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Foosball Overview – Foosball is commonly categorized as both a game and a sport. To many it is simply a game based on the sport of soccer/football. To an ever growing number of foosball enthusiasts it has evolved into a sport in its own right. There are professional foosball players, player's associations and a growing number of foosball competitions. Regardless of your skill level, this amazing game/sport will certainly provide years of enjoyment.

Objective – Maneuver your 4 rods to control your 13 player figures to drive the ball towards your target goal. Sounds easy enough… until you have to keep your opponent(s) from doing the same!

Game/Match – A basic game of foosball is a race to 5 points/goals. The first team to 5 goals wins the game. Matches can be played where best 2 out of 3, or 3 out of 5 games wins the match.

Types of Games – Common game formats are Singles (1 player versus 1 player – each player must control 4 rods on their side of the table); Doubles (2 versus 2, where one player per team controls the leftmost/defensive rods, while his partner controls the 5-Bar and Offensive 3-Bar); Goalie War (1 player versus 1 player where each control the leftmost/defensive rods only while the middle 4 rods are not used).

Rules of Play – The basic rules of play are quite simple. Aside from no spinning and no "unsportsmanlike conduct", the majority of other rules govern the pace of play and special circumstances that arise during play.

Philosophy of Rules – The "intent" of the rules is essentially to keep matches fair between competitors. For completeness sake and to cover every possible circumstance that could arise, professional/official rules are available to govern competitive play. At the highest level of competitive foosball play, officials are "optional". To many players it is a self-officiating game where both teams are aware of the rules and compete within the boundaries of the basic rules. Interpretation of the rules should be based on their common-sense.

Flip a coin to see who gets 1st Serve.

The Serve
Rules: The coin toss decides the 1st serve. The team last scored upon gets the serve after a goal, after a ball is out of play, or after a neutral dead ball.

Tips: You should try to serve the ball to your 5-Bar. Practice different ways of serving the ball so you can consistently serve to your men every time.

Offensive 5-Bar - Passing
Rules: No Spinning. You have a 10 second time limit to shoot or pass. It is okay to shoot and score from your 5-Bar.

Tips: Your main objective is to pass the ball through your opponents 5-Bar to your Offensive 3-Bar. Make sure your 3-Bar is in the catch position - The men on the 3-Bar should be angled forward toward your target goal so a ball striking the back of the man will stop beneath your 3-Bar.

Offensive 3-Bar - Shooting
Rules: Sorry, Still No Spinning. You have 10 seconds to shoot.

Tips: Take your time. Stop the ball beneath the rod. Move the ball between your men on this rod by tapping or pushing the ball with the sides of their feet – keeping it under the same rod. Maneuver it in front of the goal and shoot.
Just say No!
   * No Spinning of the Rods
   * No Moving of the Table
   * No Unsportsman like Comments or Actions
   * No Distracting of Your Opponent

Defensive 5-Bar
Rules: No Jarring of the table or banging against the sidewalls.

Tips: Your job is to keep the ball from your opponents Striker Row. Adapt your defensive play to your opponent. Start by trying to keep one of your men in front of the ball at all times. If your opponent is quick, you may have to change to a random defense.

Defensive Zone - Blocking
Rules: No Jarring of the table or banging against the sidewalls.

Tips: Use the middle man on the Defensive 3-Bar and the 1-man on your 2-Bar to work together as a defensive unit. Don't use the outside men on the 3-Bar for blocking, use them for digging the ball out of the corners and for maneuvering the ball.
Stop Play!
If the ball flies off the table or completely stops out of reach of any player figure it is a dead ball. If it dies in the defensive zone, that goalie moves the ball to his nearest player figure and play resumes. Otherwise dead balls are re-served by the team who originally served that point.

Defensive Zone - Clearing
Rules: Yup, You guessed it… No Spinning. You have 10 seconds to clear the ball.

Tips: You don't have to shoot on goal. Your #1 job is to clear the ball. Stop the ball before you start a pass or shot. If you swing at a moving ball and miss, it could end up on your opponents Striker Row! Before you shoot, make sure your 5-Bar is up out of the way. Look for clearing or passing holes down the sides of the table.
1st team to 5 points wins the game!