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How To Play Foosball - Foosball Techniques

The competitive nature of foosball is determined by the way you make it. It can be as equally relaxing depending on the same persons perspective. You will more often find foosball or "table soccer" in pubs and sports bars. Foosball has highly grown in interest as both a recreational and competitive game. Due to a high demand for home foosball tables, manufactures are trying harder to cater for it by designing a variety of styles.
 

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Some basic foosball techniques can help you on the right path.

The game consists of ensuring the ball is in your opponent's goal (at the opposite end to your defense) and on the other hand strictly ensuring it doesn't enter yours (the goal you are defending). The most common problem encountered is "spinning the rods." Here are some of the motivational points about spinning the rods;

Make sure you hit the ball hard but with little or no effort

It is advisable to keep hitting the ball often to ensure your opponent can not predetermine your move.

You will tend to score more often because of 1 and 2.

Using this method you will enjoy foosball more because it is fun and energetic.

If you don't hit, you miss the ball and the opponent scores, so keep it moving!

However, here are some reasons why you shouldn't spin the rods: you can practice wrist-flick so as to be able to hit the ball about as hard as your spin; you can be able to learn to hit on the ball more often than a random spin; you can score accurately by aiming a ball as opposed to a spin shot which is random or straight and can therefore be blocked by an opponent; if you don't spin, you stand a chance to catch loose balls hence creating more scoring opportunities and finally, spinning more often damages the table or even damaging the rod itself.

What will you do if you realize that you are not able to 'kick' the ball very hard? The first step is to try it with your right hand, since it's the same hand that will be doing most of the shooting. Place the ball on the playfield under your front three-man rod in the center in front of an open goal, for an open shot lift the defending. From this position, you can practice hitting the ball hard straight into the goal. To make this effective, stand to the left of the rod and away from the table, stand on the handle and don't let go. Don't mind your arm and hand and embark on the wrist. Finally, throw your wrist as hard as you can straight down towards the floor, past the side of the handle causing your wrist to snap downwards, this is called the wrist flick.

Most importantly.. have a surplus of foosball balls, they might get lost and damaged! 

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Things to consider when buying a foosball table

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Skill level and price range

If you are a more serious foosball table player who wants to play the game the right way, without any spinning, then you should shop in the higher price range. For players who are less serious and more casual, a 2 hundred to 4 hundred dollar foosball table should suffice. However, if money is not an issue, there is no reason not to go all out with the nicest foosball table that you can afford. To truly learn and understand the game, you will need a more expensive foosball table anyways. A ball that rolls true and a surface that is truly flat are both essential to developing the proper skills for foosball.

Who will be using the table?

Whether you are buying a foosball table for your kids to enjoy or for the adults to enjoy should be a big factor in your buying decision. You may need to get a smaller sized foosball table for smaller kids to use and/or compete on and a larger one is necessary for the adults that want to play. Some foosball tables are adjustable, so we recommend that you look into these as they may be able to provide some fun for all members of the family.

What size table should you get?

A full-size foosball table measures in at 56-inches by 30-inches. It is also important to remember that the playing rods will stick out of the side of the table and that the players will need some room to move around and play the game. We recommend an area 7 feet by 8 feet wide to allow for adequate space to fit your table and players. This way players have 3 feet to position themselves on the sides of the table and a foot on each end.

How to find good table quality

When buying a foosball table, especially when looking at the lower end of the price range spectrum, you will want to pay close attention to the build quality. Both the material quality and the build quality should be looked at when buying. It is important to check the surface and find out whether or not it is flat and if you can level it. Ensure the table has no dead spots or weird roll spots. You also want to check that the side walls are securely attached to the rest of the table. Glued on walls are sure to break with normal usage, so you want a high-end table with full brackets around the sidewalls to ensure they stay in place.

Will the table hold its value?

A quality foosball table is going to hold its value much longer than a table from a traditional store or cheap online shop would. When you put good money down on a quality foosball table, you will be surprised at just how well it holds its value.

Last notes

If you want to enjoy the game to its fullest with a table that is appreciated by all players, you should always shop at the professional level. If you end up not liking it, the resell value will still be high.

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Foosball Balls, How Do They Differ 

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Foosball balls are made of different sizes and material, types and colors. Due to these differences, there are various instructions to guide you while purchasing for Foosball balls. 

Make a clear comparison of the available materials; the impact of your game will be predetermined by the choice of the foosball ball. This is because; the balls are made of different varieties of substances. There are those made of cork, wood, sponge rubber, wood grain foam and even steel. 

You have to find the right size; foosball tables are made specifically for a particular size of ball, you must therefore make sure that the size you choose will fit perfectly through all the openings on your table. 

Take into consideration the most appropriate weight; choosing a lighter ball does not guarantee faster movement and a too heavy one may slow down your speed. You also need to realize that too fast balls give a hard time in controlling the play. You shouldn't therefore base on speed alone while considering weight. 

Another thing to consider is color; you can select multicolored balls. This will enhance ease in visualizing them and also adds fun to the game. 

You can also consider new or used foosball balls to be purchased; suppose you are looking for balls for a foosball table which you have installed at a local bar, and then you can save some money by purchasing used balls. This is because; you will be required to replace these balls more often since they have a tendency to disappear from the establishment. Why also buy new balls if they are meant for a kid's play or completely for amateur playing? However, you will need to stick with the new type if the table is for professionals or for regular tournaments.

The various types of foosball balls are; checkered, cork, smooth, textured, genuine tornado, black and white foosball and bug blaster foosball. Each of the balls has got its own qualities; you should therefore purchase each ball on the basis of their qualities. Each of the types also has got individual price, size and weight.

Of course... if you just want to have some lounge room / garage fun, then pick the foosball balls that look the best for you! 

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Foosball & Table Soccer Rules 


Although there is no single or even an internationally recognised, set of rules for table soccer (foosball). Alternately, rules tend to be defined and created according to table type and the event organiser (or the home owner of the foosball table). 

The differences between most rules are partly due to discrepancies between players and organisers, and certainly due to the notable differences between the vast array of table types. 

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Pub & Bar Rules 

These rules are loosely based on those used by the Oxford Students Table Football Club - http://www.oxfoos.co.uk/rules.htm. 

Games are usually played up to 5 goals, or comparatively out of 9 or even 10 (depending on how many foosballs are in the foosball table).

No spinning - defined as the rotation of any figure more than 360 degrees either before or after striking the ball.


No illegal jarring/tilting of the foosball table - note legitimate attempts to 'block' a shot are allowed, but 'random thrashing' is not (Play Nice).


Put in should be 'through-the-hole' or go to the midfield of the team who conceded the previous goal.


Bounce outs (where the ball enters the goal hits the back and comes back out) count as goals. Play is restarted as usual from a put in.


In the event of the foosball leaving the table, it should be re-served


Rules Overview:

1.To Start a Match

2.The Serve

3.Subsequent Serves

4.Ball in Play 

5.Ball Off the Table

6.Dead Ball

7.Time Out

8.Resuming Play After Time Out 

9.Official Time out

10.Point Scored

11.Table Sides

12.Change of Positions 

13.Spinning the Rods

14.Jarring

15.Reset

16.Reaching Into the Playing Area 

17.Alterations to the Table

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8.Distractions

19.Practice

20.Language 

21.Passing

22.Time of Possession

23.Match Time Limit

24.Delay of Game 

25.Forfeiture

26.Technical Fouls

27.Rules Decisions and Appeals

28.Code of Ethics 

29.Tournament Director 

Speciality Games: [ Goalie War | Two-Ball Rollerball | Forward Shootout | Four on Four ] 

To Start a Match 

A coin flip shall precede the start of the match. The team that wins the flip has the choice of table side or first serve. The team that loses the flip has the remaining option and must also pay for the first game, with that expense alternating thereafter.

Once a team has chosen either the table side or the first serve, they may not change their decision.

In the event of the loser's bracket winner beating the winner's bracket team in the first match, the second match will be started in the same manner as a regular match with the coin flip, etc.

The match officially starts once the ball has been put into play. (BUT violations such as cursing, etc. may be called by the official assigned to judge the match as soon as he and both teams are present at the table.)

The Serve 

A serve through the serving hole is used to put the ball into play at the start of the match, after a point is scored, or after a ball leaves the table. The server may attempt to influence the roll of the ball, but may not allow any part of either hand to be in the play area once the ball hits the playfield. 

The play area shall be defined as the area above the playing surface to the height of the side boards of the cabinet.

Prior to serving the ball, the server may place either hand in the play area in order to position the ball. However, no part of either hand may be in the play area at the moment the ball is released into play.

If the ball hits the playfield while any part of the server's hand is in the playing area, the serve shall be considered illegal. This includes any finger used to push the ball through the serving hole.

The ball may not be struck by either team following a serve until it has touched the playfield, at which time the ball is considered to be "in play" and the time limits start.

Spinning the ball shall be allowed in order to influence the serve, however, no point shall be scored by the serving team unless the ball is struck by one of the serving team's figures.

The server must not serve the ball until he has the assurance that the opposing team is ready for play to begin. The server can signify that play is about to begin by tapping the ball on the side of the table.

If the server has tapped the ball, and the opposing team is holding their handles, the opposing team shall be deemed to be ready for play (unless they have specially stated before the ball hits the playing surface that they are not ready yet).

On the first violation of any part of this rule, the ball shall be re-served by the original server. Subsequent violations, however, shall result in the ball being put into play by a server of the opposing team.

If the ball is incorrectly served, but the server has not violated any part of these rules, the ball is considered in play. In particular, the player may not reach into the play area to re-serve the ball (see 16).

Subsequent Serves 

Following the first serve of a match, subsequent serves shall be made by the team last scored upon. First serves in subsequent games of a multi-game match shall be made by the team which lost the preceding game. 

If the ball is served by the wrong team, and the violation is discovered before the ball is scored, play shall be stopped and the ball shall be re-served by the proper team. Once the ball is scored, no protests shall be allowed, and play shall continue as if no infraction had been committed.
If a team receives the serve because the opposing team is being penalized for a rules infraction, and if, after the ball is served, it goes dead or leaves the table and must be re-served, it shall be re- served by the team who originally served it prior to the infraction.

Ball in Play 

Once a ball is put into play by the server (see 2), it shall remain in play until the ball is hit off the table, a dead ball is declared, time out is called, or a point is scored.

Ball Off the Table
 

If the ball should leave the playing area and strike the scoring marker, ash trays, top of the side rails, cabinet ends, or any object that is not a part of the table, the ball shall be declared off the table. The ball should be put back into play with a serve by the team which originally served that ball. 

A ball entering the serving cup and then returning to the playfield is still considered "in play."

Dead Ball
 

A ball shall be declared a dead ball when it has completely stopped its motion and is not within reach of any player figure. 

If the ball is declared dead between the goal and two-man rods, it shall be put back into play by placing the ball in the corner nearest the spot of the dead ball and releasing it into play from rest.

The goalie must have the assurance that the opposing team is ready for play to continue before putting the ball back into play in this manner (see 2.6). Furthermore, the goalie must then move the ball from one player figure to another one and then stop the ball for a full second before the motion of a shot or pass may begin.

The time limits begin one second after the ball touches the second man. If the ball is declared dead anywhere between the two-man rods, it shall be put back into play with a serve by the team that originally served that ball.
A ball that is spinning in place is not considered to be a dead ball.

A ball that is intentionally made dead in order to advance the ball or reset the time limits shall be given to the opposing team for a re-serve (example: the two-man placing the ball just out of reach in order to re-serve the ball).
The penalty for illegally putting the ball back into play (as in 6.1) is the opponent's choice of either continuing play from the current position or re-serving the ball. This includes the cases where a player either loses the ball or scores on himself before the ball has been put back into play.

Time Out
 

Each team is allowed two time outs per game during which the players may leave the table. Such time outs shall not exceed 30 seconds. If the ball is in play, time out may be called only by the team in possession of the ball, and then only if the ball is completely stopped. If the ball is not in play, either team may call time out. 

Rules Clarification August 1996- When calling a time out while the ball was in play, a team is allowed to take a second time out (providing they have one left) as long as they do not begin to put the ball back into play (by moving the ball). During an official time out, a team may not request a time out unless they would have otherwise been allowed to do so had the official time out not been called. 

Either team may take the full 30 seconds, even if the team that called the time out does not wish to take the full allotment. Either team may switch positions during a time out (see 12). A time out called between games shall apply to the following game to be played in counting time outs per game.

A player who removes both hands from the handles and turns completely away from the table while the ball is in play shall be considered to have requested a time out.

A player can take his hands from the handles to wipe them off before a shot, as long as it doesn't take more than two or three seconds. However the time limits continue to run while the player wipes his hands. The team on defense should not relax if the opponent takes his hand(s) off the rod (see 18.4).

Either team member may call time out when either he or his partner has the ball. The time out starts the moment the time out is called.

If the team with the ball attempts a shot or pass immediately after requesting a time out, the play shall not count, and the team shall be charged with a distraction (see 18.2) rather than a time out.

If the team in possession of the ball calls a time out while the ball is in play and moving, that team shall lose possession, and the ball shall be served by the opposing forward. If the team not in possession of the ball calls a time out when the ball is in play, that team shall be charged with a distraction (see 18.2).

If a team is not ready to play at the end of the 30 second period, that team shall be charged with another time out.

A team calling and/or charged with more than two time outs per game shall be charged with an automatic technical foul. The technical foul shall be shot before the 30 second period is granted.

A team charged with a time out shall always be given the full 30 second period, even if they have previously taken two time outs, and either team may switch positions during this time.


Once a player begins to put the ball back into play following a time out (by moving the ball), a time out may not be called again until the ball has left the current rod of possession.

Penalty for violation of this rule (7.9) is loss of possession, and the ball shall be served by the opposing forward. The team shall not be charged with a time out.

During a time out a player may reach into the play area to spray the rods, wipe the playfield, etc. The ball may be picked up by hand, as long as it is returned to its original position before play is continued.

During a time out the player may not move the ball from man to man without the permission of the official, as this can be considered practice (see 19).
Penalty for violation of this rule (7.11) is loss of possession and the ball shall be served by the opposing forward. If the official present feels that it would be impossible to be sure of accurately replacing the ball to the exact position it occupied at the time of a time out, they may deny a request to pick up the ball (example: a ball precariously perched on the edge of the goal).


Resuming Play After Time Out

Following a time out, the ball shall be put back into play by the player who had possession when the time out was called. 

If the ball was in play when the time out was called, the player [B must have the assurance that the opposing team is ready before moving the ball. The player must then move the ball from one player figure to another one and then stop the ball for a full second before the motion of a shot or pass may begin.

The time limit begins one second after the ball touches the second man.
If the ball was not in play when the time out was called, the ball shall be put back into play with a serve by the team that originally served that ball.

The penalty for illegally putting the ball back into play is the opponent's choice of either continuing play from the current position or re-serving the ball. This includes the case of a player losing the ball before touching two men.

Official Time out 

An official time out does not count towards the two time outs allowed per team per game. After an official time out, the ball is put back into play as though a regular time out were called. 

If an official is not present at the start of the match, and a dispute arises during play, either team may request an official. Such a request can be made at any point during the match that the ball is stopped or dead.

The first request for an official is considered an official time out. The cost for the official will be split between the two teams.

If the defensive team makes a request for an official while the ball is in play and stopped, and the offensive team simultaneously attempts a pass or shot, the request for a time out will be treated as a distraction by the defensive team. Likewise, a request for an official while the ball is in motion will also be considered a distraction.

Any team subsequently requesting an official will automatically be charged with a time out. Such a request may only be made during a dead ball. The penalty for requesting another official while the ball is in play is a technical foul.

The Head Official will decide whether the request for a new official will be granted. If the request is granted, the team requesting the official must pay the full cost of the new official. The two officials will then judge the match. An official may be replaced only at the discretion of the Head Official.
If there are already two officials present, any request for a new official will be denied, and the team will be charged with a technical foul.

A team may not switch positions during an official time out, unless they are otherwise entitled to do so (see 12).

Table Maintenance - Any necessary table maintenance, such as changing balls, tightening the men, etc., must be requested before the start of the match. The only time that a player may call a table maintenance time out during a match would be in the case of a sudden alteration to the table, such as a broken man, broken screw, crumbling bumper, bent rod, etc.

If a player figure is broken while in contact with the ball, an official time out will be declared while the rod is fixed. Play will resume on the rod where the player figure broke.

If the table lighting fails, play shall immediately stop at that point (as though an official time out were called).

Routine maintenance, such as spraying the rods, etc., should only be done during time outs and between games.

Foreign objects on field of play - if an object should fall on the playfield, play shall immediately stop at that point. There should be nothing on the ends of the table that could fall onto the playfield.

Medical time out - a player or team may request a medical time out. This request must be approved by the Tournament Director, the Head Official, and a member of the officiating staff. They will determine the length of the medical time out, up to a maximum or 60 minutes. A player who is physically unable to continue playing after that time must forfeit the match.

If the request for a medical time out is denied, the player will be charged with a time out. The player may also be penalized for delay of game (see 24), at the discretion of the official.

Medical time outs will typically be granted only for accidental or unexpected injuries incurred during the course of play.


Point Scored 

A ball entering the goal shall count as a point, as long as it was legally scored. A ball which enters the goal but returns to the playing surface and/or leaves the table still counts as a goal.  

If a point is not counted on the scoring markers and both teams agree that it was previously scored and inadvertently not marked up, the point shall count. If both teams do not agree that a point was scored and not marked up, after another ball is scored, that point shall not be counted.

If there is a controversy over whether or not the ball entered the goal, an official should be called. Any team intentionally marking up a point not scored shall not get credit for the point illegally marked up and shall be charged with a technical foul. Further violations of this rule will be grounds for forfeiture of game or match (to be determined by the Head Official).

Table Sides 

At the end of each game, teams must switch sides of the table before play of the next game can begin. A maximum of 60 seconds is allowed between games. 

Either team can request the full 60 seconds. If both teams acknowledge that they are ready to resume play before the full time is used, play shall continue and the remainder of that 60 seconds is then forfeited.

If a team, is not ready to play at the end of the 60 second period, that team shall be charged with delay of game.

Change of Positions 

In any doubles event, each player may play only the two rods normally designated for his position. Once the ball is put into play, the players must play the same position until a point is scored, a team requests a time out, or a technical is called. 

Either team may switch positions during a time out, between points, between games, or before and/or after a technical foul shot.

Once a team has switched positions, they may not switch back until after the ball has been put back into play or another time out has been called.

A team is considered to have switched positions once both players are in their respective places facing the table.

Illegally switching positions while the ball is in play will be judged a distraction.

In any doubles event any player placing their hand on any rod normally designated as one played by their partner while the ball is in play shall be judged as a distraction violations.

Spinning the Rods 

Spinning of the rods is illegal. Spinning is defined as the rotation of any soccer figure more than 360 degrees before or after striking the ball. In calculating the 360 degrees, you do not add the degrees spun prior to striking the ball to the degrees spun after striking the ball. 

A ball which is advanced by an illegal spin is replayed as follows:
If the ball goes in the goal, then it will not be counted as a point and will be put back into play by the goalie as if the ball had been declared a dead ball between the goal and the nearest two-man rod. If the ball does not go in the goal, the opposing team will have the option of continuing play from the current position or re-serving the ball. 

Spinning of a rod which does not advance and/or strike the ball does not constitute an illegal spin. If a player's spinning rod hits the ball backwards into his own goal, it will count as a goal for the opposing team. Spinning of a rod away from the ball (when there is no possession) is not considered an illegal spin, but may be ruled as a distraction.

Rules Clarification August 1996- A ball is considered to have advanced once it is out of reach of the playing figures on that rod whether it went forward or backwards. In the case of the goalie area, a ball is considered advanced once out of reach of the two bar and beyond the goalie area.
If an ungrasped rod is spun by the force of a ball hitting a player figure on the rod, the spin will be considered legal (example: a two-man shot in singles hitting the three-man).

Jarring 

Any jarring, sliding, or lifting of the table shall be illegal. Whether or not the table jarring is done intentionally is of no consequence. This call must be made by an official. It is not necessary for a player to lose the ball for jarring to be called on his opponent. 

The penalty for violation of this rule:

First offense - the opposing team has the option of continuing play from the current position, continuing play from the point of infraction, or re-serving the ball. If an illegal jar causes the player to lose possession of the ball from a rod, play may be continued from that rod.
Subsequent violations - Technical foul. After the technical shot the non offending team continues to have the options listed under First Offense (14.1). 

Touching or coming into contact with your opponent's rods in any way shall be penalized exactly like jarring, sliding, or lifting. Jarring of the table may be called even if the ball is not in play. In particular, slamming the rod after the shot may be considered jarring.

Reset
 

If a player has the ball stopped and set up to shoot or pass, and the ball is unintentionally moved due to jarring by the opponent, the official present will call "reset" and he will reset all time limits. The player with the ball has the option of setting the ball up again, or ignoring the reset call and playing the ball where it is. 

Any movement of the ball, no matter how slight, may be considered grounds for a reset (example: a ball rocking in place). 

A reset is not considered a distraction, and the player with the ball may shoot immediately. The defensive team should not, therefore, relax or look at the official upon hearing the word "reset," but rather should stay on defense.

A reset call does not count as jarring infraction, however, repeated offenses may be grounds for the official present to call a technical foul on the defensive player causing the reset.

A reset violation behind the ball shall not be considered a reset violation. It shall be considered a jarring violation. (Example: if the opposing forward is judged to have reset his opponent when the opponent has the ball on the 3 rod.)

An intentional reset by the team in possession of the ball for the purposes of attempting to get a reset call from the official shall not be allowed. The team judged to be in violation of this rule shall lose possession of the ball, the ball to be reserved by the other team. (This is not counted as a reset.)

A team is allowed one reset call per game. After that, a team causing two resets during the same point will be charged with a technical foul.


If a technical foul is called for excessive resets, the next reset call shall not result in a technical foul.


Resets are charged per-team and not per-player.


If the defender intentionally jars the table, this will not be considered a reset, and jarring will be called immediately.


Reaching Into the Playing Area 

It is illegal for a player to reach into the play area while the ball is in play without first having permission from the opposing team, whether he touches the ball or not. However, whenever the opposing team grants a player permission to reach into the playing area, it is legal for the player to do so. 

A spinning ball is considered "in-play," even if it is not in reach of a player figure. It is illegal to reach into playing area to stop a spinning ball, even if done for an opponent.

A ball which becomes airborne over the table is still in play until it has hit something not a part of the playing area. Do not catch a flying ball over the table.

A ball which has gone dead is considered out of play. The ball may be freely touched once permission has been granted by the official, or if no official is present, by the opposing team.

There is no penalty for touching the ball after it is dead, regardless of whether or not permission was given to touch the ball.

A player may wipe shot marks off any part of the table while the ball is not in play. He does not need to ask permission of the opposing team.

The penalty for violation of this rule is as follows:

If the player has possession of the ball, and the ball is stopped - loss of possession to the opposing team. If the ball is moving in the player's goal area behind the two-man rod - a point is scored for the opposing team, and the ball is re-served as if it had gone in the goal. Any other case - technical foul.

Alterations to the Table 

Playing area - no changes can be made that would affect the interior playing characteristics of the table by any player. This includes changes to the men, playing surface, bumpers, etc. A player cannot wipe sweat or spit or any foreign substance on his hand before wiping ball marks off the table.
Wiping rosin on the table is illegal.

Any player using a substance on their hands to improve their grip, for example, must make sure that this substance does not get on the ball. If this does occur, and the substance is judged to affect the play of the ball (Example: a ball coated with rosin) that ball and any others in the table similarly affected shall be cleaned immediately and the team judged to have caussed this to occur shall be penalied for delay of game and warned that if this occurs again during the match they will be prohibited from using the substance.

Handles - in regard to the use of substances to improve grip, if a player uses a substance that, upon switching tables sides, has left a deposit on the handles, he must immediately clean the handles.
If the time necessary to remove the substance exceeds 60 seconds, the player will be penalized for delay of game, and the player will be prohibited from using the substance again.

A player may not place a tube or handle on the table exterior that inhibits the motion of the rods (example: for limiting the motion of the goalie rod).
A player may not switch the handles on the exterior of the tables.
A request to change balls before the start of the match must be approved by the official present or the Tournament Director. The request will be granted only if the playing characteristics of the existing balls are significantly different from the standard.

New ball - a player may not ask for a new ball while the ball is in play. During a dead ball, however, a player may request a new ball from the rack inside the table. Such a request will generally be granted, unless the official present judges that such a request is made simply for the purpose of stalling play.

A player requesting a new ball while the ball is in play shall be charged with a time out, unless the official present judges the ball to be unplayable, in which case no time out will be charged. Unless otherwise specified, penalty for violation of any part of this rule may be grounds for a technical foul.

Distractions 

Any movement or sound made away from the rod where the ball is in play may be judged as a distraction. No point made as a result of a distraction will count. If a player believes he is being distracted, it is his responsibility to call for an official. 

Banging the five-man rod or any rod prior to, during, or after a shot is considered a distraction. Moving the five man slightly after the shot has started is not considered a distraction, however. Talking between teammates while the ball is in play may be judged a distraction.

It is not considered a distraction, when passing, to move the catching rod as part of a fake. Excessive motion, however, is grounds for a distraction. It is considered a distraction, after setting up a shot, to remove a hand from the handle and then shoot the ball. The ball may only be shot after both hands are on the handles for a full second.

Rules Clarification August 1996- The problem with this rule is the wording which will be corrected on the next revision of the rules. The intent of the rule is to avoid having a player remove their hands from the handles IN A DISTRACTING MANNER and then shooting as soon as they place their hand back on the handle. The word "grasped" was used in the last sentence of this rule. In the case of the "Roll-Over" shot, the rod will be considered to be grasped when on the wrist of the shooter. In an attempt to stay consistent with the way we have been ruling in the cases where a roll-over shooter shoots as soon as he slides his wrist on the handle, this will be legal as long as it is not done in a distracting manner. The way this is ruled will be looked at by the officiating committee and possibly changed after the World Championships. The one second on the handle does not apply in singles except in the case of a set shot on the forward three row. The European style roll-over straight: This is shot by making the play figure spin around while rolling the handle from your palm to you fingertips. It is most common with the European style front pin and a straight option on a pull shot. This is a legal shot.

Penalty for distraction - if a shot is scored as a result of a distraction by the offensive team, the point will not count and the opposing team will re-serve the ball. In all other cases, the opposing team has the option of continuing play from the current position, continuing play from the point of infraction, or re-serving the ball. Subsequent violations may be grounds for a technical foul.

Rules Clarification August 1996- This does not mean that the second infraction should be a technical foul. After the first infraction, the offending team will, at minimum, have to give up the drop to the other team. A technical SHOULD be called when an official feels that the team is flagrantly distracting their opponent. A technical should also be called in the case of repeated distractions when the team being distracted has the ball on the three row (in which case a drop would be of no benefit to the team being distracted.) In the case where play was in no way affected (loss of possession or being distracted while shooting or passing) the first infraction will be a warning. 

Practice

Once a match has begun, no player may practice either his serve or shot on either the table being played or on any other table. This rule applies during time outs and between games. 

Practice is defined as either moving the ball (by contacting it with a player figure) or practicing the serve.

Illegal Practice is a judgement call by th official present at the table. Inadvertent movement of th ball does not necessarily constitute Practice.
Penalty for this infraction is a technical foul, except in the case of putting the ball back into play following a time out (see 7.11).

Language
 

Unsportsmanlike comments made directly or indirectly by a player are not allowed. Violations of this rule may be grounds for a technical foul. 

Calling the attention of the opposing team away from the game is not allowed (see 18). Any shouts or sounds made during a match, even if of an enthusiastic nature, may be grounds for a technical foul.

Cursing by a player shall not be allowed. Continued cursing by a player may be cause for forfeiture of games and/or expulsion from the tournament site.
The use of a spotter in the audience shall not be allowed. Furthermore, a member of the audience is not allowed to influence a match by distracting a player or official. Violation of this rule may be grounds for expulsion of the person from the tournament site. Coaching will be allowed, but only during time outs.

Passing 

A pinned ball on the 5 man cannot be directly advanced to the 3 man rod of the same team. It must touch at least two player figures as it is put into the motion of a pass (Except an accidental stub or squib pass SEE 21.1c). A pinned ball is on that is pinned to the wall or playfield.

A ball whose motion has clearly stopped may be legally passed if this pass if immediate. Any hesitation befor the pass and the pass shall be declared illegal. Once a ball has clearly stopped and is not immediately passed it must then touch at least two player figures before it can be legally passed.

Changing the lateral speed or direction of the ball from the front or back of the man prior to passing the ball is considered to be an adjustment and is illegal. Changing the speed or direction of the ball from the side of the man is legal.

An accidental stub or squib pass is legal. However, if a ball is stubbed or squibbed by a player figure, released, and then passed by that player figure before striking another player figure on that same rod, it is illegal.

A pinned or stopped ball may be shot on goal, to be considered a shot, the ball must either go into the goal, be blocked by the opposing goalie's men, or hit the back wall. If the atte[Bmpted shot is blocked by the opposing five-man rod and then caught by the shooter's three-man, It shall be declared an illegal pass.

If a pinned or stopped ball from the five-man is shot on goal, and the ball hits the shooter's three-man row, then the shot would be legal, provided the ball was not caught by the three-man.

A caught ball is defined as a ball that is in the possession of a rod long enough for a controlled pass or shot to be attempted (examples: pick-up and quick shots).

Before attempting a pass from the five-man rod, the player cannot make the ball strike the side wall of the table more than twice. It makes no difference which wall the ball touches - a total of two times is all that is allowed. If the ball goes to the wall a third time, it must be advanced in the motion of a pass or shot.

Defensive trap - if an opponent's pass or shot is stopped by trapping it against the side wall, that does not count as one of the two times allowed to touch the wall by the player who made the trap and is now in possession of the ball on his five-man rod.

Once the ball has touched the wall, it will not be counted as hitting the wall again until the ball has rolled off the side strip (if present on the table).

Passing from the two-man and goalie rods - rule 21.1 also applies to a pass from the two-man or goalie rod to the same team's five-man rod. However, once a ball is forwarded from either the two-man or the goalie rods, if it should strike an opposing team's player figures, that ball is no longer considered a pass but a live ball that may be legally caught by any player.
Rule 21.2a also applies here for a stopped shot from the two- man touched by the five-man.

It is legal to have just one hand on the rods when playing defensive (example: right hand on defensive five-man). It is also legal to use two hands to move a rod (example: defensive five-man).

Penalty for an illegal pass - if a team violates the above rule of passing, the opposing team has the option of continuing play from the current position or re-serving the ball.

Time of Possession 

Enforcement of the time of possession rule shall be made only by an authorized tournament official.

Possession of the ball at any one rod shall be limited to 15 seconds, except the five-man rod which has a ten second limit, by the end of which time period the player in possession must advance the ball to or past at least one rod of the opposing team.

A spinning ball that is within reach of a player figure shall be considered to be in that rod's possession and all time limits shall continue. Players must make an honest effort to gain possession of a spinning ball that is within reach, however, if the spinning ball is not within reach, the time limits are not in effect.

Rules Clarification August 1996-In the case of this happening in the goalie area, time will be suspended while the ball is not in reach. The official will add the amount of the suspended time at the end of the 15 seconds allowed.

Penalty - penalty for three-man delay is loss of possession to the opposing goalie. The goalie shall put the ball back into play as if it had been declared a dead ball. Penalty for delay at any other rod is loss of possession to the opposing forward for serve.

Match Time Limit 

Best of five matches shall be limited to one hour of play from the time the match is started. Best of three matches shall be limited to 35 minutes from the time the match is started. 

If the specified time limit expires before the match has been completed, an official will announce to the players that a ten minute overtime period will begin at that time. If the overtime period ends before the match has been completed, the winner of the match shall be the player or team which has won the most games, or if the teams have an equal number of games, it shall be the team that has scored the most points in the game in progress, after the ball in play at this time that the overtime period expires has been scored. If the teams have won an equal number of games and scored an equal number of points after this ball has been scored, one more ball shall be played to determine the winner of the match.

Time outs called within the regular time limit of a match shall be counted against the total amount of time left to play. However, time outs do not count against the ten minutes in the overtime period (a time out would then stop the clock). Official time outs do not count against the total amount of time left to play. Enforcement of this rule is the responsibility or the Tour nt Director.

Delay of Game 

Play shall be continuous, except during time outs. A delay of game penalty may only be called by an official. 

Rules Clarification August 1996- Continuous play defined: Between balls, a player shall be allowed to wipe their brow, dry their hands, adjust their grip, change their stance, or any other activity they deem necessary to prepare themselves for the play of the next ball, providing the combination of ALL such activities takes less than 5 seconds. 

After a delay of game infraction play shall resume in at most 10 seconds. At the end of 10 seconds another delay of game call should be made. Taking too much time to serve the ball or to put the ball back into play may be grounds for delay of game.

The first infraction of this rule is a warning. Subsequent infractions will result in the player being charged with a time out. Example: Player charged with delay of game. If still not ready to resume play after 10 seconds - time out charged. If after the time out still not ready, another 10 seconds- second time out charged (Technical - SEE 7.8).

Forfeiture 

Once a match has been called, both teams should report immediately to the designated table. If a team has not reported to the table within three minutes, they should be recalled. A team, upon being recalled, must report immediately to the table in order to stop the forfeiture process. 

A recall is made every three minutes. Penalty for second and subsequent recalls is forfeiture of a game. If a team has forfeited any games due to recalls, they get the choice of side or serve once play begins. Enforcement of this rule is the responsibility of the Tournament Director.

Technical Fouls 

If, in the judgment of an authorized tournament official, either team competing in a match is at any time in flagrant or intentional violation of these rules of play, a technical foul may be called on the offending team. 

When a technical foul is called, play shall stop and the ball awarded to the opponents of the offending team at its three-man rod. One shot will be taken after which play shall stop. If it scores or not, the ball shall be put back into play at the spot it was when the technical was called. If the ball was in motion, it will be put back into play as if it had been declared dead at that spot. (Except as provided in 14.1).

A player is considered to have taken a technical foul shot once ball has left the three-man rod. A player is considered to have been blocked the shot once the ball has either stopped in or left the defender's area. Only the shooter and defender should be at the table during the technical foul shot.

On a technical foul shot, the ball must be put into play before shooting (see 8.1). Furthermore, all rules, including time limits and resets, still apply. A team may switch positions before and/or after the technical foul shot without being charged with a time out (see 12). Time outs may be called during a technical shot, as long as they would otherwise be legal (see 7).

A point scored on an illegal technical shot shall not be allowed, and play shall resume at the spot the technical was called. If a technical foul shot ends the game, the opposing team gets the first serve of the next game.

Further violations of a flagrant or intentional nature shall carry additional technical fouls. A third technical foul in any one game shall result in an automatic forfeiture of the game. Also, the official may announce at any time after the first technical foul is called on a team that further violation by that team shall be cause for forfeiture of the game or match.

Rules Decisions and Appeals 

If a controversy involves a question of judgement, and the official is present at the time the events in question transpired, his decision is final and no appeal may be made. If the controversy involved an interpretation of the rules, or the official was not present at the time the events in question transpired, the official shall make the most equitable decision possible under the circumstances. Decisions of this nature may be appealed, but it must be done immediately in the manner prescribed below. 

In order to appeal a rule interpretation, a player must file that appeal with the official before the ball being played at the time of the controversy is put back into play. An appeal concerning the loss of a match must be filed before the team that won has begun its next match.

All rule appeals shall be considered by the Head Official and (if present) at least two members of the officiating staff. All decisions on appeals are final.

A team making an unsuccessful rules appeal of an obvious nature, or a team that questions a judgment call, will be charged with a time out. In addition, the team may also be penalized for delay of game, at the discretion of the official.

Arguing with a Certified official during a match will not be allowed. Violation of this rule will be grounds for a delay of game penalty and/or a violation of the code of ethics.

Code of Ethics 

Any action of an unsportsmanlike or unethical nature during tournament play, in the tournament room, or on the grounds of the host facility, will be considered a violation of the Code of Ethics. 

Penalty - the penalty for breaking the Code or Ethics may be forfeiture of a game or match, expulsion from the tournament, and/or a fine. Whether or not the Code of Ethics has been broken, and what is the appropriate penalty for the infraction will be determined by the Disciplinary Committee of the USTSA.

Tournament Director
 

The administration of tournament play shall be the responsibility of the Tournament Director. This includes making the draws, scheduling the events, timing matches, etc. The decision of the Tournament Director in such matters is final.

All matters pertaining to rules of play (appointing officials, handling appeals, etc.) shall be the responsibility of the Head Official. The Tournament Director is responsible for appointing the Head Official.

This comprehensive rulebook of Foosball is put forth to enable players anywhere in the world to compete on any table in the world according to one set of international rules. 

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Foosball Tips and Techniques 

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If you've been looking for the best tips to enhance your foosball playing abilities, here are some of the best. Study them keenly as they will help you be the best in due course. 

Attack 

Eventually, getting that shot that hits the goal to score, is the ultimate reward of a foosball player. Depending on the type of ball, table surface, foot shape and the construction of the table your shot can only be as effective as these factors. 

Drags and kicks which are basically shots conducive on less grip tables, are non comparable to the more sturdy pin shots which are enacted on the more grip tables. Therefore a good tip is to produce an unblock-able variety of shots, of which this is effectively done through daily practice and trial and error. 

Skill 

There are basically two categories of foosball players. First are the strong players who hit the ball with little mercy. With such power you can develop a compatible technique that beautifully utilizes muscles to hit the ball as effectively to score. If you are a power kind of player then with practice you will be a player to reckon with. 

The last category is the smoother player; this is characterized by good control of the ball. If you are this kind of a player your emphasis will be on the ball and how you can use it to smoothly score your way to a win. 

Defending 

Of course with good defending your opponent will be hard pressed to get a win. A tip about affecting an excellent defense of goal is to stagger the players. This means putting your defenders at direct path of in the middle of the goal and the ball while placing the keeper at an angle where the ball is anticipated to go. This will almost seal all the spaces that your opponent might use to do you in. the defense is always enhanced by good lighting which makes certain that the visibility is good. 

Blocking 

One basic tip about blocking is to angle your players; this involves tilting both defense and attack bars vaguely so that the ball does not bounce off to your opponent and one must have a well practiced wrist control too. The other tips include volleying and positioning the players to block well.

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Taking Care of Foosball Table (Steps below)

 

Purchasing a foosball table can prove to be an expensive affair for a lot of people out there. Hence, it's advisable to take care of the table. Needless to say, debris, dirt, spilled drinks and unwanted marks can ruin the table over a period of time. Ideally, one should clean the
table once a week if the table is used on regular basis. Non frequent players should clean the table at least once a month. Below are some pointers on how to take care of foosball table.

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1. Clean the entire table with cloth 

First and foremost, get rid of the dust and dirt by making use of a cloth. Simply apply little water or rub little alcohol on a clean cloth and wipe the foosball table. The alcohol will not damage the table if used in small quantity. It will eventually evaporate. Getting a foosball table cover is advisable to keep the table immune from dirt and debris. Link for foosball table cover below: 

http://www.harvardfoosballtable.com/foosball-table-covers/ 

2. Application of silicone drops 

Apply silicone drops on the rods and around the bearings to ensure that they work well. Silicone is the primary lubrication solution for all kinds of foosball tables. It prevents snickering of the rods. It is advisable to apply silicone at least once in a month. Link for silicone below: 

http://www.harvardfoosballtable.com/1-super-lube-synthetic-foosball-oil-helps-to-improve-productivity/ 

3. Check for damages 

All game enthusiasts should look out for loose or damaged men, handles and bumpers. You should either tighten or replace them as required. 

Additional pointers :  

- Do not climb or sit on the foosball table
- Do not drag the table while cleaning or moving it
- Do not set drinks on the table because the table can shift during play and thereby spill the drinks.
- Do not expose your table to exteme climatic conditions/temperatures.

For those interested in foosball table maintenance kit, check the link below: 

http://www.harvardfoosballtable.com/foosball-maintenance-kit/

 

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Counter weighted men or counter balanced foosball men

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Counter weighted or counter balanced foosball men is a feature that you will notice on most high end tables. Counter balanced foosball players simply mean that there is weight on the head of the men which is equal to the weight of the toe. If the foosball tables do not have weight on the head of the players, it can get frustrating to play one on one game. While on defence, one might have to rotate the men all the way upside down vertically because the weight on the toe will make them slide down if they are horizontal. Your own men heads will block your shots that have lift on them. Having counterbalanced foosball table players will help you rotate your players horizontally and that will not block your shots and you will stay in that horizontal position. Counterbalanced players will also increase the speed of your shots due to the increased weights of the men.

http://www.harvardfoosballtable.com/2-yellow-tornado-foosball-men-counter-balanced-pin/

 

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Foosball Comes to America

Despite its disastrous first appearance, which ended in Foosball being relegated to the dank, dark corridors of American history, the game was revived by Lawrence Patterson, a soldier with the US military around the 1960’s. Having been stationed in West Germany Patterson had the chance to see the game inaction, and was so impressed that he had the gumption to take a chance and contract a manufacturer from Bavaria to help him realize his dream. 

He paid the manufacturer to build a similar machine using his own specs and then managed to export the finished product to America. In 1962 the first official Foosball tables hit America as well as Canada, and the name “Foosball” was trademarked.

 

 

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Despite not being the originator of the game, Patterson was among the first to create a legal and working patent that secured his rights to this now highly-lucrative pastime. His original idea was to market the Foosball table through the rapidly growing coin industry, which meant it would be used primarily as an arcade game. By the late 1980’s however Foosball had become so undeniably popular that Patterson had begun to sell franchises to his invention. This allowed private partners to purchase the machines with an agreement set into place that they would be charged a monthly fee to place these machines in bars and other various locations.  

His idea became so big that eventually he was selling the machines using full- page advertisements in magazines such as Esquire, Life, and even the Wall Street Journal. This placed his machine on par with other popular items that people often bought depending on the popularity of the ads. Despite his booming business though, the export and productions costs were still quite high and as a result his overhead was tremendous. Shipping the tables from Bavaria grew to be very pricey, meaning the cost of the tables had to go up. The problem of importing Foosball tables was handled by 1970 when two enthusiasts by the names of Bob Hayes and Bob Furr came up with the brilliant idea to create the first American-made Foosball table. 

From that point on Foosball became another part of America as the game became fully integrated into American culture. People would spend hours at Foosball tables just for the chance to take a turn. At one point being a Foosball champion meant you were one of the coolest kids on the block.

The Decline of Foosball 

Of course like all things Foosball had its golden era, which eventually began to fade with the onset of video games and other technological wonders that relied less on the skill of the user than on the programming. For many years after the rise of video games, Foosball became largely irrelevant again to most people

Those who still recalled the glory days of the game however would not allow this game to pass into the oblivion it had once experienced, and have for many years now made the attempt to keep the game alive and well. 

For the most part they’ve succeeded, as Foosball is still well known throughout the country to more than one generation. At one time Foosball tables were often found in the dark corners of bars, pizza parlors, and other such businesses, quickly relegated to the shadows when technological giants such as Pac-Man and Centipede and all the rest came along. 

By then Foosball was something to be played when there was nothing else to do, a last ditch effort at having some sort of fun with what was left over. For a while the only people that played the game in any venue were those who either found it a good way to kill time or those who could recall the good times spent spinning the handles and moving them back and forth to defend their goal or manipulate their players to kick the tiny ball across the surface below them. 

The downfall of Foosball was far quicker than its rise, as the video game era sent a shockwave through the Foosball community that was difficult to recover from.  

In fact it is safe to state that Foosball has never been quite the same as it was in the 1970’s, when the craze was still in full swing. 

The booming business that Foosball was responsible for was filing for bankruptcy only ten years later as the sale of tables had dwindled by around ninety percent, leaving the manufacturers with no other choice but to close up shop. 

Foosball had become an outdated and obsolete form of entertainment. It wouldn’t be until 2003 that Foosball became a relevant activity once again, and by then it had been all but forgotten. Thanks to the efforts of those people Foosball is still a very meaningful and popular sport amongst certain crowds.

In fact its popularity has reached such astounding levels that Foosball tournaments are held annually to celebrate and enjoy this time-honored activity. Many cities across the nation have taken place in tournaments that span from one state to another, each one offering incentives to play, and to win. 

It might be hard to equate the types of prizes that might commonly be seen on game shows and other, more recognizable sporting events, but Foosball is definitely on par with several of those, staking its claim as one of the most popular and lucrative events in America.  

Foosball’s Return

In this day and age it’s still nice to think that Foosball is largely unchanged. It still has no fixed idea of the rules as they should be from one table to the next.

The basic rules of offense and defense are about all that exist, and the common niceties that go with most any game are always to be observed. 

One game might be a gentle, easygoing experience, while the next might be a brutal, no holds barred contest that allows certain core rules to be broken. It’s hard to know what to expect on any Foosball table until you’ve played. 

That’s part of what makes the game so enticing to so many, it is always unpredictable and almost always sure to be entertaining. Up until recent times the strict non-adherence to the rules was brought to the professional competitions as well. Until just a few years back the World Trade. 

  

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