All You Need to Know About Foosball: What Is It, Main Parts, and Basic Rules

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Foosball – you’ve heard about it, and now you are interested in learning everything there is to it. It’s no surprise why you would be fascinated with something like this. Some people have a foosball by their swimming pools, in their game rooms, apartment complex, or in the living room. 

It’s something that has been gaining a lot of attention over the years and is probably going to get even more popular. Even if you’ve seen a foosball table before, that doesn’t mean you know everything about it. Here, we will talk about all the little details that make up foosball. You will learn

  • What is foosball
  • The main parts of foosball
  • The five basic rules 

Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about foosball. 

What Is Foosball?

Foosball is a mini soccer game that people play on a rectangular shaped table-top. It’s a miniature replica of an actual soccer field, except that all the players are static and attached to the foosball rods in rows. The players in foosball are called figurines, and the only way to move them is by moving the rods in circular motions. 

all you need to know about foosball what is it main parts and basic rules

The aim of the game is the same as playing regular soccer – to score a goal. Every foosball table comes with a very small ball, similar to ping-pong. Once you score a goal, you start to track your progress by recording it with the scoreline.

The Main Foosball Parts You Should Know About

Before you get familiar with the rules of the game, you need to know what it’s made of. There are countless foosball models and table designs available for purchase, some are bulkier than most, while others are more compact and convenient to store in small places. 

But, in general, every foosball table has the same major parts. It will feature:

  • Foosball rods
  • Figurines
  • Goals
  • Score Lines
  • Balls

As a beginner in foosball, it’s very important to recognize all the different parts you will come across. The quality of each part will greatly affect your gameplay, so knowing what to pick will have a huge impact on the quality of your foosball table. Here is what every main part has to offer and how you can choose the right one. 

Foosball Rods

Without a proper and working foosball rod, you can’t play foosball. These rods have a major impact on the game. Big tables have up to 8 foosball rods. They can affect the speed and reaction times for the player depending on how heavy or light they are.

For example, if you pick a heavier rod, it can make the game sluggish and slow. You won’t be as able to practice better shots since the rods will put a lot of pressure on your hands. But, if you choose hollow and light rods, you get the ultimate shot performance and ball control.

Foosball Figurines

If you want to pick the best figurines for professional play, you should look for those cross-hatching design and pointed bottom. With a figurine such as this one, it will be much easier to pin the ball and prepare to kick it with advanced shots. 

Other more traditional designs include a slick and round design, which can make shooting slower. But, they are a lot easier to find and usually more affordable. If you want to perfect your skills in foosball in the future, then you need better ball control. This is something you can achieve with a sharper-edged figurine.

Score Lines

Score lines or scoring units are an accessory attached above every goal. By moving a single digit with every goal scored, it’s easy to track your progress.

Foosball Balls

These balls can be made from plenty of different materials. But, if you are looking for something more durable, you should go for smooth cork soccer balls and not plastic. Cork balls have a textured surface, which is made to handle a lot of pressure.

Foosball Goals

These goals have the exact same design as a regular goal, but smaller. They are usually around 7 inches but can be bigger or smaller depending on the table size. 

The 6 Basic Rules of Foosball

At first glance, foosball looks like a typical game. However, for every enthusiast, this game has become a sport; and like any other sport, there are rules to follow. These rules have evolved, and for professional players, they are a lot stricter than casual play. 

As a first time player, you need to know your objective. If you are playing 1vs1 (one player and one opponent) foosball match, and your table has 8 rods, then you will be in charge of 4 of these rods and control the 13 figurines at your disposal. The idea is to move the figurines up and down or circle them with the rods to hit the ball and score a goal. 

Of course, it does sound easy, but before you get to it, you need to get familiar with the rules. Here are the basic rules every player should know about. 

  • Coin Flip

A simple coin flip can help decide who gets the ball first. After the first goal, the team that scored will get the ball next. 

  • Spinning Is Not Allowed

Spinning means that the rod has rotated for 360 degrees, but hasn’t touched the ball.

  • Jarring Is Not Allowed

You mustn’t slam the rod against the wall of the table; this is called jarring. Players use this tactic to distract their opponent and take the ball. 

  • A Dead Ball

When the ball stops between the two teams without getting near either of the teams’ figurines, this ball is called a dead ball. It means no one can kick the ball, so it has to be reserved by the team that scored last.

  • No Longer in Play

If the ball jumps outside the foosball table and jumps back into the table, this ball is no longer in play. So, the team that scored last now has to reserve it.

  • Who Scores More Wins

To win a basic foosball match, you need to score five goals. But, to triumph, you can play matches and decide the winner with a best out of 3 or best out of 5. Those who win more matches win the game.


Foosball is a fun table game to enjoy with a group of friends. It’s a simple yet very interesting game you can play on a day-to-day basis. But, if you want to learn how to play it, you first have to get introduced to the basic parts, what do they mean, and what they are meant for.