Starting a Foosball Group

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Starting a Foosball Group
« on: January 12, 2011, 11:05:50 PM »
A bunch of us have started a foosball group.  We have about 8-10 of us who have started to meet once a month on a rotating basis at the houses of the guys who have tables.  Most of the players are ex-college players who have not played in a while(age range 35-45).  A few of us (the ones with tables) play more regularly of course. 

A few questions/observations and I would like the input from some of the experts on here.

I have been explaining a lot of the rules to the group about dead balls, scoring, etc. because it seemed like everyone played with their own set of house rules way back when (no scoring from the 5-bar, 2 points if it goes in clean, etc.).  None of us have touring aspirations, but we would like to get a good competitive league going.  Should we be using standard tournament rules?  The rules people played with were so different, that we needed some consistency.  We wanted to keep some things in place - like we all liked the idea of foosing and did not like the placing of the ball on the 5-bar following a goal.  I have a Foosball Rules poster hanging over my table which has generated a very positive response.  Any thoughts?

Also, we have just kind of been rotating guys in and out with the winning team staying on the table.  I think we have identified a couple of players who really cannot be paired together or it will be unfair for a while until other guys catch up.  What have people done under these circumstances?  We discussed the idea of a ranking system or a ladder system.  What else can be done?

Finally, any other thoughts and suggestions are really welcome.  I have my table (a T-2000 tour used coin-op with the T-3000 upgrades) I bought from Charles Macintosh a couple of years ago and it is nice to have some good regular competition without going to a bar or heading into NYC.  Everyone is enthusiastic right now and I'd like to keep it going.



Offline papafoos

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Re: Starting a Foosball Group
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 12:27:05 AM »
If you're not hard core tournament players, then don't follow the rules to the letter.  Choose what most or all of you feel comfortable with.  But, at the same time, learn the proper rules.  There's a chance that later on you could inject more of the proper rules into your group.

I think you should learn to use the serving hole.  Setting the ball in the middle to start play was a rule that was forced on us by a non US entity and could conceivably be retracted.  If it is, then you will already know how to serve.  It's an acquired skill.  If it's not, anyone can place the ball in the middle.

Eventually, you need to accept the five row shots.  It will make better players out of you.  The two points for a clean shot is a sure fire way to start an argument.  If I shoot long and it cuts back to the inside hole, who's to say I didn't plan it?  On the other hand, if I intentionally shoot a middle and the goalie gets a piece of it but not enough to keep it out of the goal, why should it count any less than the slop cutback?  And where do you draw the line if it barely grazes a goalie or he blocks it solid but still goes in?  And what about banks or masse shots?  If they go in the goal, how do you define clean vs slop?

As for rotating players:  When we used to rotate, we let the winners stay on but they had to split up.  The two new players would flip a coin to see who they played with.  We used to gamble this way but all players involved need to be reasonably close in skill level.  If not, then let the losers stay on and let them split up.  That way they get more practice and don't usually take such a beating in the gambling.

Whatever you do, try to keep everyone involved in your rule making and the format you try to play.

If you're interested in a double elimination brackets, I uploaded a couple on Open Office you can try.  It's a stripped down version you can run onscreen.  It's not made to print and manually write in the results.  Open Office is free, which is why I used it.  You can't complain about the price.

For a 16 team bracket:

For an 8 team bracket:

Re: Starting a Foosball Group
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 12:29:44 AM »
Even if you're not planning to get serious, play by the official tournament rules.  You'll find a copy on  It takes all the subjectivity out of it.  Plus, when you count slop, you start learning how to block slop.  Makes you better for when you start playing in bars.

For home pick-up games, play king of the hill.  For example with 8 players, draw cards for initial partners.  If one team beats all 3 other teams, they stay on the table, but have to split up and draw for new partners.  The remaining 4 partner up again and it continues.  Most matches won by any single person is King of the HIll.  

Find a computer and check out some of the YouTube videos to see how the real pros play.  It will inspire you.

Most of all, drink some beers and have some fun.  

Re: Starting a Foosball Group
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 04:45:53 PM »
THank you!

Yeah, on the 2-point for a clean goal, I put my foot down pretty firm on not allowing that from the start for all the reasons you stated.  Everyone except one guy accepted the 5-row shots so he was outvoted and conceded that they would count.

I like the splitting up/King of the Hill plan for the winning team.  I will suggest that the next time and I think most will go with that.

As for the drinking beers and having fun...let's just say we are way ahead of you!!

THanks again,