table football rules

Table Football Rules

When you walk into a bar, sports house, or any entertainment joint, you will most likely find a table football. It’s a very popular game that is relatively easy to play. However, before joining a tournament or playing with a friend, you need to understand a couple of table football rules. These rules are enforced to make the game exciting and also promote fair play. But if you want to do more sport, maybe for you better choice Futsal rules and regulations.

What is table football?

Table football, also known as foosball or table soccer, is a game that simulates the sport of football/soccer on a tabletop.

How many players are there in a standard table football game?

In a standard table football game, there are two teams, each consisting of four rods with figures attached, representing the players.

How do you start a table football game?

The game begins with a coin toss or any agreed-upon method to determine which team gets the first possession.

Can the goalkeeper spin 360 degrees?

No, according to the standard rules, the goalkeeper is not allowed to spin all the way around (360 degrees). They must remain within their designated area.

What happens if the ball goes off the table during play?

If the ball goes off the table during play, the opposing team is awarded a “dead ball” and takes possession from the nearest spot on the edge of the table.

Table Football Rules

If you want to learn how to play table football, here are some of the general table football rules you should be familiar with:

Rule 1:

A typical football table match comprises of two teams. This can be 1×1 or 2×2. In every team, there are 11 players on the table that are attached to bars. These players are divided into forwards, midfielders, and defenders.

Rule 2:

It’s a general rule that all football table game start with a coin toss. This determines who chooses a certain end of the table and starts the game first. The first player must confirm that the opponent is ready before playing.

how to play table football

Rule 3:

Please note that table football players are not permitted to score a goal from the first touch or shot. The ball must be passed to at least two players before a goal attempt is made.

Rule 4:

After a goal has been scored. The ball must be given to the player who has conceded.

Rule 5:

Any figures on the table are allowed to score goals. It doesn’t matter whether the shot came from the defender or striker, the goal will still count.

Rule 6:

If the ball enters the goal and comes out immediately, that still counts. This is usually referred to as the dish.

Rule 7:

To win a football table match, a player must score at least five goals. This can be customized to seven or ten goals depending on the players’ preferences.

football table rules game

Rule 8:

If a ball gets into the dead area, it should be given to the nearest player who got it into this situation. A dead area of a table soccer is the one where none of the figures can physically access it.

Rule 9:

Football table players are allowed to ask for timeouts. Each timeout lasts for thirty seconds and during this period, any movement is prohibited. If a player asks for too many timeouts, they will be penalized.

Rule 10:

After every timeout, the starting player must confirm if the opponent is ready.

Rule 11:

It’s a foul for a player to rotate the handles at an angle of more than 360 degrees. This is a universal rule.

Rule 12:

Activities such as lifting the table or shaking it during gameplay will result in a foul.

result in a foul

Rule 13:

If a referee is present, they can hand out yellow cards to other types of fouls such as distracting the other player during gameplay. This is what we call baby foot behavior and it’s forbidden. If you get two yellow cards in a row, your opponent will be awarded a goal.

Rule 14:

In a tournament, players are required to switch sides after every game.

Rule 15:

Should the ball fly off the table, it is handed over to your opponent.

Rule 16:

You should never put your hand inside the soccer table. Touching table football balls can result in a penalty.

Rule 17:

These table football rules are pretty simple. And the more you play this game, the more familiar these rules will become. Some rules may differ depending on the location and nature of the tournament.

football table dimensions size folding

Table Football Tables

Even though foosball has its roots in the UK. This sport is popular all over the world. Like all sports, football table rules differ depending on the location. This doesn’t only apply to the rules but also to the football table dimensions, design and football table folding. There are five main table football table that are recognized by the International Table Soccer Federation which include;


It’s the American version of the foosball table. This table design was borrowed from the European version but was tweaked to promote speed and ball control. The figures have cross-hatched toes which allow them to shoot from the side.


They are the only table manufacturers in the Czech Republic. The Rosengart design has been innovated to suit players’ demands. So it’s a bit similar to the Tornado in terms of ball control and speed.


This is the French design of the football table and it guarantees premium gameplay. The playing field is grippier and the rods have a telescope design which makes them safer.

table football table balls


No one loves table soccer more than the Germans. In these tables, you will find a rough playing surface to make the game more challenging. The figures are made out of plastic.

Garlando and Roberto Sport

Italians have taken the foosball design to a whole new level. By borrowing concepts from Americans and Europeans, Italian-style table football is designed to be fast and gives more control to the players.

To emphasize what we mentioned earlier, other countries apart from these five also have their own unique tables. In Spain, they have a unique table that’s designed to promote possession and ball control. Therefore, don’t be shocked when you visit Thailand or Croatia and find a completely different football table design.

Table Football Balls

It’s funny that many foosball enthusiasts aren’t even aware of the different types of table football balls. Most players assume that all football table balls are the same. However, they come in various sizes, designs, materials, and weights. Certain balls are best suited for particular tables and the one you settle for can significantly affect your gameplay. For instance, cork balls play best on French tables.

game inventory

Regular balls for foosball tend to be smooth and made out of hard nylon. We also have white and black balls that are smaller and a bit textured. These are designed for leisure play and kids. On the other end of the spectrum, there are high-control balls that have a rougher texture and are bigger. These are for serious players because they offer more ball control and grip.

In a foosball competition, the best balls to use are the ITSF proplay. Because they are textured and light enough to facilitate faster gameplay. But these balls are usually more expensive. Apart from these designs, we also have balls that are designed to be noiseless. This feature is quite practical for folding football tables designed for home use. So, with a little research, you can identify the best balls for table soccer.


So, table soccer and football shares a lot of similarities. This is why most of the rules in foosball apply to a traditional football field. The only difference is that the football table size is smaller. Therefore, there are some slight amendments. The good news is that these rules are easy to memorize and you will learn more about them as you play.