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Fun with Foosball

“No Son of Mine…is gonna play any foos-ball.” Okay, I know Adam Sandler’s movie Waterboy was really about football, not foosball, but I can’t help but think about Mama Boucher every time I hear, say or type the word. Foosball…from the German word for soccer, which is “Fußball” because, of course, foosball is essentially table soccer. Or so Google and dictionary.reverso.net tells me.

I am not a sporty type, I am a booky type, but I have always enjoyed a rousing game of foosball because I can basically stand in one spot and I don’t have to throw anything. Family Leisure sells some kick-arse (that’s how booky types say ass) foosball tables so I thought it might be worthwhile to get down the rules of the game.

In case you weren’t sure, foosball is played on a specially built table equipped with 8 handled rods which play host to twenty-six little plastic men. Each player uses the handles to move their little men, who are soccer players, to “kick” the ball into the opposing team’s goal.

Foosball consists of the serve, passing, catching and shooting. And slop. That’s when the ball gets loose and rolls towards the goal.

It is considered bad form to spin or jar the rods. The proper playing gesture is the “flick” which gives the player better control over the men and the ball. Rods can be moved back and forth, but the player shouldn’t ram them into the side of the table.

Flip a coin to determine which player serves first. To serve: place the ball in the center of the foosball table, right between the two middle 5 bar men. Make sure everyone is paying attention before you begin. The ball should touch 2 men before you advance it down the field.

FoosballPass and catch by allowing yourself to absorb the impact of the ball; stay calm and guide the ball, passing from one man to the next,

Shoot and score! Watch for a space to open up. Flick, (don’t you dare spin), the ball into the goal.

Don’t forget your defense! Your little men are a team; make them work together to defend your goal.

There are stringent rules that professional foosball players abide by; however, when playing at home, the rules can be simple and to the point.

  1. Flip a coin to determine who serves.
  2. Hit the ball, score a goal.
  3. Once you score, the other team serves.
  4. Be a good sport; no punching, no swearing, no pouting.

Typically, a foosball game goes to 5, but there are no hard, fast rules for home play. Play to 7 or 9 or whatever you like. A match generally consists of 2 out of 3 wins.

Check out http://www.foosmanchu.com/instruction/learning_chap1.html for more official rules and foosball playing advice.

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