Archive for the ‘Table Football’ Category

Foosballs: The Ultimate Guide

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Foosball BallsWhether your foosball table sits in the office, the bar or your own games room, one thing is always certain: you’re always going to end up searching around for something to use as a ball when one inevitably goes flying off the table into the corners and crannies of the space you’re in.

Over the years we’ve heard of foosball table owners using everything from ping-pong balls to dog treats as substitutes – but foosball isn’t designed for something so light (or crumbly), and if you want a good game, you’d better have the right ball for the job.

We did some research into what the “proper” foosball ball should be, according to the International Table Soccer Federation, but to our surprise we couldn’t find any mention of ball specifics in their 18-page rule book – and the British Foosball Association didn’t get us any closer either. We do carry a fair range of different balls in our store, including the ITSF’s competition balls, so it seems the best thing to do is simply give you a run-down of what’s available – we’ll let you decide which one is likely to suit your play style!


The first thing you need to do before buying a set of foosball balls is grab your table measurements. A standard-sized table, measuring either 4ft 6” or 5ft, needs a 34-35mm ball. A junior table, which only measures out to around 4ft (sometimes smaller) needs a smaller ball; aim for 31-32mm.


Most table football balls are made of solid plastic, with a rough-ish texture for extra grip and control on the table. This is what the ITSF uses in its competitions, and it’s what you’ll find on most commercial tables in bars, youth clubs and the like. It’s cheap, it’s sturdy, and it’s lightweight enough to keep the game moving quickly.

Growing in popularity are the alternative cork balls, which have a slightly rougher texture and tend to be a little heavier. These obviously provide even better control and excellent grip on the table, but most importantly, they also hugely reduce the noise – so if you’ve got a home games room and your family don’t appreciate the late night clattering around of a plastic ball, you can at least make a move towards keeping the noise down with cork!

Table Football Ball Types


If you want to add a cosmetic touch you’ll be glad to know that foosball balls are available is a variety of different colours – maybe you want to look out for shades that match your favourite team! Families tend to love the painted foosball balls designed to look like footballs, and of course it’s worth remembering that bright colours are easier to find when they get stuck down the back of furniture – so you may never need to hunt too hard again!

Foosball: The Rules

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Foosball tableWhen we mentioned to some office visitors this morning that we were working on an article about the rules of table football (or “foosball”), their reply was “…there are rules?”

Well of course there are! The beauty of foosball is that many of the rules are handed down by word-of-mouth, and you probably know most of them already – but now we’re putting them all down in one place. How many of these did you know already?


Many casual players simply chuck the ball into the middle of the playfield, but that’s not the way it’s done – instead, the winner of a coin toss first decides whether they want to kick-off or choose a team. Whoever gets the kick-off receives the ball in the centre of their midfield 5-bar. For the rest of the game, kick-offs go to whichever team conceded the last goal.

Before kick-off, the serving team must check that their opponent is ready, and – this is the interesting part – the ball must be passed between two players on the 5-bar before being pushed forward.

Remember that you can’t score a goal straight from kick-off – if you do it’s considered invalid and the ball is restarted.


The ball is restarted with a new kick off in the following instances:

  • If the ball is thrown off the table, the play is restarted by whoever kicked-off in that last turn.
  • If the ball can’t be reached by any player (known as a “dead ball”) then play is restarted as above. One exception is if the dead ball is behind the 2-bar, in which case the restart goes to that 2-bar. Don’t just blow on the ball until it’s back in play!
  • This is our favourite, but it’s a bit complicated: If a restarted ball goes dead at kick-off, the restart is forfeited to the other team. So don’t mess it up!

Time limits

A-ha! Bet you didn’t know there were time limits in table football, eh? Well there are, to stop people faffing about with the ball or lining up unreasonable trick shots. Time limits begin as soon as the player touches the ball, and penalty for exceeding it is a midfield restart to the other team.

The time limits are:

  • 5-bar: 10 seconds
  • 3-bar: 15 seconds
  • 2-bar: 15 seconds

The goalie is also included in the 2-bar, so try not to keep the ball down that end for too long.


During open play, goals can be scored by any player at any time – the only exception is the 5-bar straight after kick-off, before the ball has touched another player. One sneaky rule we didn’t know: If the ball bounces into goal and back out of it again, it still counts, and the ball is restarted at kick-off from the conceding team as usual.


Foosball is a sociable game, and as such there are certain rules about how players can behave during a match. Each team is allowed two time-outs of up to 30 seconds each, so if you need to talk strategy (or grab a pint) this is the best time to do it. Time-out can only be called by the team in possession of the ball, and only if the ball is stationary – or, alternatively, when the ball is out of play.

If you’re playing doubles, players are allowed to change sides, either during a time-out or between balls. Sometimes it helps to put a fresh spin on things (sorry).

Foosball Fouls

Most of these are fairly well-known already, but it’s always worth going over them again – especially if you’re playing with people who like to contest the pushing the table around is definitely a valid move (it isn’t) or that spinning the bar just once is totally acceptable (it is!).

  • Jarring the table: No shifting the table around at all, even in the case of a dead ball.
  • Distraction: No shouting, no smoking, no pointing over people’s shoulders and saying “what’s that?”. Play fair.
  • Spinning: If the rod rotates by more than 360 degrees before or after hitting the ball, it’s a foul. A single spin (known as a “snake shot”) is all that’s allowed.
  • Interference: Do not reach into the playing area unless agreed upon by both teams. If your team has the ball, it goes to an immediate restart with midfield kick-off to the opposing team – if your opponent had the ball when you reach in, they gain an immediate goal!

The opposition can choose the penalty from either: midfield restart; play from place of infraction; or play from current position.

Play like the pros

We took a quick look at the International Table Soccer Federation to see if they have any extra-strict rules, as we’ve got some ITSF-approved tables in store. As it turns out, their rulebook is a whopping 18 pages – so if you want to recreate the ITSF atmosphere, try adding a few of these guidelines into play:

  • Five goals is the winning condition, but you must win by 2, up to a maximum of 8 points.
  • If there is controversy over whether or not the ball entered the goal, an official should be called to settle the dispute. The official may make their ruling based on information given by the players and spectators. Borrow a friend or partner for this one.
  • At the end of each doubles game, players can switch places with each other. If both teams choose to do this, they must continue to do so at the end of each game from then on.
  • Any player who removes their hands from the rods while the ball is in play (to wipe hands, grab a drink, etc) will be penalised for distraction.
  • Dress code (no, really!): Acceptable clothing for players include warm-up jackets and trousers, athletic sportswear, athletic shorts and sports shoes. Caps, visors and sweatbands are also acceptable. Players may not wear jeans, slogan t-shirts, sandals or form-fitting Spandex.

Of course, on top of these there are also house rules, pub rules and folk rules, so don’t forget to clarify what’s allowed before you get started on a table – and if you’re thinking of buying your own, get these printed up alongside it so you always know when to call your opponents out for those extra kick-offs!

Have It Your Way : Customised Table Football Tables

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Customised Table Football TablesOne of the services we’re asked for the most here at Liberty Games is customisation. A lot of companies big or small, and indeed home customers as well, love to get their brand, logo or name on to a piece of games room equipment.

Whether that’s just your partners name, or favourite football team, to make that present extra special, or you want to really wow your clients and staff by having your equipment fully decked out in your brand livery, then Liberty Games are here to help!

Today in particular we’re talking about football table branding. Table football tables lend themselves especially well to this form of customisation for several reasons. Firstly football matches are already well associated with having advertisements alongside the pitch and associated with the game, so having your logo there doesn’t in any way ruin the look of the table – in fact it enhances it!

Secondly the football table is one of the quintessential pieces of games room equipment, by having a football table a company is making a statement about how they operate and treat their staff, but of course you get to keep everything in the company style!

I’m sure we don’t need to go on about the benefits! But what you might be surprised at is the cost, this service is less than you may thing, and although each branding case is different, we start from just one table (although up to as many as you like!) and costs start from just £50. If you’re interested in this service all you need to do it give one of our branding specialists a call on 0800 612 8180 and they’ll be able to talk through the various options available and the costs.

Just bear in mind that some foosball tables will lend themselves better to branding than others (ideally you want a table with as much space on the side as possible), two already popular tables we would recommend are:

And don’t forget you can find out more about our other corporate branding tables here:


Product Focus : Spare Table Football Balls

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Table Football Table BallsWe like to run a family-friendly blog here at Liberty Games so i’ll leave any double entendres to one side for now, and just get on with the blog post! Let’s face it table football balls are easily lost, what with being pinged around inside the table at high speeds, they do lend themselves to flying off, never to be seen again…

Still that’s where Liberty Games can help! Admittedly not the easiest thing to find on sale, we’ve actually got one (if not the) largest selection of table football table balls for sale on the internet. Some people we speak to think that a range of these isn’t necessary as they are all the same, which they aren’t. We have both standard balls (which come in varying sizes – more on that in a minute) as well as competition and high control balls (don’t forget that table football is enjoyed competitively the world over).

So if you are looking for replacement balls for a table, the first important consideration is the size of the ball you need. Although there isn’t much in it, and in many cases most balls will fit most tables it is important to check that the balls you are buying are suitable for the table you have.

Liberty Games sell balls ranging from 33-35mm, so for the balls you like the look of you need to check that they will fit in the goal (and any ball return mechanism), as well as not pass completely under the players feet (although this is unlikely).

You will also want to consider the material the balls are made of, most notably with regard to the noise the balls make during play, as well as the playing characteristics of the balls themselves. For example plastic balls will make more noise that cork balls which are more inclined to absorb the sound energy rather than reflect it.

As mentioned before there is also the matter of competition and professional balls, these are what the pros play with! If you are an aspiring amateur or professional foosball player then for a small charge you can learn to play with the very ball used in the world cup and other competition matches, which have their own unique play characteristics.

So there we have it, more to the world of foosball balls than any of us thought! Don’t forget you can check out our entire range right here, and each ball has a full description giving its dimensions and characteristics.

As always if you need any further advice please call one of our table football advisers free on 0800 612 8180.

Even more BCE & Riley videos added

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

BCE Riley table sports tablesWe blogged the other day about uploading some videos on the extremely popular BCE / Riley brand of games tables, and if you enjoyed that then we’ve got some great news for you! We’ve got even more videos where they came from!

BCE videosWe’re showing off some more tables from their great space-saving folding range – a real bonus for those of you with limited space but who still want to enjoy the best that pool tables, foosball and air hockey have to offer. We’ve also got some great video of their multi game tables.

Don’t forget that behind Strikeworth BCE are one of the most popular manufacturers of games tables out there, so if you get a chance we’d recommend checking these videos out.

You can find videos on many other Liberty Games products on our video page.

As always if you have any questions about these tables please contact one of our games table specialists on 0800 612 8180.

Products featured in this blog post:

New video of BCE folding range of pool, snooker and football tables

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

BCE Games TablesWe’ve got some great news for those of you who like to see things in action on video before they buy (ok so maybe most people like to see them in action 1st!), we’ve just uploaded a bunch of new videos for the ever popular BCE / Riley range of folding games tables.

BCE Videos

These tables are always extremely popular, especially around Christmas as if you have more limited room for a games tables in your home or business then these tables allow you to conveniently store the table away when its not in use.

We do get a few questions about how the exact mechanism works in terms of folding the table down, which is something hopefully these videos can help answer! You’ll be able to see each table both in play, and being dis-assembled ready for storage so you can see how quick and easy it is for yourself!

Tables we have new videos for are:

We sell hundreds of these extremely popular tables every year, and luckily due to their relatively small size we can get these our right up until Christmas. However stocks have been known to run out so its always a good idea to order early to avoid disappointment!

As always if you have any questions regarding our range of BCE games tables or anything else please give one of the team a call on 0800 612 8180 and we’ll be happy to help.