Posts

Hathaway Playoff Scoring

Official Foosball Rules

Foosball, Fuzboll, table football. The many names it goes by tells us just how widely played this table-top soccer game is.Carrom Signature

Foosball, much like the game of soccer where it was originally based on, is played and loved all around the world.

Unfortunately, unlike soccer, there are just as many rule variations as there are name variations of the game.

Different countries and sanctioning bodies have their own versions of the rules.

Since covering all these rules is next to impossible, we will focus on the universal and most important official rules as sanctioned by the most recognized foosball organizations, the International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) and the United States Table Soccer Federation (USTSF).

Playing Foosball

As with the rules, both the table size and the player layout can vary a bit. However, a typical table is 4 feet long by 2 feet wide.

We actually reviewed a lot of foosball tables on the market and the 5 best tables that we picked are about 4 feet long. If you are looking to buy a foosball table, check out our reviews here.

Just like in an actual game of soccer, 11 players are on each team on the table. The players or “foosmen” are spread over 8 rods, of which each player controls 4.

The players are mounted on the rods in different formations, depending on the table style. Your players on an ITSF sanctioned competition table will be set out as follows: 1 goalkeeper, 2 defenders, 5 midfield players and 3 attackers.

The rods are identified and named after the number of players mounted on them. For example, the middle rod from the above formation is called the “5-bar” since it controls 5 players.

As mentioned, those numbers can vary a bit. Some tables will even feature more than one player on the goalkeeping rod.

Foosball can be played in singles or doubles format. For doubles, each player takes control of 2 rods.

The aim of the game is just like a standard soccer match, to outscore your opponent.

The most common scoring system is to play until one player reaches 5 goals. That player then claims the game.

Multiple games can be played to decide the match.

We have already discussed the variation in some of the rules of foosball, depending on the federation, country, and type of table you are playing on.

However, there are some very important rules that are pretty much universal. We will take a more in-depth look at the most important official foosball rules below.

The rules listed below are official rules used in ITSF and USTSF sanctioned competitions and apply to most other competitive foosball matches.

1. Service

To begin the game, the ball must be served by one of the players. Most tables feature a hole in the sidewall that is exactly in line with the center of the table. The server passes the ball through this hole to begin the game.

If you are playing on a table with no service hole, the server places the ball at the feet of one of his or her midfield players and the game begins from there.

Once a goal has been made, the player or team thaHathaway Playoff Scoringt is scored upon restarts the game by serving the ball.

2. Scoring

To win a game of foosball in a sanctioned competition, players play to be the first to score 5 goals past their opponent. A goal is scored w
hen the ball passes over the goal-line.

If the ball passes the goal line and rebounds back onto the table, the goals stands.

It does not matter which player the ball touches last before it enters the goal. What does matter is that a player must touch the ball after a serve for a goal to be counted. A ball that goes into the goal directly from a serve will not count.

The total number of games is usually best 2 out of 3 or best 3 out of 5 games in official competitions.

3. Dead balls and out of play

A “dead ball” is called when the ball stops completely and is unreachable by any of the players.

If the ball becomes dead directly between two rods from opposing teams, the ball is picked up and reserved by the previous serving player.

On the occasion where a ball becomes dead between the goalkeeper and the rod of defending players, the ball must be picked up and put back into the closest possible position that it can be played from.

This defensive rule is in place to prevent defending players from forcing a re-serve by deliberately rolling the ball into a dead position.

Dead balls are the only time that players are allowed to reach into the table of play and touch the ball.

If the ball is struck off of the table, the ball is simply picked up a re-served by the previous server.

4. No spinning

This is a big one and probably the most well-known rule in foosball. Spinning refers to a player rotating the rod a full 360 degrees, usually in a fast and aggressive fashion.

This is strictly forbidden as it takes away some of the skill that is involved in the game.

The rule also says that players must be in complete control of their handle at all times. Spinning the rod means you no longer have proper control of it.

The punishment for a spinning foul is to surrender possession back to your opponent. Your opponent gets the ball on his 5-rod, which is the midfield rod.

5. No jarring

Jarring is the act of slamming your rod hard into the table in an effort to move the ball in your favor.

Absolutely no jarring is permitted at any time during play.

It is important to differentiate jarring from simply sliding the rods back and forth to position your players. It is only a jarring offense when the rod is pushed with enough force to actually move the ball or put the opposition off.

The punishment for a jarring foul is to give possession away to your opponent. They can choose to replace the ball to where it was before the table was jarred or they can pick the ball up and take possession at their 5-rod instead.

If you are called for jarring a second time, a harsher punishment awaits. Your opponent receives a penalty shot from his 3-man rod, the attacker’s rod.

6. 5-bar Passing rules

The rules for the 5-bar are slightly different when it comes to passing the ball.

The first rule is that you only have 10 seconds to pass the ball from the 5-bar to your 3-bar directly following a serve.

After a serve, you have 15 seconds to play a pass from your 5-bar.

Secondly, a ball that is stopped or pinned against a wall by a player on your 5-bar, cannot be played forward to your 3-bar until it has touched a total of 2 men on the 5-bar first.

In addition to this rule, the ball must not touch the wall more than twice before it touches another player on the 5-bar.

The penalty for breaking these rules is a loss of possession. Your opponent takes control of the ball at his own 5-bar.

Conclusion

As you can now see, foosball is a game of quite complicated rules. The fact that it is such a widely-played game makes for a great deal of rule variation.

The rules that have been set out above are the most important official foosball rules. They will come in handy regardless of the tournament venue or organizing body.

It is always recommended that all players study the official rules before match day.

This way, any kind of conflict will be averted. All that there is to expect is a fair and fun game.

Top Rated-Carrom Signature

5 Best Foosball Tables 2017

Top Rated-Carrom SignatureWith over 4 billion followers, soccer easily claims the honor of being the world’s most popular sport. Did you know that in the U.S. alone, more than 24 million people play soccer at some level?

While you can’t always play in a huge field with screaming fans, you can still get the same rush of excitement and competitive spirit in the comfort of your home. A foosball table is all you need!

In this post, you will find everything you could need to know about foosball tables. You will learn what types are available and what factors to consider in buying one. We even go the extra mile and give you inside information on the best products on the market today. As a bonus, we also give you some tips on how to care for your brand new entertainment piece.

Now let’s get started!

Foosball Tables Comparison Table

ImageNameSize and TypeGoalie ConfigurationPriceMore Info
Carrom SignatureCarrom Signature4.5 feet, stand alone1- or 3-man goalie$$$$$
Hathaway PlayoffHathaway Playoff4 feet, stand alone3-man goalie$
Playcraft SportPlaycraft Sport4 feet, stand alone3-man goalie$
Sport Squad FX40Sport Squad FX403 feet, tabletop3-man goalie$
Triumph SweeperTriumph Sweeper4 feet, stand alone3-man goalie$

Features to Look For

Whether you are a first-time buyer or looking to upgrade your current table, it is important to know what factors to consider before making a decision.

Construction

Wood laminate is the most common material used in constructing foosball tables. As long as it is one inch thick, it is sturdy and stable enough. While really affordable, tables made from particle board lacks stability and durability. If you want a classic look, go for a solid wood table. However, those are heavy and expensive. Metal tables are considered the strongest and the easiest to clean and maintain.

When it comes to steel rods, you can choose among three types: hollow, solid steel, or telescoping tubular rods. Hollow steel rods are the lightest and are best for very experienced players who like to play with more speed. Mid-level ones use solid steel while high-end ones have telescoping tubular steel rods that do not stick out on one side of it.

Surface

If you want faster action, stay away from wood surfaces because they contribute to slower play. Regardless of material, choose a thicker surface for a more level and sturdy table. Opt for laminated instead of stick-on designs because the latter tend to wear out more easily.

Adjustable Legs 

In foosball, a leveled table is necessary for fair play. Look for adjustable legs that allow you keep it flat on an uneven floor. A table with adjustable legs can also be used by different users more than one with a fixed 36″ height.

Goalie Formation

You can choose between the 3 man goalie configurations, which is more popular in the United States, or the single goalie, which is the preference in Europe and in other parts of the world. How do you know which one is for you? A single goalie is ideal for advanced players because it requires more precision and skill. For versatility, you can also look for tables that can be converted from a single to a 3 man goalie and vice versa.

Counterweighted Men

Your little men in foosball can be made of either plastic or metal, the latter having more power in every shot. There are tables that have counterweighted men that remain horizontal and out of the way when you are shooting.

Top 5 Foosball Tables

Foosball is a game that effectively bridges age gaps. It is a nice family entertainment and bonding activity. It can gather teenage classmates as well as grown-up buddies for some competitive play. Because of this high demand, it is not surprising that a lot of game table manufacturers come up with their own models.

Looking for your own table? Allow us to help by sharing with you the result of our thorough research. We checked all products available on the market and assessed each one of them based on our strict standards.

Feel free to take your pick because the following are the top products currently on the market:

1. Carrom Signature

The top spot is coveted by the elegant-looking Carrom Signature Table. With fine components and excellent construction, it is the top choice not only of many users but our panel of experts as well.Top Rated-Carrom Signature

Stability is of prime importance in games such as foosball. The Carrom Signature will not disappoint you. Its 1″ thick board provides enough strength to withstand even the most grueling match. It also has triple chrome plated leg levelers that allow it to adapt to uneven flooring.

The playing surface is both sturdy and appealing. It is 3/8″ thick and has enamel screen-printed graphics that also serve as protection from wear and tear. Although there are a few dead spots, they do not have a major effect on game play.

The rods are also something to rave about. There are premium bearings that enable these hollow steel rods to spin quickly and smoothly. You can focus on your shots as you comfortably hold the 8 sided hardwood handles. Even better, the counterbalanced men remain out of the way.

It’s one of the few tables with an option to switch between one- or three- player goalie settings. This versatility allows both experienced and amateur players to alternately enjoy it without any issues.

You will also be pleased with the convenience features such as a wood-beaded scoring scheme and a ball return system. It even has four cup holders for a handy refreshment in the heat of the game.

Available in Agean Fresco, Moroccan, and Burr Oak colors, the Carrom Signature is one amazing foosball table!

2. Hathaway Playoff

Our second placer is an affordable table that is perfect for younger players, the Hathaway Playoff Soccer Table.Hathaway Playoff

The Hathaway Playoff is very easy to set up. Once completely assembled, it measures 4-feet long and weighs 49 lbs. It is made of 1/4-inch CARB certified MDF. The playing surface has a nice shade of green that realistically resembles soccer field grass.

It has 0.5″ chrome plated tubular steel rods with easy grip rubber handles. The players are made from ABS, a strong type of plastic. The men are arranged in a 3 goalie set up which is ideal for junior level of play.

For your convenience, the balls that go directly into the goal boxes automatically return to a receptacle at the end of the table. Although the opening is a bit smaller for adult hands to reach, the built in ball return mechanism is still better than having to retrieve the balls manually.

You can keep track of who’s winning with the manual scoring systems at both ends of the table.

It also comes with 2 balls and a 90 day limited warranty.

While it may not be constructed out of exceptional materials, the Hathaway Playoff can provide hours of foosball fun for kids and casual-playing adults.

3. Playcraft Sport

Another table that your kids will love occupies the third spot of our top 5 list: the Playcraft Sport.

Playcraft SportAlthough it isn’t made out of premium materials, you can still expect the young ones and even casual playing adults to enjoy this 4 foot table. Weighing 63 lbs. it is made of 5/8″ MDF and has ABS plastic corners holding the walls together. It also has chrome plated leg levelers for height adjustment and table alignment.

Anybody who has played foosball knows that the key to an exciting game is fast and smooth rod action. The Playcraft Sport delivers that through its chromium hollow steel rods with slide bearings.

Your kids will appreciate the table’s handy built-in features. There are ball serve cups on both sides. The score is easily tabulated using the manual slide scorers and each goal is automatically deposited by its internal ball retrieval system.

It comes in red or black, but both versions have realistic soccer fields and crowd graphics. Two foosballs complete the package. However, be aware that assembly can be a bit challenging because of the numerous parts and disappointing instructions.

If you have young foosball aficionados and space and budget are limited, the Playcraft Sport is perfect for you.

4. Sport Squad FX40

The fourth place belongs to a tabletop table, the Sport Squad FX40. If you don’t have enough space for a full size one, or if you are new to foosball and would like to get the hang of it before getting the real deal, then this product is the one for you.

Sport Squad FX40Its compact design gives maximum portability, allowing you to play on any firm surface and store it conveniently when not in use.

Underestimating this 3-foot table is one big mistake. It can function just like any other full size foosball table, and give you a great time with family and friends.

It is made of MDF and steel while the rods are telescopic chrome plated steel. Although there are no bearings, they still allow you to make swift shots. It’s also nice that they have rubber handles for a firm grip.

Its L-shaped legs provide stability. Don’t worry about your floors, counter-tops, or other furniture because the legs have rubber pads that won’t mark or scratch the surface.

The table has a 3-man goalie configuration of durable plastic players. They are strategically molded for improved passing and shooting accuracy. Make that goal and update the tally with the sliding scoring system. The ball goes in the net and you can retrieve it easily without having to stick your hands in tight holes like the ones in most tables – another simple but valuable feature!

Overall, the Sport Squad FX40 is a good tabletop table that provides a great value for money.

5. Triumph Sweeper

Completing our list is a decent 48″ table, the Triumph Sweeper. It is everything that it presents itself to be – no flamboyant claims but only basic, reliable features that ensure long hours of foosball fun.

Triumph SweeperThe Triumph Sweeper has chrome plated hollow steel rods with a 15.88mm diameter. The rods have ergonomic grips so you can comfortably control the ball as you shoot and defend. Once the table is completely assembled, you can immediately get into action because it also comes with 4 balls.

The table’s size fits 13 molded players on each side. They are color coded in black and white so you can easily identify your men. The configuration places 3 men on the goal and 10 on the field.

It has 5.75″ legs made of MDF with black laminate. There are leg levelers that you can adjust to keep it balanced. Despite weighing only 47lbs., it is sturdy enough to withstand dynamic play.

When a team makes a goal, you can easily keep track of the game status using the score sliders that are conveniently placed on each end right behind the goal.

If you are working on a budget but you want a full sized stand alone table, the Triumph Sweeper definitely fits the bill.

Runners Up

While it was fun trying out all the foosball tables available on the market today, it was rather difficult to trim the list to just 5. A lot of them are really good!

Read on and get to know two runner up finishers in this best of the best list.

1. Hathaway Primo

If you are willing to spend a bit more, allow the Hathaway Primo to amaze you. While it is actually at the mid-range price point, it can pass for a commercial product!Hathaway Primo

When it comes to durability and stability, the Hathaway Primo stands out. It boasts of a solid 1″ CARB certified MDF. It has a unique box leg design that features cross support beams so the table stays firm no matter how rough the game may get. The leg levelers ensure a perfectly balanced surface.

The rods are also strong enough to withstand heavy use. Made of 5/8 inch chrome plated solid steel, they also have E-Z spin bearings that allow smooth and fast-paced action.

The Hathaway Primo is perfect for experienced players who are up to a good chalIenge with the table’s single goalie configuration. The ABS players are counterbalanced, although a few have noted that there are times that they don’t stay horizontal.

Need refreshments in the middle of an intense match? No problem because it even has receptacles on each end to hold your drinks.

Overall, the Hathaway Primo is a strong and functional table that will make a great addition to your game room.

2. Atomic Pro Force

To round up our Foosball table lineup, we introduce the Atomic Pro Force.

It sticks to a simple overall look with the MDF’s bamboo laminate and black legs. It can match a recreation room as well as a more professional environment like an office.Atomic Pro

Although it is a bit challenging to set up, this 108-pound table is pretty solid. It has an adequate 1 inch wall thickness. The heavy duty legs are adjustable so you can make it perfectly level so it won’t affect your gameplay.

Your main weapons are hollow chrome steel rods. While there are no bearings, the rods are light so they still allow fast game play. They also have rubber octagonal handles for maximum comfort.

On the rods, you will find robot style men that are in ivory and black finish. Some people note that this color combination does not go well with the table’s black surface. It’s good, however, that this is purely aesthetic concern that doesn’t affect functionality.

It also has a manual scoring system as well as a built-in ball return mechanism for convenience.

The Atomic Pro Force is a a good table that will serve young ones and beginners well.

Types of Foosball Tables

Before you can get down to any detail, you need to resolve a fundamental issue first: what type of foosball table are you looking for?

Here’s a rundown of the major categories so you can match them with your preference:

Stand Alone

This single structure is bigger than the other types because it provides more authentic play. Stand alone ones may be more expensive but you still get the better end of the deal because they are more durable so you will be able to enjoy them longer.

Tabletop

If you prefer a portable table, a tabletop version is best for you. Position it on any hard and sturdy surface and you are ready to start a foosball match. Young children will benefit from this type of table because height is not a concern at all.

Multi-Game

Thanks to modern day technology and man’s innate creativity, a lot of versatile tables are now available on the market. With a single table occupying the same footprint, you can enjoy not only foosball but also other games such as checkers, air hockey and ping pong, to name a few. This is great for kids who tend to get bored easily. Both stand alone and tabletop versions are available. However, don’t expect first-rate materials and construction as these types are usually more about quantity than quality.

Coin-Operated

This type is designed for revenue-generation. Arcades and sports bars are just some of the places where you can find coin-operated tables. Because they are expected to endure long hours of play, they are often well-built and can be quite expensive.

The Top Brands

Considering the countless products on the market, here’s one simple trick as you begin your search for the right table: check out the prominent brands first.

With their years of experience in manufacturing quality products, two names that enjoy this stature are Carrom Company and Hathaway Games and Sports. No wonder that their products emerged at the top of our list!

Carrom Company

Looking for a company’s years of experience? Carrom’s impressive history spans more than a hundred years! For numerous generations, it has already been providing quality, American-made recreational products.

In 2014, it came up with a very timely battlecry: “Unplug your Kids: Connect the Family”. Carrom CompanyIn this digital age, it aims to detach us from our gadgets and spend more time with our loved ones. It urges us to have converse more and simply have fun together. And what better way to do that than by challenging each other to a game of chess, dominoes, wooden checkers or air hockey? Carrom has supplies for all those and more!

Their tables commonly have stylish designs. They also feature precision bearing rods, wooden scoring beads, and one- or three-goalie configurations. Given the premium materials and excellent construction, you will not hesitate to get these mid-range to high end tables for yourself.

Hathaway Games and Sports

Another leading player in the industry is called Hathaway Games and Sports.

Known for integrating traditional manufacturing techniques with continuous innovation, Hathaway has been delivering quality billiards, air hockey, darts, poker products, and accessories for over a decade. Talk about a wide array of home entertainment options!

Hathaway Games & SportsFor foosball tables alone, you can choose among their stand alone, tabletop, or folding varieties. They are also known for having chrome-plated steel rods, a three-goalie set-up, and durable ABS molded men.

As if variety and quality aren’t enough, Hathaway also makes these amazing products affordable for most of us!

Other Things to Consider

Let’s say you have hurdled the critical stage of selecting from a wide array of choices and now you have the table of your dreams. What does it take to keep your table in its best possible condition? Keep the following tips in mind:

Keep It Clean

You may be too engrossed in enjoying your foosball table that you do not notice the accumulation of dirt, debris, and even spilled drinks. We recommend cleaning it regularly. Once a week is enough if you use it heavily while once every two months is recommended for low to moderate usage.

It is best to blow away dust and other particles in hard-to-reach places using a can of compressed air.

The next step is to wipe every part with a dry cleaning cloth. After this initial cleaning, apply a bit of 70%-80% rubbing alcohol to a new cleaning cloth and wipe down every surface to clean and sanitize the table.

An immaculate table is nothing if the rods are not working smoothly. Apply some foosball silicone for consistently well-functioning rods. However, be mindful not to use WD-40 silicone as this will make the rods too slippery and cause them to eventually deteriorate.

Maintenance is Essential

Aside from regular cleaning, there are also things that you should do to ensure that your table remains in tiptop condition for as long as possible.

  1. Keep it indoors. Exposing it to direct sun exposure or other extreme weather conditions will definitely shorten its life span.
  2. Regularly check the rods and the men to see if they need any fixing or realignment.
  3. If you have to move it, ask for help and lift it instead of dragging it. We recommend putting anti-slip grips on the feet to keep the table established on the floor, especially when the game gets intense and rough.
  4.  We suggest that you dedicate side tables for the players’ and spectators’ drinks. This will minimize the chances of spilling liquid on the its surface and causing hard-to-reverse damage.

These may be a lot to remember but the extra effort will go a long way. Whether it is a high end table or one for kids and beginners, you definitely don’t want your dollars to go down the drain!

Conclusion

As the Carrom Company advocates, it’s high time to invest on nurturing personal relationships with the people dear to us. In the end, you’re not only investing in a piece of equipment but also in more meaningful and lasting things in life.

Getting a foosball table allows you to have a center of entertainment where you, together with family and friends, can cultivate that competitive spirit while enjoying quality time. With solid construction and convenient features such as leg levelers, a ball return mechanism, and even drink holders, manufacturers have made it more interesting to have your own table at home. And the price range is broad enough to accommodate different family budgets!

There are a lot of types and models to choose from but take note of renowned brands such as Carrom and Hathaway. Their products will not disappoint as they live up to promises of quality and efficiency.

Unleash your inner Messi or Ronaldo and have a blast with the Carrom Signature Foosball Table!