Basic Foosball Game Rules of Play

by Mike Jones

Foosball is one of the most addictive table games in the world, yet many people are unaware of the basic rules. Although you don't need to know the official tournament style rules, it's nice to have a few guidelines to follow when playing a game among friends or with family members. Whether you're playing in your home rec room or out at the local pub, knowing the basics will help your game go more smoothly. Here are some of the most useful, yet basic foosball rules of play.

Basic Foosball Game Rules of Play
Basic Foosball Game Rules of Play

Choosing who starts the game

Many foosball debates start before the game even begins. Choosing who will get to start the game shouldn't be difficult; you should leave it up to chance. Flip a coin like they do in the NFL; that leaves the entire decision up to chance and it avoids any conflicts among the players.

Who serves after a goal

After a goal has been scored, the team that has just been scored on gets the ball. However, it's important to note that a goal only counts if the ball actually touched a player before entering the goal.

Illegal moves

Basic foosball rules of play come with illegal moves and these moves should be avoided in order to keep the game fair at all times. Spinning 360 degrees without touching the ball is considered illegal. Another illegal move in the game of foosball is jarring. Jarring is basically slamming your rod as hard as you can against the end of the table in order to try to distract the other player or to attempt to knock the ball loose from the other player.

Who plays dead balls

Every now and again, the ball will stop somewhere on the table and become inaccessible for both players. This is called a dead ball and it must placed back into the game with a serve. Just like after a goal has been scored, a dead ball goes to the team that was last scored on. The same happens when a ball goes out of play by flying off the table; the team that was last scored on gets to serve the ball back into play.

Once you get the basics down, check out our offense and defense strategy tips to take your foosball game to the next level.

About Mike Jones

As a child of the 80's, my fondest gaming memories are playing Pitfall, Frogger, Kaboom! and Chopper Command on our old Atari 8600. These days I've been rocking the Nintendo Classic and learning some new card and board games with the family."

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