FTF is shorthand for Face-to-Face, when IBL owners square off against each other directly rather than via a Manager's Instruction Sheet. In the truest sense, FTF play involves two owners in the same physical location playing with the cards and dice. However, most FTF play in the IBL occurs online, which makes FTF somewhat of a misnomer.
The first known instance of two owners playing against each other online occured in 1994, when Nelson Lu and Sean Sweda used the unix program ytalk to play a crucial late season matchup between the California Devils and Motor City Marauders. Shortly thereafter an IRC server was brought online to facilitate FTF play.