There’s actually a long list of foosball rules for playing in tournaments as mentioned in the USTSA Foosball Rules of Play. However, unless you intend to play as a professional, it would probably be enough if you’re just aware of the basic rules that this article will go through.
These are the 6 basic foosball rules every foosball player needs to follow while playing the game.
A coin flip
While starting the game, a coin flip decides which team would serve the foosball first. However, after the game is started, the foosball is served by the team who gets scored on. This only makes it fair, and offers an opportunity to the team that has been scored on to make a comeback in the game.
Another important rule related to serving is that the foosball needs to be touched by a figure before going into the goal to be counted as a legal goal.
No spinning allowed
No rod can be moved 360 degree without touching the ball. It’s considered illegal in the game.
No jarring allowed
Just like spinning, it isn’t allowed to hit the walls of the foosball table with the rods to create a distraction or make the opponent lose control of the ball. Jarring is considered illegal throughout the game.
However, moving the rod back and forth while defending or passing the ball isn’t considered jarring. Jarring is actually when a player starts hitting the walls of the foosball table with the intention of distracting the opponent or jarring the ball.
This rule is actually a little subjective, and how strictly it is followed may differ from player to player.
Dealing with dead balls
A dead ball occurs when the ball stops completely and is not within the reach of any man of any player. In such a case, the ball would be reserved, and then served by the team that served it last.
However, if a dead ball occurs behind the two defensive 2 bar, the defensive man is supposed to hit it back into the playing position. This rule is followed to prevent players from causing a dead ball on purpose.
Out of play
When a ball runs off the table or hits a top rail and comes back in the play area, it’s ruled out of play. It then goes into reserve and the team that last served the ball serves it again.
The passing rule
This passing rule may seem a little complex to you if you haven’t played any foosball tournaments.
This rule requires the players to pass the ball from the 5 bar to the 3 bar after it’s served. Also, this rule is applicable only the 5 bar rod, and none of the other ones.
After an initial serve, however, the player has 15 seconds to pass the foosball from the 5 bar to the 3 bar. However, a pinned ball cannot be passed directly from the 5 bar to the 3 bar, and it has to be touched with at least 2 men on the 5 bar before being passed on.
Similarly, it’s illegal to let the foosball hit the walls of the foosball table more than twice before being touched with a man on the 5 bar. However, it’s allowed to hit the walls more than twice if it happens during a pass.