one of the founding pieces of literature for the fledgling U.S. sport.

Foosball, which is now popular throughout the U.S. and Europe, has resurged in popularity within the past few years, said the president of the nonprofit United States Table Soccer Foundation, Larry Davis, who edited portions of Brainard’s almanac.

“Her book is very timely in relation to that,” he said from his office in Washington, D.C.

Brainard helped found USTSF in 2002.