What comes to mind when game’ and sports’ are cited in one sentence? Soccer, Cricket, Rugby maybe, and the list continues. For most people, games and sports happen outdoors and involve vigorous exercise and sweating but what if the game is indoors and still offers the same thrill?
Foosball is one that makes this list; both as a game and even as a sport. A game because its shares a similar concept to soccer, and sport because over the years, it has established itself as one. Unlike the past where it was just a simple pass time game, Foosball has developed into a sport having professional players, major competitions, and tournaments and surprising of all, a Foosball Association!
Similar to Air Hockey which uses a table, Foosball works on a similar platform with the main goal being to keep out the opponent’s ball from your goal. A Foosball table is set deep and it is characterized by rows of player-like models maneuvered by a set of metal rods protruding from inside the table all dressed in soccer jerseys.
The players position themselves on either side of this table and use the protruding metal rod handles to maneuver the players as they will.
Game: Foosball gameplay is pretty simple; the winner has to score 5 goals. To spice up the game, you can play in a 3, 4 or 5 of the best with the winner having won most games per overall round.
· Singles: A player goes against one opponent.
· Doubles: A team of two players against a team of two opponents.
· Goalie War: A player vs. a player but the target is to score without using mid-positioned players (goalkeeper vs. goalkeeper).
The standard Foosball table dimension is 56” x 30” and with the sticks protruding, the players require an approximate play space of between 7 and 8 feet. Foosball tables range in price depending on the size, design, and manufacture but normally ranges between 250 or less forr the mini foosball table and $1,000.
All Foosball games operate under one cardinal rule, NO SPINNING! It is practically illegal! So what is spinning and why is it illegal?
In simple terms, spinning is basically the action of whirling a soccer figure as attached to the rod for more than a 360-degree angle notwithstanding whether it is prior to or after you have struck the ball. Although the guideline and rule provisions do not cite why the illegitimacy, some of the valid presumed reasons include; the fact that it deprives the game of the element of skillfulness’ and also because with spinning, especially when uncontrolled results into a charade.
This concern, however, is common with beginners who in numerous cases are overcome with the haze of scoring, but as you grow in the game it becomes vital to maintain professionalism and avoid the Foosball curse.
Commencing the Game: Foosball begins with a coin toss which dictates who begins the ball. The server’ puts the game into play from the service hole of the table located at the center of the side wall of the table. After breaking the deadlock with a goal, the side scored against starts the subsequent game restart.
Scoring A point is awarded to the side that has directed the ball into their opponent’s goal. For a player to be declared the winner, they must be the first to score five goals. Similar to soccer, an own goal is also awarded to the opponent.
This is an occurrence during the game where the ball positions itself in a way that no player on either side is able to reach it. In such a case, one of the players can remove the ball and restart but using mutually agreed service process. Nonetheless, it should be noted that this is the only instance where a player is allowed to reach into the field play.
HOW TO PLAY FOOSBALL
Commonly cited as a relaxing and fun way to pass time and enjoy your free time, the easy to master the concept of this game creates the perception that it is just a simple amateur game. For most aspiring players particularly beginners, nothing seems easier than moving rods categorically and putting the ball behind your opponents net five times to run away with a win. Nonetheless, what most people don’t know is that there are a lot of provisions that dictate a smooth, professional Foosball game.
To begin with, the game commences with a serve as earlier mentioned. A coin is tossed to pick out the player that begins the game. For most Foosball tables, they come with a duct positioned at either side of the game table and all you are mandated to do is drop the ball into it and will slide through to the playing field where the game can begin. For the old-fashioned tables that miss the duct, the ball is hand-picked and dropped into the playing field and the game immediately commences after the serve and the first-rod turn.
In the circumstance that the ball goes out of play and drops outside, the player who served the ball initially takes up the role of returning it to the table.
A dead ball’ occurs when the ball fixes itself in a position that is unreachable by any of the players as fixed on the rods. When the dead ball’ is perceived to be positioned in-between a goal and 2-player rods, it is fixed in a position closest to where it was considered’ dead’. However, if it dies’ between the set of players, the game commences with a serve from the initial server prior to the dying’. Intentional instigation of a dead ball’ is prohibited and if the game is under the control of a referee, the culprit surrenders the ball to the opposition for a re-serve.
Similar to the world’s most popular game, soccer, a goal in Foosball is awarded when the ball goes into the opponents back of the net. Each goal is worth a total of one point. In the case where the ball goes in but bounces back into play, the goal is still awarded. Moreover, own goals are credited to the opposing side as is with soccer.
Each player is accorded with a maximum of 3 TIMEOUTS.
Finally, as earlier mentioned, one taboo in the wonderful game of Foosball is ’rod spinning’. This normally occurs where players excitingly spin the rods with a hope to produce a strong hit. Although there is no clear reason why it is prohibited, repercussions such as destroying the table, potentially injuring a player and depriving the game of its professionalism are among the reasons why it is strongly prohibited.
Some tips for beginners
After getting accustomed to the basic rules of the game, strategies comes in handy in ensuring you have a wonderful time in the sport.
Similar to other games like Table tennis, you can use angles to your advantage when hitting to give you a better chance of scoring consistently. Moreover, as opposed to directly positioning players in front of goal, using angles will accord you the much-needed ball control.
Work tirelessly on your Wrist flick. How? While your hand is still glued to the handle, throw your wrist downwards towards the direction of the floor strongly.
Defensive tips: After stopping an opponent’s shot, strive to take a carefully controlled shot. Moreover, ensure you shun from bouncing the ball across the Foosball table. Why? It may easily deflect to your opponent’s possession or worse, to your own goal.
Last and most important tip, invest in a good Foosball table.
Many perceive Foosball as a typical indoor game; a good way to spend time when the weather is bad or just on a Sunday afternoon. Nonetheless, this game is an amazing and addictive way to not only pass time but have good fun. It is not just a game but one that requires a skill set of quick control and reflexes. Notwithstanding your level of skill, Foosball is certainly one way to have an amazing fun time.