Foosball is a table game that is similar to the game of soccer. The playing box has a goal guarded by a goalie at either end of the field and several fixed rods that have fixed miniature players attached. The “human” players stand on either side of the table and control the rods in order to make goals. The ball is either blocked or advanced by controlling the rods that have grips on your side of the table. Those “players” are your team. The rods can be moved in and out to make the players move laterally on the field. Using quick wrist strokes, the miniature players on the rods hit the ball. The rules do not allow the rods to be spun completely around. Wild spinning of the rods is strictly prohibited.
Usually Foosball (otherwise known as “table soccer” or “table football”) is a game that is played by 2 to 4 players. The largest foosball table on record though could have accommodated many more players than this. This record breaking table is obviously not the norm measuring over 450 feet long.
When it comes to foosball rules, there is an international table soccer federation that has put out a table soccer rule book that you can reference.
These are the rules for their official tournament play and are very lengthy and strict. This is a good place for you to start as you develop your own house rules if you are pursuing more casual play.
Generally speaking, to win a player must be ahead by 2 points and have a minimum of 5 points and a maximum of 8.
Here is a sample of house rules to help you guide your games.
|1) Begin the Game||Foosball games usually start with a simple toss of a coin. The winner of the toss serves the first ball. After this first serve all others are served by the team that was last scored upon.|
|2) Serving the Ball||The ball is put into play by rolling it onto the midline of the playfield through the serving hole or if there is no serving hole, then simply place the ball in the center. If you are rotating then the 5-men bar you need to make 2 contacts with the ball then with the third contact you can shoot it any way that you want.|
|3) Scoring Goals||Whenever a ball enters the goal (no matter which team last touched it, even if it bounces back out onto the play field or even off of the table completely) it counts as a score. This is true unless a fowl occurred like illegally lifting or moving the table.|
|4) Goals needed to win||The first team to score 5 goals wins. (They must win by 2 goals and have a maximum score of 8.)|
|5) Fouls||The rods should never be spun around in a complete circle. (See: “Rule Violation and Penalties” below)|
|6) Wayward Balls||If the ball flies off of the table completely, the ball is given to the team that was last scored upon by placing it in their goalie area.|
|7)Dead Balls||Whenever a ball stops moving and it also cannot be reached by any foosman it is considered a “dead ball”. The ball is then given to the team that was last scored upon by placing it into their goalie area.|
Foosball Rule Violation and Penalties
These are some of the common penalties that are used in formal tournaments and can also be used in more informal settings like schools or homes.
|Fowl or unsportsmanlike language||On the first offense, the opponent gets one penalty kick from their 3 man rod position. If the fowl language continues it is a loss of the game.|
|Reaching for the ball on the play field while it is in play||Ball possession loss: The opponent gets the ball at their 5-man rod.|
|Distracting the opponent by the opposing player or even a member of the audience: Yelling or even talking when the ball is in play, jumping, burping and waving hands around can be considered distracting.||Ball possession loss: The opponent gets the ball at their 5-man rod. After the first offense the opponent gets one penalty kick from their 3 man rod position.|
|Spinning the rods completely around beyond 360 degrees. In other words more than one full rotation.||Ball possession loss: The opponent gets the ball at their 5-man rod.|
|Hogging the ball: Goalie and 3-man rod possessing the ball for over 15 seconds and over 10 seconds at the 5-man rod.||Ball possession loss: The opponent gets the ball at their 5-man rod.|
|Moving or lifting the table even it it happens as the result of aggressive rod usage||If there is mercy then the ball is simply repositioned where it was when the table was moved or there is a ball possession loss: The opponent gets the ball at their 5-man rod. After the first offense the opponent gets one penalty kick from their 3 man rod position.|