The "goalie" rod, with three men. Some tables such as the
Tornado lack ramps and instead have a third man on each side of the
goalie rod to pick up what would otherwise be "dead" balls
due to the flat backfield. The first rod away from the goal.
A defensive shot where the ball is caught on an almost- horizontally
oriented man, then flipped through the air over the rods toward the
opposite goal. If the ball hits the top of the table, the shot is not
valid. There are several ways to catch the ball, and several places to
balance the ball on the man, depending on the table-type. Also
"Rainbow Shot", "Goalie Field Goal".
A novelty shot in which the ball is moved on a rod intended for the
right hand (2-bar or 3-bar, and in singles the 5-bar also), but upon
being shot, is shot by cranking the rod with the left hand. Usually
done with the 3-bar. See also "crank (shot)"
American Table Soccer Federation. The recent new tour organized by
Johnny Lott and played on the Stryker Tables. The ATSF can be
contacted at Johnny Lott's voice mail box at Dynamo at (817) 284-0114
ext 112, or at Dynamo's general and toll free no. (800) 527-6054.
When the 3-bar (sometimes 5-bar) is angled forward in order to more
easily catch any passes originating from the rear, or when it is
angled backward to catch any blocked shots originating from the front.
The angle is just lower than the angle for a pinned ball; to catch
harder passes, the angle can be lower with a looser grip on the
handle, or the angle can be produced as the ball contacts a fairly
Any defense which opens an enticing hole to the offense; the
defender ideally predicts the offense's timing and closes the hole as
the shot begins, or even before it begins. The bait defense may be
moving or set. If the bait seems to be set and very obvious, this is
also known as "fishing". See "moving defense",
One of the facets of the handle, especially on a Tornado table, i.e.
if the handle is not circular in cross section, it's probably a
polygon or some approximation of one; the bevel would be any of the
sides of the polygon. On a Tornado, due to the pin-fastened handles,
the bevels are always in the same place relative to the men, and may
be reliably used to reproducibly position the hand on the handle, for
example for pass-catching.
To hit the ball so that it moves in an angle due to a pushing or
pulling movement of the rod as the ball is struck; this motion is
in essence a "brushing" of the ball and gives it the
high (or low) spin required to angle the ball. In passing, the
ball is often placed behind the rod, just less than where a tight
back-pin would be. This maximizes the brush effect by
"squeezing" the ball, but may erroneously cause a squibb
pass. See also"squibb pass", "squeeze".
A 5-bar pass executed using a brush in either direction. this pass
is usually executed with the closest man on the five-bar in the
vicinity of the near wall; upon passing, the ball is slightly to the
rear of the rod (just less than where a tight back-pin would be) and
is often transferred to the closest man on the five bar from a tenuous
(not tight) back-pin on the second-man. From here, the ball can
basically be lane-passed or wall-passed from the same position,
ideally in the center of this near man's field of movement. The brush
gives the ball a high spin to angle the ball in either direction, and
in the case of a wall pass from far off of the wall, the spin serves
to keep the ball "hugging" the wall all the way down to the
three bar. A slight squeeze will give the ball such a spin. Often, the
left arm posture for the five bar is a palm-up underhand one with the
elbow pointing directly to the left, to provide leverage for the brush
motion. Other common options are an off-the-wall lane brush and a
2nd-man brush through the lane to the wall. In addition to the 5- to
3-bar pass, a 2- to 5-bar brush pass is common in singles play. See
also "brush", "squeeze", "squibb pass",
"stick pass". See FAQ2 for how to learn a brush pass.
Organized betting, usually on seeded teams in Open events. Often the
right to a bet on a specific team goes to the highest bidder, and
sometimes the payouts are percentages of the total amount wagered by
all parties. Betting on yourself is allowed.
To hit the ball on either the front or back corner area on the
opposite side as the intended direction of ball-movement. The ball is
either slightly forward or backward of the rod, and is often pinned
outright. Used for front-banks (ball setup back), Texas-T shot (ball
setup front). See also "front-bank", "Texas-T".
A system described by Lott. Instead of trying to read the defense,
choose a hole and a count beforehand. Then don't look at the defense,
count to your number then shoot your hole. This may yield a higher
percentage scoring when the defense is "out thinking" you.
A shot usually with a left-hand rod which is like a spin executed by
rolling the handle along the wrist and arm as one pushes the hand
downward past the left edge of the handle. Usually shot with the
goalie rod. See also "goalie crank", "Alien
A shot or pass in which the ball's path curves due to extreme spin
put on the ball, which originates from a very high-pressure (back) pin
position, which then is released as the rod is moved to the left or
right as the pressure on the pin is maintained, resulting in the spin.
Most often seen as a 2- to 3-rod pass (back-pin ball on 2-rod 2 to 4
ball lengths from the wall, and curve the ball by moving the rod away
from the wall; the ball curves _towards_ the wall to the waiting 3-man
on the wall) or a trick 3-rod shot. See also "squeeze".
An angle shot in which the ball is moving in one lateral direction
(left or right) before being shot, but is angled toward the goal in
the opposite direction (right or left) upon being shot, often
resulting in the defense to continue moving past the actual trajectory
of the ball. May be combined with pull, push, or various kick shots.
May also be used in passing, especially 2-bar to 3-bar passing.
A game for a total of three players. Play is two-on-one, with the
doubles team always serving. If the singles players scores, he gets a
point. If the doubles team scores, no points are scored and the
players rotate counterclockwise (i.e. the singles player is now the
doubles defender, and the doubles forward is now the singles player).
The first player to five points wins. Another variation dictates that
when the defensive doubles player scores, instead of rotating all the
players, the defensive switches directly with the singles player; this
is more fair, mixes up the matchups more, and rewards the goal scorer.
A term to describe a shot of the ultimate length. e.g. (using the
_offense's_ perspective for push/pull & L/R): for a pull-direction
shot, pull the defending 2-bar ALL THE WAY to the offense's near-side
wall so that the right-hand side bumper (the offense's right) is
touching the wall. The length of the long shot must therefore be long
enough to, in this case, go AROUND the LEFT man on the two bar (the
offense's left) and into the goal, i.e. the ball passes between the
two men on the defending two-bar. At this position, the 2-bar is
"dead" and cannot move any further to cover this long shot,
hence the name. The dead-bar shot may not be as possible/practical on
some tables with smaller goal widths than the Tornado's. However, on
the Tornado, if the painted goal line is open, the
"dead-man" shot is also open. Most shots (all shots?) can be
shot dead-man (e.g. push/pull, push-/pull-kick, snake, tic-tac,
pin-shot, five-bar kick shot). Also "dead-bar".
A convention in France which occurs on any goal from the 5-bar, the
near 3-man, or on any "bizarre/random" event: The point is
marked by moving a counter halfway between the scored and unscored
points on BOTH teams. Whoever scores the next goal takes 2 points,
i.e. takes the point and the "demi". If another demi is
scored instead, another counter is added to the first demi, and the
next "real" goal counts for 3 points. Hence, with "demi"
rules, one must be careful not to score accidental or 5-bar shots,
since it may actually count for the opponent.
A doubles tournament format in which players of a certain ranking
and above must play in goal (defense) as a handicap. The less
experienced players get to be the stars, and the more experienced
players develop a good defense, albeit grudgingly.
A light and fairly slow shot usually aimed at or around the near
post, timed so that the defense vacates this post when expecting a
power long-shot, e.g. a long pull-kick, or any other ball movement
back to the far post.
On a Tornado table, the white circular markings along the three bar
which represent different areas to shoot from, and also represent one
ball-width from dot to dot. The outside dots usually are thought to
represent a shot which will not go into the goal if shot straight.
A maintenance tool, esp. on Tornado tables, used to push tension
pins (to affix playing-figures) through the holes in the rods. It is a
solid pin almost the diameter of a tension pin, but is more than twice
as long and is tipped with a blunt nib which fits into the inside of a
tension pin. See also "pin".
A type of table. It has corners which "curl" up gradually
from the playing field. Also the company which produces this table and
which now also produces the Striker tables. See also "Striker",
number is (800) 527-6054, and may be called for parts and tournament
information for Dynamos and Strykers.
A specific ranking term describing a rank below "pro" but
above "Rookie" and "Amateur". USTSA 1300-1799 pts.
Usually someone with a consistent tournament level shot and a very
studied and effective 5-bar. Also: "Novice".
A term to describe the "length" of a shot such as a pull
or a snake. e.g. for a pull-direction shot, pull (from the offense's
point of view) the defending 2-bar almost all the way to the wall,
specifically X fingers widths (e.g. 1 FW, 2 1/2 FW, etc.) separating the
wall from the right-hand side bumper (The offense's right). The length
of the shot must therefore be long enough to, in this case, go AROUND
the LEFT man on the two bar (The offense's left) and into the goal,
i.e. the ball must pass between the two men on the defending two-rod.
Hence the smaller the finger width, the longer the shot. re: 0 FW see
The serve where the ball is entered into play, hence the phrase,
"Losers foosers" for the custom of the scored-upon team
serving the next ball. The term is derived from the German word
for "foot". In Germany, "fussball" is
"football" which is "soccer" in the US.
Foosball is known as "kicker" in Germany, "bebe-foot"
A bank shot executed from the 3-bar. If shot with the outer men, can
be executed via an angle to the wall. If shot from the middle man from
a pass from an outer man, can be executed by rod motion to the side of
the intended bank. If shot from a stationary position by the middle
man, can be executed from a back-pin chip.
A rule that every time the goalie (defensive player) scores, as a
reward the next ball is dropped into play in their defensive zone
instead of being served normally. The condition usually does not apply
on the last point of a game, i.e. the first ball of the next game does
not go to the goalie.
To slightly better the odds between teams of different skill levels
(R/A/E/P), spotted points and/or first-serves are given to the
lower-ranking team scaled to the difference in _total_ (add rankings
of doubles partners) skill level between the teams.
For hardware & parts information, try calling the numbers listed
for Tornado, Stryker, Dynamo, or Rene Pierre to locate a local vendor.
These vendors will often carry parts for several types of tables,
including T.S. Most promoters can also handle mail-orders. Also try
calling local game-machine vending companies since if they vend
foosball machines, they will likely sell parts. Almost any conceivable
part can be purchased, from entire playing fields or cabinets to men,
bumpers, pins, balls, corner ramps, drink racks, goal-liners, etc.
A Californian-based player organization. They have a newsletter and
currently make videos (w/excellent foos-commentators) of open USTSA
Tour events and other meetings such as workshops and clinics. For
subscription and video information, write to 7030 1/2 La Tijera Blvd.;
Los Angeles, CA 90045; or call (310) 670-2408.
A lateral pass from a man on the rod to usually the adjacent man,
for the purpose of then shooting or passing it forward. A kick shot
executed when the passing motion is begun with the ball away from the
passing man can be VERY fast, hence its use in tic-tac shots, as well
as adding it to pin--shots and other shots to quickly place the ball
to shoot into the opposite post.
The section of the tournament-tree in which all of the teams which
have lost one match in a double-elimination ' tournament play each
other (i.e. this bracket is single-elimination). "winners of the
losers'" refers to the winner of this bracket, the team which
goes on to play the "winners of the winners'" See also "double-elimination",
Old time world champion pro who currently is promoting the
tour. Described as a mortal enemy of CE McCloud. Was a shot double in
the movie Long Shot. Johnny Lott has written probably the only
Foosball book, the out-of-print "_The Complete Guide to Foosball_
by Johnny Lott, with Kathy Brainard.; Chicago, Ill: Contemporary
Books, 1980. xi, 176 p.: ill. : 24cm ISBN 0809259990 (hdbk. $9.95),
0809259982 (pbk. $5.95)" See also "ATSF",
for information on ATSF events.
A largely honorary ranking traditionally bestowed on perhaps a
dozen players in the world; a rank technically above
In the old Dynamo tour, a rank above pro;
In the USTSA the twelve top-ranked players;
In the USTSA the winner of the single-elimination Master's
Singles event in the Masters Tour event, in which to qualify, one
must place in the top twelve of Open Singles; a single green
Master's Jacket and Master's Cup is also awarded.
A defense in which the men defending the goal constantly move both
horizontally and back and forth (to cut off different angles) so as to
hopefully open different holes in an unpredictable manner. Also known
as "stochastic defense" or "random defense",
although the defense, if done well, is usually not strictly random at
A shooting technique where to attain high ball speeds upon shooting,
the handle is allowed to roll slightly along a partially opened-hand
so that the man is cocked back further than normal to shoot. Often
used for bank shots, pull-kicks, and sometimes for push- and
pull-shots. Also "fan".
The position when the ball is being squeezed between the playing
field and the bottom of a man; this naturally must occur with the
man tilted with its toe to the front or to the back, which are
known as front-pin and back-pin, respectively. Sometimes, pin is
used in the context of a ball being squeezed between a man and the
wall. Also known as "pinch". A "walking pin"
is when the ball is continuously moved horizontally from the
pinned position, only to be pinned again on the same bar.
The table element which affixes the men to the rods, taking the
place of both nut and bolt of some tables. The advantage is that
there is no thread (as on a screw) to be worn off to make the men
A shot which actually strikes the edge of the goal and is
deflected away at an angle (i.e. not a flat bounce off of the
wall adjacent to the goal), but does not go in;
to shoot such a shot;
to strike the edge of the goal in this manner (e.g.
"The shot posted.")
On-goal at the very edge of the goal; this may refer to a shot's
trajectory as well as the area of the goal which may be defended.
The terms "near post" and "far post" are often
used. "Near post" (also known as "short"), is
the edge of the goal on the same side as the ball is placed as a
shot is executed; the "far post" is the edge of the goal
on the opposite side (i.e. a shot going "long"). See "on-goal"
A European term (esp. Italy) used for a style of game-play in which
it is legal to stop, pin, and maneuver the ball along a rod. Also
known as "fermo." To be contrasted with "vola".
Before a game it is agreed among the players whether the style will be
"primo" or "vola". See also "vola."
A specific ranking term denoting the highest rank, one above
"Rookie", "Amateur", and "Expert". USTSA
1800+ points. Pro-A and Pro-B currently exist in the USTSA ranking
system, with Pro-A at (2200?) points. See also "USTSA."
The reversal of motion of the rod at the shooting of a shot, very
often seen on tournament-level versions of shots on the competitive
level. This whip-like recoil helps keep the ball motion straight or
even causes it to cut back. Essential to hit most dead-man shots. See "dead-man",
A person who officially or semi-officially locally organizes
tournaments, lobbies for more playing locations, and otherwise
promotes the sport of table-soccer. The table-manufacturers often have
available a list of promoters who will have information on local
playing locations as well as any regular or special tournaments. Most
promoters are also table-operators and may also be able to sell
hardware. See also "table-operator",
A 3-bar shot executed entirely with the middle man, which pulls the
ball laterally and very rapidly from its starting point then shoots it
into the goal; The starting point is usually from a maximally
pushed-rod position. See also "roll
A 3-bar shot beginning with the ball on the closest (i.e. Right
edge) man a few ball-widths from the wall. The ball is pushed so that
it may be shot with the middle man. Usually executed open-hand in a
single motion, and is often shot dead-bar long, or a fake by shooting
an angle shot to the near post with the near man. Email Reid Abel,
firstname.lastname@example.org for information on his self-published push-kick
In some tables, any of the four raised corners of the playfield.
Some ramps are separate triangular elements, and some, like on the
Dynamo and Stryker tables, are curved extensions of the actual
playfield. To replace triangular ramps, it is often necessary to
install a separate Styrofoam support under it to raise it to the
desired pitch. Some tables, such as the Tornado, lack ramps
altogether. Also: "corner",
A novelty shot. On the 3-rod, the ball is setup on an outer man as
if for a pullkick or pushkick. The shot begins normally but is shot
into the wall short of the goal. The middle man shoots the rebound
into the goal.
A French-make table (from Chalon-sur-Saone) with unbalanced men with
metal-weighted toes, telescoping rods, linoleum playfield, metal-scoop
goal, egg-shaped cabinet, sawhorse-type legs, and soft white-covered
cork balls. A 6-player variety ($1699) also is manufactured. In North
America, it is popular in Virginia Beach (Virginia), North Carolina,
and Quebec (Canada), and is currently distributed by Brady
Distributing Co. of Charlotte, North Carolina at (704) 357 6284, Fax
(704) 357-1243. Prices for new tables range from $699-$1499. See also "bebefoot".
A resetting of the time-limit on a rod, usually by a jar from the
opposing side which results in any ball motion, or by having the ball
briefly touch a man on an opposing rod. The time-limit may also be
reset by calling a time-out.
A fake from the pull setup in which the ball actually rolls very
slightly as the middle 3-man lifts and brushes the left side of the
ball (rolling it mainly backwards a fraction of an inch), then shoots
it straight in. This fake can fool an opponent wary of the
purely-lift-fake in which the ball is not touched at all before being
A specific ranking term for the lowest rank, below
"Amateur", "Expert", and "Pro". USTSA
0-999 pts. All new players in tour events begin as rookies with 900
points, although for "limited" events, they are considered
to have 1200 points. However, if the player has a record of beating
Amateur-ranked players in tournaments, that player may begin as an
Amateur; the same holds for a similar record against Experts or Pros.
A heavily discounted entry fee (usually about $100) to allow a
Rookie to enter nearly all the events in a large tournament.
"Amateur passes" are also often available for slightly
more money. These passes encourage newer players to enter
competition and also incidentally results in large tournament
trees, 128 doubles or 256 singles at large events.
A 3-bar shot executed from a front pin and a grip on the inner
wrist; the ball is moved horizontally then the arm executes a
reverse-crank so that the rods spin backwards so the same man strikes
the ball. Technically not a spin shot since the angle from point of
last contact to point of shot is just under 360 degrees; the
follow-through after point of shot must also be under 360 degrees, and
contact w/the rod must not be broken. Usually started in the center
with the middle man, although push-only or pull-only specialists
exist. Also: "Monkey Shot", "Wrist Rocket",
To angle a shot in the same direction that the ball was moving just
as it was shot; i.e. a spray pull (shot) angles toward the
right/pull-direction; spray-pushes from the push-kick position to the
near-post are common.
When the ball is literally lightly squeezed in such a tenuous back
pin position so that upon being pinned while being brushed, the ball
is released with a very high spin (and therefore angle). The spin is
less extreme that that of a "curve" ball. Sometimes used as
a shot from the defensive region of players who back-pin the ball
often. See also "brush", "brush
pass", "pin", "curve".
A pass which seems illegal but if begun legally is technically still
a valid pass under USTSA rules: When a brush pass is accidentally
momentarily pinned, then immediately shoots/squeezes out as a pass. A
legal pass if the intended brush pass originally legal. Also "stubb-pass".
A pass which is passed straight and not in an angle. Ideally the
ball is both brought into position (as with a kick or a series of
kicks) and passed, extremely fast. The typical stick pass series is
done after a rapid 2-1-2-1 man tic-tac, after which follows a 2-1 lane
pass, a 2-1 wall pass, a 2-wallbounce-1 lane pass, or a 2 or 2-1-2
pass to the middle man in the lane between the opponent's 2 and 3 men.
See also "brush
The touring table of the ATSF. There is the old Striker, and there
are prototypes for a new "Electronic Striker by Dynamo",
with telescoping rods, digital displays, and a speedometer-equipped
goal. Johnny Lott's table. For information on Striker tournaments you
can contact Johnny Lott's voice mail at Dynamo at (817) 284-0114 ext.
112, or for a toll-free connection (ask the operator for box 112) and
more information on hardware and parts (800) 527-6054. See also "ATSF",
When a defensive shot is blocked and immediately shot back at the
defense from which it originated; this is usually done with the 3-bar,
although stuffs from the opposing 2-bar are seen in goalie-wars.
A 2' X 4' table-soccer game with very little resemblance to
"foosball"-table-soccer. The men are played by flicking them
individually, the playing field is set at a pitch, and the game is
generally more faithful to the rules of actual soccer. The game has a
large following in Europe with large regional championships, including
a "World Cup". rec.sport.soccer, rec.games.miniatures, and
rec.games.board sometimes have Subbuteo threads.
In a tournament, the event in which the doubles championship teams
from all categories play each other, single elimination, beginning
from the lowest division champions to the final match with the Open
Any person who organizes the placement of their table-soccer
machines for commercial purposes. Most exclusively
table-soccer-oriented operators are also promoters, and in general
seem to maintain their hardware in better condition than other large
general-purpose vending companies or businesses which own their own
machines. See also "promoter."
A term indicating a ball out of play, after an airborne ball strikes
the top surface or ashtrays of the table then falls back into the
playing field; such a ball is considered out of play, as if ejected
from the table.
A 2-bar or 3-bar shot beginning with the ball in a front pin,
usually considerably to the left or right oft the field. The ball is
moved to the next man over and shot; the move is executed by chipping
the front edge of the ball on the opposite side as its intended
direction of movement; The chip is in essence a very exaggerated bank,
so much so that the ball moves from a front pin and is so nearly
horizontal that the next man on the bar can come down and shoot it
from slightly rear of the bar. Also "Kentucky
Onomatopoetically named for the sound that the shot produces during
its execution. Basically either a 2-bar or 3-bar shot where the ball
is passed continuously and hopefully misleadingly from man to man to
man so that when the shot is executed, the defensive will be in the
wrong place to block, especially if they are following the movement of
the ball; most often shot to the far post or angled to the near post.
In many tables (esp. TS and its clones), the bolts on the outer
sides of the table near the top connecting a metal rod through the
table beneath the scoring counters. Tie rods must absolutely always be
kept tight, otherwise the table may be quickly damaged permanently.
table." So named because when used commercially, the balls
are rented to players by the hour. Sometimes this term denotes a
version of the table a notch higher than a "home-version"
The touring table and parent company of the
USTSA. For information
on the table, their newsletter Table Talk, Tour events, and local
tournaments in your area, you may call or write Tornado Table Soccer,
Inc.; 4949 Rendon Rd; Fort Worth, TX 76140; (817) 483-6646 or their
Tornado Hot-line at 817-561-0511. See also "USTSA",
Someone who is experienced in competitive level play, i.e. not
losing any loose balls, usually shooting only the tournament (i.e.
best) shot from the 3-bar, having a good moving defense, knowing game
strategy and psychology, using time-outs well, knowing the rules well,
United States Table Soccer Association. The USTSA holds tournaments
exclusively on Tornado brand tables, from Fort Worth, TX. They publish
the newsletter Table Talk. See "Tornado"
for address & phone numbers.
A European term (esp. Italy) for a style of game-play in which the
ball may not be stopped, pinned, or even maneuvered roller-ball style
along a rod. Only one hit/touch is allowed per rod after which the
ball must move to another rod, and the two defensive rods are
considered different rods. These rules result in: 1) slower 5-rod to
3-rod passes with on-the-fly angle shots; 2) the 2-rod repeatedly
bouncing the ball off of the back wall or passing it back and forth
with the goalie rod; 3) a great variety and skill at 3-rod to 5-rod back pass
offensive shots. To be contrasted with "primo".
Before a game it is decided among the players whether the style will
be "vola" or "primo". See also "primo."
Any pass along the wall from one bar to another. If properly
executed, the opposing side must be completely against the wall, since
the bumper on the rods pushes the edge man away from the wall nearly a
ball length to begin with. Most commonly from 5-bar or 2-bar to 3-bar.
See also "5-bar
The section of the tournament tree in a double elimination
tournament in which those teams which have not lost any matches play
each other. Losing teams in the winner's bracket enter successively
progressive berths in the loser's bracket. The winner of this bracket
is referred to as "winners of the winners US. This team plays the
"winner of the losers'" for the tournament title, which it
wins if it wins a single match, and can lose only if it loses in two
straight matches, because of the double-elimination format.