"Abridged" USTSA Rules of Play

Please feel free to download and print the PDF, it will help you in learning the official rules of play and is very handy to have for foosball players.

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Click to download a one page copy of the rules.  onepage.pdf      onepage.doc

1. Prepare for a Match:
Flip a coin: A.
A. Winner chooses tableside or first serve,
B. Loser gets remaining option and pays first.
2. The Serve:
After assuring opponents are ready, serve through the serving hole.
3. Subsequent Serves:
Served by team: A. Last scored upon, B. Lost last game.
4. Ball in Play:
Remains in play until: A. Off the table, B. Declared dead, C. Time out is called, D. A point is scored.
5. Ball Off the Table:
If the ball touches: A. Scoring marker, B. Top of the side rail, C. Any “non-table” object. (The serving
cup is considered “in play”.) Original serving team re-serves the ball or the goalie puts into play if
the goalie caused the ball to leave the table.
6. Dead Ball:
Ball stops moving out of reach of any play figures. A. Re-served by original server or B. If in goal area, put into play by the goalie. Penalty:  Balls intentionally made dead are re-served by the opponent.
7. Time Out:
Both teams have two-30 second timeouts per game. If ball not in play, either team may request. If in play only by team in possession, and ball stopped. Either team may: A. take the full 30 seconds, B. Switch positions ONCE. Penalty: More then two time outs is a Technical Foul.
8. Resuming Play After Time Out:  Ball must move and touch 2 play figures then stop for 1 full second before resuming play. Time limit starts 1 second after touching the 2nd play figure. Penalty: Opponent may continue play or re-serve.
9. Official Time out:
Either team may request when ball is stopped or dead. Does not count as a team timeout. Used to request a referee, removed foreign objects from table, repair table, correct lighting etc. Penalty:  Requests made while the ball is in play and moving or as a team shoots or passes is a distraction.
10. Point Scored:
A. Any legally scored ball counts (even if it goes into and out of the goal). B. If both teams agree a point was scored but not marked up and if no other point was scored, it shall be marked up. 
11. Table Sides:
60 sec. is allowed to change sides between games. Penalty: Delay of game.
12. Change of Positions:
Teammates may switch positions only: A. During a time out, B. between points, C. between games, D. before and/or after a technical foul shots. Penalty: Distraction.
13. Spinning the Rods:
Rotating a rod more then 360 degrees before or after advancing the ball is illegal (excessive spinning may be a distraction). Penalty: A. If ball scores, no point, opposing goalie puts ball into play. B. Otherwise, opponents may continue play or re-serve.
14. Jarring:
Any jarring, lifting or sliding the table. Penalty: A.  First and Second: Warning, continue play from current position, point of infraction, on rod jarred, or re-serve. B. Third: Technical foul and earlier options.
15. Reset:
Defense disturbing the ball while offense is preparing to shoot or pass, even if the ball only rocks in place. Penalty: A. All violations reset time limits and wall counts. B. One free “Reset” per game. C. Subsequent resets during the SAME POINT. First: “Reset Warning”: Second: Technical foul. D. Next reset following a technical foul is “reset warning” again. E. Offence faking a reset is opponent’s re-serve.
16. Reaching Into the Playing Area: During a dead ball, no penalty. Penalty: A. While in possession and stopped: opponents
re-serve. B. Moving in goal area or perched on goal: point scored. C.
Any other time: Technical foul.
17. Alterations to the Table:  A. Request for a new ball, okay, if ball is bad. B. Table repairs okay, if sudden failure. C. Players may use grips and/or rosin, but it can’t get on the table. D. Illegal to alter the table in any other way.
18. Distractions:
Movement or sounds, made away from the rod(s) “playing” the ball, which could distract the players. Penalty: A. Offense distracts: No point scores, opponent’s re-serve. B. Other cases: Distracted team may, continue play, continue from point of distraction or re-serve ball.
19. Practice:
Practicing with a ball during a match (eg, practicing serve or pass). Penalty: Technical Foul.
20. Language:
Cursing, unsportsman comments or calling attention away from game (coaching during time outs/between games only). Penalty: A. Cursing: technical foul, B. Other: referee discretion; warning or technical foul.
21. Passing:
5-bar to 3-bar and goalie to 5-bar:
stopped or pinned balls must be put in motion and touch two play figures before being passed. 
5-bar to 3-bar:  A. 2 wall touches allowed, ball may touch wall a
3rd time as part of the pass. B. “Adjusting” the balls motion with the front or back of the “passing” play figure is illegal. Penalty: Opponent may continue play or re-serve the ball.
22. Time of Possession:
10 Seconds allowed on 5-bar, 15 Seconds any other area. Penalty: A.
Exceeded on 3-bar, opposing goalie puts ball in play. B. All other areas, opponent re-serves the ball.
23. Match Time Limit:
Best of 5 is 1 hour, best of 3 is 35 min. Penalty: A. Overtime of 10 min. imposed. B. After overtime winner is: 1. Most games won, 2. (if tied) Most points scored, 3. (if tied) one point sudden death.
24. Delay of Game:
If team is not ready to play after 10 Seconds. Penalty: A. First-Warning. B. Subsequent-Time out charged.
25. Forfeiture/Recall:
When match is announced teams have 3 min. to start play. Penalty: A. First recall of 3 min. is a warning. B. Each 3 min. recall after is loss of a game.
26. Technical Foul:
Flagrant or intentional violation of the rules. Note: Teams may switch position before and after a technical foul shot. Penalty: A. Stop play immediately, B. one shot from the 3-bar on goal, C. resume
play from position stopped (point or no point). D. Third Technical in any one game is a forfeit.
27. Rules Decisions and Appeals:
A. If an official present: No arguing allowed (rule clarifications are acceptable). B. If no official present: Official makes the most equitable decision possible. C. Appeals made to the Head Official.
28. Code of Ethics: 
Unsportsman/unethical conduct is grounds for removal from tournament area.
29. Tournament Director:
A. Makes all decisions on tournament play, organization and appoints the head official. B. Head Official: Appoints officials, determines rules of play and handles all appeals .
See Official Rules for more clarification. (Ver. 2)