The game of foosball is pretty simple and basic, especially if you are only playing for fun. However, if you are competitive and determined to sweep the ball off the opponent's' feet (literally), you might view the following rules more seriously:
Flip n' Serve
To start the game or contest, a coin flip is performed to determine which team serves the ball first. Once the game has started and the first goal is scored, the team which was last scored on will serve the ball for the next round. Remember: the ball should be touched by a man for the goal to be legal.
No Spin, Mo' Win
In the game of foosball, there is absolutely NO SPINNING allowed! A spin is characterized by the rod making a 360-degree turn without actually touching the ball. This is usually done by amateur players, commonly called "spinners," who aspire to score a goal by "wishful spinning." This act is illegal when playing foosball tournaments, so do not take the easy way by spinning away.
No Jarring Allowed
Same as with spinning, jarring--- or the act of slamming the rod against the table's wall to purposely distract the opponent or manipulate the ball from them--- is also a big no-no in the game of foosball. However, note that jarring is not the same as pushing the rod against the wall to play defense. You can tell if it is outright jarring when the player is using more force when pushing the rod.
Five Fo' Passing
These rules only apply to your 5 bar foosball rod and are quite complicated for non-tournament foosball players:
- Once the ball is served, you only have 10 seconds to pass it from your 5 bar rod to your 3 bar rod. After the first serve, you only have 15 seconds to pass the ball from your 5 bar.
- Remember this: the foosball should not be completely stopped on your 5 bar and passed to your 3 bar--- the ball should be continuously moving and touch two foosmen on the 5 bar before being passed.
- The foosball must not touch the wall for more than two times in a row (before touching a mini foosman on the 5 bar again) before being passed . If it is part of the pass, though, it can touch the ball for the third time.
The Ball is Dead
This is one of the common things that happen when on a foosball tournament or just playing a simple game for fun. A "dead ball" occurs when the foosball completely stops in the middle of two rods and neither can catch the ball. If this happens, then the ball must be re-served by the team that was last scored on. However, if the dead ball falls behind the defensive 2 bar, then the defensive player is responsible for moving the ball back into playing position.
Just like in other ball games, if the foosball flies off the table or hits a top rail, it should be ruled "out of play" and re-served by the team which was last scored on.
Score for Five
The basic rule for foosball players is that the first team which scores five points wins. This rule varies, depending on the players, but this "first to five" rule is the common ground.
This rule goes out for all players--- it is also very basic and all just common sense: foosball is all about respect. In any game, there should be no offensive words or rude comments to be lashed out on opponents. It is alright to exchange some healthy banter and brag a little, but nothing should be in excess. Play the game fair and square and… just have fun!