Need Rules Clarification

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Need Rules Clarification
« on: May 02, 2013, 06:21:33 PM »
My co-workers and I play Foosball during break times from work and we have come across a debate on the interpretation of rules for a few Foosball scenarios. They are as follows:

Scenario 1:

Our table is not perfectly proportional, therefore, some of the figures are closer to the serving hole than others. In this case, the server serves the ball legally though the serving hole with significant spin, but the non-serving figure is held horizontally in such a manner that the figures' toes touch the ball prior to the playing surface, and often times scoring a goal.


1) Ball is served.
2) Ball is hit by defending player prior to touching playing surface.
3) Ball is immediately scored by non-serving team.

Decision Made: We ruled it a foul because the ball was touched prior to the playing surface, and the ball was reserved.
Conflict: The non-serving team disagrees and says it is the fault of the server, play should continue because it was a legal serve, and the point should count.

What is the ruling?

Scenario 2:

Continuing from the above scenario, who is at fault or is there a penalty for a figure consistently touching the ball prior to the playing surface? i.e. How many re-serves?

What is the appropriate response if the ball continues to hit a player before touching the playing surface?

Conflict: The non-serving team consistently and stubbornly places their figure in such a manner that touches the ball prior to the playing surface.

What is the ruling and appropriate response?

Scenario 3:

The ball is served very hard, with lots of spin. The ball legally hits the playing surface first followed by hitting a serving-team's figure where the ball is then scored.

Our Decision: The point was legal.
Conflict: The non-serving team says the point is illegal since the serving team did not score by purposely striking the ball. The ball was served so hard that it hit the surface first, bounced off a serving figure, and scored. i.e. a surprise goal for the serving team.

What is the ruling?

Thank you for you time, and we look forward to your responses.

Re: Need Rules Clarification
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2013, 03:29:59 PM »
Just stop serving the ball through the serving hole and place the ball on your 5-bar.

Here is a link to the ITSF rules:

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Re: Need Rules Clarification
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 05:41:19 PM »
If you want to serve through the hole, the ball is not considered live until it touches the play surface. Either player hitting the ball with the player figure on the serve before it touches the play surface is considered illegal.

note: on the very rare occasion that the ball would be in play and somehow bounce up into the serving hole and then roll back out into play, it is still considered live and could indeed be struck by a player figure before it falls back to the surface. This would probably only happen if you are playing with an older model table like a TS or a Dynamo that has serving cups on the outside of the table at the hole.

Your best bet is to do as the original reply states, and use the ready protocol to start play. That way you don't have to learn how to serve to yourself, you automatically get the ball on your five row to start play.