Table soccer is also known as the game of foosball. Players compete on a rectangular table to try to push a small ball into an opening on their opponent's side of the table, referred to as a goal. There are multiple player pieces on each pole. Those player pieces are used to strike the ball by rotating the poles. Each player or team controls four poles, each of which has one, two, three or four player pieces. Table soccer can be played by individuals against each other or by two teams consisting of two players each.
1. In an official table soccer table game there is a hole in which the soccer ball is inserted to start the play. If the table you are using does not have this hole, dropping or rolling the ball into the center of the table is permitted. To start the game, the serving player is determined by a flip of a coin. After a goal is served, the serving team is the team that had the last goal scored against them. A serve is declared illegal if either player has his hand in the play area of the table when the ball is served. Placing a rotation on the ball is permitted, but a goal will not count unless at least one player strikes the ball with his soccer player on the table; in other words, if it rolls into a goal without being struck after the serve, it does not count.
2. Sometimes during table soccer a ball will end up where no player can reach it. Where it is at the time determines where it is placed back into play on the table. If the ball is unreachable in an area between the goal and the first row of player pieces, the ball is placed into the nearest corner and played by the goalie. If the ball is stuck anywhere in the remainder of the playfield, it is started by a new serve.
3. A player may not "spin" his rod of players at any time during the game. This means he cannot rotate the player in a full 360-degree motion to attack the ball or defend against a moving ball. A player also is not permitted to jar the table with his body to influence the path of the soccer ball. Finally, a player may not use his hand at any time within the playing area to touch the soccer ball or obstruct the movement or view of any of the player pieces. Each of these infractions results in the opposing player being given a penalty shot. This is done by placing the ball on the opposing team's side of the playing area and striking the ball; the opponent may control only his goalie to defend against the shot.