Subbuteo is a set of table top games simulating team sports such as association football, cricket, both codes of rugby and hockey. The name is most closely associated with the football game, which for many years was marketed as "the replica of Association Football".
The "Subbuteo" name is derived from the neo-Latin scientific name Falco subbuteo (a bird of prey commonly known as the Eurasian hobby), after a trademark was not granted to its creator Peter Adolph (1916–1994) to call the game "Hobby".
Playing Subbuteo is a physical simulation of Association Football, involving dexterity and skill in flicking the playing figures, which stand on weighted bases, across the tabletop pitch towards the ball.
What makes the game different from most other tabletop sports games are the hundreds of team kits and accessories. While most games feature only two teams (usually "red vs blue" or "white vs black"), Subbuteo has several hundred team designs, almost all represent real teams with the notable exception of comic book legends Melchester Rovers. While there were many famous teams such as Manchester United and Barcelona, these were complemented by many unique sides, such as Boston Minutemen, Landskrona, Antwerp, Hartford Bicentennials, Admira Wacker, and even unpainted models. There are also many additional accessories, such as new balls and goals, special figures for free kicks and throw-ins, stands and crowd, linesmen, ball-boys, streakers and policemen, floodlights, TV cameras and even a mini-Her Majesty the Queen to present the FA Cup.