Rules of Foosball | How it is Played?

Not everyone has the fitness and stamina required to run during a football, which is why you’d see many football admirers content with playing Football on video games rather than competing in the practical game. Foosball, or sometimes known as Table Football, is a great substitute if you don’t want to run around the field but still want to experience the excitement of competing in a football game.

Rules of Foosball

The game of Foosball dates back to the 1920s, when Harold Searles Thorton from the UK patented the game. It was uncertain whether the game would be internationally accepted or someday would end up as an internationally recognized sport, but it did after a few decades.Lawrence Patterson brough this game to the United States in the 1970s, and when a sport starts getting popular in USA, the rest of the world also accepts it.

Object of Playing Foosball

The object of Foosball is to score more goals than your opponent. The goals are scored by using rotating bars to kick the ball in the opposing goal. The team which scores the decided number of points first with a 2-point lead wins the match.

General Rules of Foosball

  • A tiny size ball is inserted in the Foosball table.
  • Players are supposed to send the ball in opposition’s goal post by using rotating bars.
  • In professional tournaments, 360 degrees shots and spinning the rotating bar with the help of palms instead of hitting it with a jerk is considered illegal.
  • However, a keeper can use the spin technique in some rules.
  • Each team can play 2-3 players, each of them will have his personal rotating bar.
  • Players are not allowed to use any unfair means to block the ball or hit it into the opposition’s goal post. These include lifting the table or jerking in such a way that the ball is inclined towards the opposition’s goal post.
  • If the ball goes out of the table or hits the rail at the top of the table and then comes back, it will be considered as a dead ball. The ball is then given back to the team that scored last.
  • The team that scores the goal gets the next serve.


A coin toss takes place before the start of the game and the winner of this toss serves first.

Time Duration of Foosball

Unlike Football, there is no fixed time duration of Foosball. The play goes on until one of the teams reaches the decided number of points.

Equipment & Playing Field

Foosball is played on a table specially designed for the game. This table has a goalpost on each side and rotating bars at the top. Standard size table is about 2 1/2 feet wide by nearly 5 feet in length. The rotators are made of plastic, metal or wood. These rotators have men like figures attached to them which assist the players in kicking the ball.

The ball used is 34.5 – 35mm in size and is very soft.


In international Foosball games, a referee stands at the table and his job is to give unbiased decisions in every ambiguous event.

Famous Foosball Events

Foosball tournaments are played at international level and national level as well, these tournaments can be either sanctioned by the international governing body or by local bodies. Due to this, there can be slight changes in the rules of the game. Some of the famous Foosball tournaments one are named below:

  • Foosball World Championship
  • Tornado Foosball Championship
  • US Foosball World Championship
  • Houston’s Foosball Championship

Governing Body

The International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) is the governing body for the game. It is a non-profit organization based in france whose job is to promote Foosball and sanction international tournaments.

Up till now, more than 25 countries are members of the federation including Australia, Bangladesh, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, and a few more.