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From: uyeyama@hawaii.SPAMNOTedu (Rob Uyeyama)
Newsgroups: rec.sport.table-soccer,rec.answers,news.answers
Subject: rec.sport.table-soccer FAQ5 - USTSA Rules of Play - 1994/09/25
Followup-To: rec.sport.table-soccer
Reply-To: uyeyama@hawaii.SPAMNOT edu (Rob Uyeyama)
Organization: University of Hawaii
Summary: United States Table Soccer Association's Rules of Play
Keywords: foosball, table-soccer, table-football, bebefoot, rules
Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.EDU
Originator: faqserv@penguin-lust.mit.edu
Date: 20 May 2006 04:20:49 GMT
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Archive-name: sports/table-soccer/USTSA-rules-of-play
Rec-sport-table-soccer-archive-name: USTSA-rules-of-play
Alt-sport-foosball-archive-name: USTSA-rules-of-play
Last-modified: 1996/09/25
URL: http://www.foosballheaven.com
Version: 1995.1.b

USTSA Rules of Play  Revised January 1995

The latest version of this file is available at Rob's Foosball Heaven 

Version 1995.1.b:  The b revision indicates the addition of the Adrian 
Zamora's Rules Clarification from the Officiating Clinic on 8-96.  
Submitted to RSTS by Ronald Rockhold (rlr@austin.ibm.com)

Reprinted with the permission of
The United States Table Soccer Association; (817) 561-0511 and
Tornado Table Soccer, Inc. -  4949 Rendon Road; Fort Worth, 
Texas  76140-0626; (817) 483-6646.


Table of Contents

...........Goalie War
...........Four on Four
...........Two-Ball Rollerball
...........Forward Shootout
...........Rules Clarification 8-96


   A coin flip shall precede the start of the match.  The team that 
that loses the flip has the remaining option and must also pay for the 
first game, with that expense alternating thereafter.  

they may not change their decision.

bracket team in the first match, the second match will be started in the 

(BUT violations such as cursing, etc. may be called by the official
assigned to judge the match as soon as he and both teams are present at
the table.)

   A serve through the serving hole is used to put the ball into play 
at the start of the match, after a point is scored, or after a ball 
leaves the table.  The server may attempt to influence the roll of the 
ball, but may not allow any part of either hand to be in the play area 
once the ball hits the playfield.


t has touched the playfield, at which time the ball is considered to be
"in play" and the time limits start.

ball is struck by one of the serving team's figures.

the opposing team is ready for play to begin.  The server can signify 
that play is about to begin by tapping the ball on the side of the 


any part of these rules, the ball is considered in play.  In particular, 
the player may not reach into the play area to re-serve the ball (see 

   Following the first serve of a match, subsequent serves shall be 
made by the team last scored upon.  First serves in subsequent games of 
a multi-game match shall be made by the team which lost the preceding 

   Once a ball is put into play by the server (see 2), it shall 

   If the ball should leave the playing area and strike the scoring 
marker, ash trays, top of the side rails, cabinet ends, or any object 
that is not a part of the table, the ball shall be declared off the 
table.  The ball should be put back into play with a serve by the team 

   A ball shall be declared a dead ball when it has completely 

the spot of the dead ball and releasing it into play from rest.

for play to continue before putting the ball back into play in this 
manner (see 2.6).  Furthermore, the goalie must then move the ball from 
one player figure to another one and then stop the ball for a full 


ball or reset the time limits shall be given to the opposing team for a 
order to re-serve the ball).

either loses the ball or scores on himself before the ball has been put 
back into play.

   Each team is allowed two time outs per game during which the 
team in possession of the ball, and then only if the ball is completely 

called the time out does not wish to take the full allotment.

to be played in counting time outs per game.

completely away from the table while the ball is in play shall be 
considered to have requested a time out.

before a shot, as long as it doesn't take more than two or three 

after requesting a time out, the play shall not count, and the team 

ball is in play and moving, that team shall lose possession, and the 
ball shall be served by the opposing forward.  If the team not in 
team shall be charged with a distraction (see 18.2).

that team shall be charged with another time out.

foul shall be shot before the 30 second period is granted.

either team may switch positions during this time.

time out (by moving the ball), a time out may not be called again until 
the ball has left the current rod of possession.

team shall not be charged with a time out.


to man without the permission of the official, as this can be considered 
of accurately replacing the ball to the exact position it occupied at
the time of a time out, they may deny a request to pick up the ball
(example: a ball precariously perched on the edge of the goal).

   Following a time out, the ball shall be put back into play by the 

must have the assurance that the opposing team is ready before moving 
the ball.   The player must then move the ball from one player figure to 
another one and then stop the ball for a full second before the motion 
of a shot or pass may begin.



opponent's choice of either continuing play from the current position or 
before touching two men.

   An official time out does not count towards the two time outs 
allowed per team per game.  After an official time out, the ball is put 
back into play as though a regular time out were called.  

out.  The cost for the official will be split between the two teams.

the ball is in play and stopped, and the offensive team simultaneously 
attempts a pass or shot, the request for a time out will be treated as a 

charged with a time out.  Such a request may only be made during a dead 
ball.  The penalty for requesting another official while the ball is in 

official will be granted.  If the request is granted, the team 
two officials will then judge the match.  An official may be replaced 
only at the discretion of the Head Official.

new official will be denied, and the team will be charged with a 
technical foul.

unless they are otherwise entitled to do so (see 12).

changing balls, tightening the men, etc., must be requested before the 
maintenance time out during a match would be in the case of a sudden 
alteration to the table, such as a broken man, broken screw, crumbling 
bumper, bent rod, etc.

an official time out will be declared while the rod is fixed.  Play will 

that point (as though an official time out were called).

nothing on the ends of the table that could fall onto the playfield.

out.  This request must be approved by the Tournament Director, the Head 
Official, and a member of the officiating staff.  They will determine 
the length of the medical time out, up to a maximum or 60 minutes.  A 
forfeit the match.

accidental or unexpected injuries incurred during the course of play.

   A ball entering the goal shall count as a point, as long 
as it was legally scored.  A ball which enters the goal but returns
to the playing surface and/or leaves the table still counts as a goal.

agree that it was previously scored and inadvertently not marked up,
the point shall count.  If both teams do not agree that a point was

the goal, an official should be called.

not get credit for the point illegally marked up and shall be charged

 11.    Table Sides

   At the end of each game, teams must switch sides of the table 
before play of the next game can begin.  A maximum of 60 seconds is 
allowed between games.

acknowledge that they are ready to resume play before the full time is 
used, play shall continue and the remainder of that 60 seconds is then 


   In any doubles event, each player may play only the two rods 
normally designated for his position.  Once the ball is put into play, 
the players must play the same position until a point is scored, a team 

until after the ball has been put back into play or another time out has 
been called.

normally designated as one played by their partner while the ball is
n play shall be judged as a distraction violations.

   Spinning of the rods is illegal.  Spinning is defined as the 


   If the ball goes in the goal, then it will not be counted as a 
been declared a dead ball between the goal and the nearest two-man rod.

   If the ball does not go in the goal, the opposing team will have 
the option of continuing play from the current position or re-serving 
the ball.

the ball backwards into his own goal, it will count as a goal for the 
opposing team.  Spinning of a rod away from the ball (when there is no 

two-man shot in singles hitting the three-man).

   Any jarring, sliding, or lifting of the table shall be illegal.  
Whether or not the table jarring is done intentionally is of no 
consequence.  This call must be made by an official.  It is not 
necessary for a player to lose the ball for jarring to be called on his 

   First offense - the opposing team has the option of continuing 
nfraction, or re-serving the ball.  If an illegal jar causes the player
to lose possession of the ball from a rod, play may be continued from 
that rod.  
   Subsequent violations - Technical foul.  After the technical shot 
the non offending team continues to have the options listed under First
Offense (14.1).

   If a player has the ball stopped and set up to shoot or pass, and 
the ball is unintentionally moved due to jarring by the opponent, the 
official present will call "reset" and he will reset all time limits.  
The player with the ball has the option of setting the ball up again, or 
gnoring the reset call and playing the ball where it is.

ball may shoot immediately.  The defensive team should not, therefore, 

technical foul on the defensive player causing the reset.

violation.  It shall be considered a jarring violation.  (Example: if the
opposing forward is judged to have reset his opponent when the
opponent has the ball on the 3 rod.)

be allowed.  The team judged to be in violation of this rule shall lose
(This is not counted as a reset.)

causing two resets during the same point will be charged with a 
technical foul.

considered a reset, and jarring will be called immediately.

   It is illegal for a player to reach into the play area while the 
ball is in play without first having permission from the opposing team, 
for the player to do so.

until it has hit something not a part of the playing area.  Do not catch 
a flying ball over the table.

may be freely touched once permission has been granted by the official,
or if no official is present, by the opposing team.

ball is not in play.  He does not need to ask permission of the opposing 

two-man rod - a point is scored for the opposing team, and the ball is 

nterior playing characteristics of the table by any player.  This
ncludes changes to the men, playing surface, bumpers, etc.

on his hand before wiping ball marks off the table.

for example, must make sure that this substance does not get on the ball.
ball (Example:  a ball coated with rosin) that ball and any others in 
the table similarly affected shall be cleaned immediately and the team 
of game and warned that if this occurs again during the match they


that inhibits the motion of the rods (example: for limiting the motion 
of the goalie rod).


approved by the official present or the Tournament Director.  The 
existing balls are significantly different from the standard.

s in play.  During a dead ball, however, a player may request a new
ball from the rack inside the table.  Such a request shall be 

ball to be unplayable, in which case no time out will be charged.

this rule may be grounds for a technical foul.

   Any movement or sound made away from the rod where the ball is in 
s his responsibility to call for an official.

the shot has started is not considered a distraction, however.

a distraction.

catching rod as part of a fake.  Excessive motion, however, is grounds 
for a distraction.

a hand from the handle and then shoot the ball.  The ball may only be 

opposing team will re-serve the ball.  In all other cases, the opposing 
team has the option of continuing play from the current position, 
continuing play from the point of infraction, or re-serving the ball.  
Subsequent violations may be grounds for a technical foul.

   Once a match has begun, no player may practice either his serve or 
applies during time outs and between games.

at the table.  Inadvertent movement of the ball does not necessarily
constitute practice.

case of putting the ball back into play following a time out (see 7.11).

   Unsportsmanlike comments made directly or indirectly by a player 
are not allowed.  Violations of this rule may be grounds for a technical 

not allowed (see 18).  Any shouts or sounds made during a match, even if 
of an enthusiastic nature, may be grounds for a technical foul.

tournament site.

Furthermore, a member of the audience is not allowed to influence a 
match by distracting a player or official.  Violation of this rule may 
be grounds for expulsion of the person from the tournament site.

as it is put into the motion of a pass (Except an accidental stub or

clearly stopped and is not immediately passed it must then touch at
least two player figures before it can be legally passed.

front or back of the man prior to passing the ball is considered to be 
an adjustment and is illegal.  Changing the speed or direction of the 
ball from the side of the man is legal.

ball is stubbed or squibbed by a player figure, released, and then 
that same rod, it is illegal.

the opposing five-man rod and then caught by the shooter's three-man, It 

be legal, provided the ball was not caught by the three-man.

of a rod long enough for a controlled pass or shot to be attempted 
(examples: pick-up and quick shots).

make the ball strike the side wall of the table more than twice.  It 
makes no difference which wall the ball touches - a total of two times 
s all that is allowed.  If the ball goes to the wall a third time, it
must be advanced in the motion of a pass or shot.

trapping it against the side wall, that does not count as one of the two 
times allowed to touch the wall by the player who made the trap and is 
now in possession of the ball on his five-man rod.

to a pass from the two-man or goalie rod to the same team's five-man 
ball is no longer considered a pass but a live ball that may be legally 
caught by any player.

man touched by the five-man.

to use two hands to move a rod (example: defensive five-man).

current position or re-serving the ball.

an authorized tournament official.

end of which time period the player in possession must advance the ball 
to or past at least one rod of the opposing team.

considered to be in that rod's possession and all time limits shall 
continue.  Players must make an honest effort to gain possession of a 

opposing goalie.  The goalie shall put the ball back into play as if it 
loss of possession to the opposing forward for serve.

   Best of five matches shall be limited to one hour of play from the 
time the match is started.  Best of three matches shall be limited to 35 
minutes from the time the match is started.

completed, an official will announce to the players that a ten minute 
overtime period will begin at that time.  If the overtime period ends 
before the match has been completed, the winner of the match shall be 
the player or team which has won the most games, or if the teams have an 
equal number of games, it shall be the team that has scored the most 
the overtime period expires has been scored.  If the teams have won an 
equal number of games and scored an equal number of points after this 
ball has been scored, one more ball shall be played to determine the 

counted against the total amount of time left to play.  However, time 
outs do not count against the ten minutes in the overtime period (a time 
out would then stop the clock).

left to play.


   Play shall be continuous, except during time outs.  A delay of 

be made.

nto play may be grounds for delay of game.

nfractions will result in the player being charged with a time out.
Example:  Player charged with delay of game.  If still not ready to resume
not ready, another 10 seconds- second time out charged (Technical - 
SEE 7.8).

   Once a match has been called, both teams should report immediately 
to the designated table.  If a team has not reported to the table within 
three minutes, they should be recalled.  A team, upon being recalled, 
must report immediately to the table in order to stop the forfeiture 

choice of side or serve once play begins.


   If, in the judgment of an authorized tournament official, either 
team competing in a match is at any time in flagrant or intentional 
violation of these rules of play, a technical foul may be called on the 
offending team.

awarded to the opponents of the offending team at its three-man rod.  One 
ball shall be put back into play at the spot it was when the technical 
called.  If the ball was in motion, it will be put back into play as if 

once ball has left the three-man rod.  A player is considered to have 
been blocked the shot once the ball has either stopped in or left the 

foul shot without being charged with a time out (see 12).

they would otherwise be legal (see 7).

allowed, and play shall resume at the spot the technical was called.

first serve of the next game.

additional technical fouls.  A third technical foul in any one game 
may announce at any time after the first technical foul is called on a 
team that further violation by that team shall be cause for forfeiture 
of the game or match.

   If a controversy involves a question of judgement, and the 
official is present at the time the events in question transpired, his 
nvolved an interpretation of the rules, or the official was not present
at the time the events in question transpired, the official shall make 
the most equitable decision possible under the circumstances.  Decisions 
of this nature may be appealed, but it must be done immediately in the 
manner prescribed below.

appeal with the official before the ball being played at the time of the 
controversy is put back into play.  An appeal concerning the loss of a 
match must be filed before the team that won has begun its next match.

on appeals are final.

or a team that questions a judgment call, will be charged with a time 
out.  In addition, the team may also be penalized for delay of game, at 
the discretion of the official.

allowed.  Violation of this rule will be grounds for a delay of game 

   Any action of an unsportsmanlike or unethical nature during 
tournament play, in the tournament room, or on the grounds of the host 
facility, will be considered a violation of the Code of Ethics.

forfeiture of a game or match, expulsion from the tournament, and/or a 
fine.  Whether or not the Code of Ethics has been broken, and what is 
the appropriate penalty for the infraction will be determined by the 
Disciplinary Committee of the USTSA.

of the Tournament Director.  This includes making the draws, scheduling 
the events, timing matches, etc.  The decision of the Tournament 
Director in such matters is final.

Official.  The Tournament Director is responsible for appointing the 
Head Official.



Goalie War is a singles specialty event where the three and five-man 

   The ball must touch two men and then be stopped for a full second 
before a 
   shot may be attempted.  Violation is loss of possession.


   In order to shoot the ball and score a point, a player must have 
   possession of the ball.  If the ball is in a player's defensive area, 
   player has possession of the ball.  However, if the ball is in the 
   of the table, the player who last had the ball in his defensive area 
   possession of the ball to the other player.

   to the end of where the two-man rod reaches.  The center of the table 
   the remaining area of play.

   center of the table is still considered a live ball.  These rods 
   play no part in determining possession of the ball.

   ball is re-served by the player who originally served the ball.  If 
the ball
   goes dead on the table, the ball is re-served by the player
   who had possession of the ball.

   area, player A must first stop or control the ball, and then give the 
   ball back to player B to re-serve.  In particular, a shot that bounces 
   back and goes in the shooter's goal counts, since that player must 
   stop and control the ball.

   There is a ten second possession limit in the defensive area.  In 
   addition, once the ball is stopped or pinned for more than three 
   three ball must be moved to another man before a shot is attempted.

    You are allowed two time outs per game.



Four on Four is a specialty event where there are four players on a 

   point: the player on the three-man rod moves to the goalie-rod, while 
   the players on the goalie, two-man, and five-man rods move to the two-
   man, five-man, and three-man rods respectively.

   between games.  However, no other changes of positions will be allowed.

   for more than three seconds or stopped for more than one second, and 
   there is a ten second time limit per rod.

   touches another man of the same team (on any rod) in order to score a 

   opposing team.

a time out while the ball is in play.



Two-Ball Rollerball is a specialty event played with two balls served at 
the beginning of a point.

   The game is played rollerball style, i.e., a ball may not be pinned or 
t is done immediately.

   the count of three.  Both balls should hit the playfield within one 
   second of the three count.

   balls shall be re-served.  Otherwise, the team scored upon serves the 
   remaining ball.

   balls are re-served.

   they have control of the second ball and take one point.  If a team 
   to take the point, two balls are re-served.


   Two-Ball Rollerball (rather, play continues).

time out while the ball is in play.



Forward Shootout a singles specialty event where the players alternately 

   The ball is placed on the three-man, and then must touch two men and 
   stopped for a full second before a shot may be attempted.  Violation 
   loss of possession.

   a flip of the coin.


   The ball is considered to have been shot once it leaves the forward's 
   three man.  The ball is considered to have been blocked once the ball 
   either stopped in or left the defender's area.

   The usual time limit (15 seconds) applies on the three-man.  Time 
   limits start one second after the ball has touched the second man.


Rules Clarification 8-96

By Adrian Zamora
Officiating Clinic at the 1996 USTSA World Championships

There have been repeated questions regarding the interpretation and/or
ntent of several rules.  To help players and officials better
understand,the following is a list of these rules with their 

Rule 24 - Continuous play defined:

Between balls, a player shall be allowed to wipe their brow, dry their
they deem necessary to prepare themselves for the play of the next ball,

Rule 7 - Time Out.

When calling a time out while the ball was in play, a team is allowed to
take a second time out (providing they have one left) as long as they do 
not begin to put the ball back into play (by moving the ball). During an
official time out, a team may not request a time out unless they would

Rule 18.5 - The last sentence reads - "Subsequent violations may be

This does not mean that the second infraction should be a technical
foul.  After the first infraction, the offending team will, at minimum,
called when an official feels that the team is flagrantly distracting
their opponent.  A technical should also be called in the case of 
nfraction will be a warning.

Rule 18.4

The problem with this rule is the wording which will be corrected on
the next revision of the rules.  The intent of the rule is to avoid
manner_ and then shooting as soon as they place their hand back on the 
consistent with   the way we have been ruling in the cases where a roll-
over shooter shoots as soon as he slides his wrist on the handle, this 
this is ruled  will be looked at by the officiating committee and 
changed after the World Championships.  The one second on the handle does 
not apply in singles except in the case of a set shot on the forward three
fingertips.  It is most common with the European style front pin and a

Rule 22.3 - The second part of the last sentence reads, "If the spinning
ball is not within reach, the time limits are not in effect."

Rule 13.1 - Defining advancement:

A ball is considered to have advanced once it is out of reach of the
the case of the goalie area, a ball is considered advanced once out of

No Harm - No Foul:

The "No harm-No foul" rule was implemented in an attempt to give the
officials some latitude in calling infractions, particularly jarring.
This rule has been misinterpreted by some in a way that no jarring, _no
matter how flagrant_, would be called unless play was affected.  This
affected in any way.