History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My girlfriend recently showed me a 1908 yearbook in which several women are marked as playing "Poos-ball" or "Poosball." An internet search for this reveals mostly misspellings of "Foosball," however, if the search is specific enough, the most common relevant results lead back to this same high school in Cincinnati.

Example here: http://www.mocavo.com/Hughes-High-School-1913-Cincinnati-Oh/912310/103

And, a photo of the "A grade Girls' Poos Ball team"! http://imgur.com/6kXWq19

The question, of course, is what is Poos Ball? By the ball size, seems like soccer, volleyball, basketball, and water polo are the best bets. All four were invented prior to 1908, though the latter three sports would have been relatively new. However, there is no mention on the internet of any of these being formerly named Poosball! Thoughts?

share|improve this question
First link seems to be broken - Can you check it? – Pieter Geerkens May 28 '14 at 4:15
Link seems to work for me still, but an alternate way of finding it is to google the following: with quotes, google "poosball team", and then under 'showing results for', click 'Search instead for "poosball team"'. All the hits for me are old Hughes HS yearbooks. – curious_monkeydragon May 28 '14 at 14:58
Works for me now also. Maybe the server was offline last night. – Pieter Geerkens May 28 '14 at 21:44
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Apparently, Poosball was an indoor game similar to basketball. It was also known as center ball and captain ball.

According to Volume 30 of Mind and Body (1923) it was invented by Dr. E. A. Poos in 1890 while at the Woodward High School in Cincinnati. Dr Poos wrote a booklet about the game, but I don't have access to its contents.

The game is also mentioned in:

share|improve this answer
Dang. Damn shame my grandmother-in-law died last year, or I could have asked her about it. She grew up across the river from Cincinnati, was an athlete, and for a time a High School principal there. – T.E.D. May 29 '14 at 14:16
!THAT! is how to present a well researched answer on an obscure topic. I can only vote up once. – Mark C. Wallace May 29 '14 at 14:20
@MarkC.Wallace well, technically you can assign a bounty ;) – o0'. Apr 18 '15 at 8:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.