Official Foosball Related Words and Lingo

Here is a list of the most common foosball words and terms as stated by the ITSF. I have altered some of the descriptions to hopefully give you a better understanding of the lingo in foosball.

Active play: Periods of live play when the ball is under active possession or in transition.

Active possession: A period of active play, whose duration is timed by the possession clock, during which the ball is reachable.

Adjusted ball: A transfer followed by a contact on either the front or the back of a figure, followed by a further contact with the same figure.

Ball off table: A ball that leaves the playing area and strikes an object either on the cabinet or outside the table, or rolls or comes to rest on the top of the cabinet.

Ball supply: The specific set of balls in use for the entire match.

Bump: When a player’s rod hits the wall with a small amount of force.

Cabinet: Any part of the frame of the table which is external to the playing area

Clash: When any part of a player’s body touches any part of one of the opposing team’s rods.

Contact: When a figure and the ball touch each other.

Contact spin: When the rod of active possession rotates more than 360° before or after contact.

Controlled possession: An active possession where the ball is controlled following a contact.

Controlled transition: A transition that directly follows a controlled possession.

Current location: Where the ball is currently located. Either: under active or paused possession by a specific rod or figure, dead, off table, or in a goal.

Dead ball: A stationary ball that is not reachable by any rod.

Defensive player: A player on the defensive team.

Defensive team: If one team has possession of the ball, the other team.

Deflection: The momentary contact in an uncontrolled transition.

Direct pass: A controlled transition directly followed by a controlled possession on a rod of the same team, with no intervening contact.

Distraction: Any player action performed during active play that is identified in these rules as illegal, or deemed illegal by a referee.

Double transfer: Two consecutive transfers, performed when putting the ball into play.

Event: A specific foosball discipline, e.g. Standard Singles or Standard Doubles.

Event format: Describes how an event is to be played, e.g. Group stage then Single Elimination.

Figure: A playing figure on any of the rods, used to control the ball during play.

Flex: Bending a rod by exerting lateral pressure on the handle.

Freed ball: A reachable ball that is no longer trapped.

Game: A fixture which ends when one team reaches the point target.

Game target: The target number of games required to win a match.

Goalie rod: Either the goalkeeper rod or the adjacent 2-rod.

Goalkeeper: The playing figure on the goalkeeper rod that covers the goalmouth.

Goalkeeper rod: The rod closest to the goal.

Has serve: Within a match, a team has serve if they conceded the previous goal, or if there is no score, if they gained serve from the initial flip.

Head official: A suitably qualified person officiating a tournament and enforcing tournament rules.

Held ball: A reachable ball that is stopped and not being played.

Indirect pass: A controlled transition directly followed by a controlled possession on a rod of the same team, with an intervening deflection.

Infraction interrupt: A brief interrupt to active play in order to declare and process an infraction.

Infraction location: The figure where the ball was located when the infraction occurred.

Initial flip: A process that determines which team has the option of first serve or choice of table side.

Interrupt: A period when play is temporarily suspended, not under time control.

Jar: Any shake, shock, slam, shift or clash by the defensive team that impairs the offensive team’s ability to retain or gain possession of the ball.

Match format: Values that specify the game target and point target for the match, e.g. 3/5 (meaning the match is first to 3 games, each game first to 5 points)

Match: A fixture which ends when one team reaches the game target.

Medical break: An approved pause to allow a player to recover from injury or illness.

Move: A contact that causes a stationary ball to move, or a moving ball to change speed or direction.

Moving ball: A ball which is changing position or spinning.

Offensive player: The player who has possession of the ball.

Offensive team: The team which has possession of the ball.

Opposing player: The player on the other side of the table directly opposite the offensive player.

Pass: A direct pass or an indirect pass.

Pause: A time controlled period when active play is temporarily suspended

Paused possession: During a pause or interrupt, the rod of paused possession is the rod from which the ball is reachable.

Pinned ball: A ball that is pressed to the playfield by the downward pressure of a figure on the top of the ball, and which has not been immediately played. A pinned ball can be stopped or moving.

Play: A move, a transfer or a transition.

Player: A person playing for one of two teams.

Playfield: The internal surface of the table on which the ball is played.

Playing area: Any part of the internal volume of the table from the playfield up to the height of the side of the cabinet.

Point target: The target number of points required to win a game.

Possession: Either active possession or paused possession. A player and team has possession if one of their rods has possession.

Possession clock: A timekeeping device that measures the duration of active possession on each rod.

Reachable: A ball is reachable from a rod if a figure on that rod can contact it without flexing the rod.

Referee: A suitably qualified person officiating in a match and enforcing matchplay rules.

Released: A rod that is not currently under player control.

Reset: Any shake, bump or shock by the defensive team that impairs the offensive player’s ability to control or play the ball.

Restart: Putting the ball into play after a pause or an interrupt.

Restricted ball: In the context of a pass, a ball which is trapped, stopped, pinned or adjusted.

Rocking ball: A ball which is slightly wobbling in place. A rocking ball is not a moving ball.

Rod: The goalkeeper rod, 2-rod, 5-rod or 3-rod.

Serve: A restart at the central 5-rod figure by the team which has serve.

Shake: When a player causes the table to shake.

Shift: When a player causes the table to move.

Shock: When a player’s rod hits a wall with medium force.

Slam: When a player’s rod hits a wall with great force.

Spectator: An observer who is not playing or officiating in the match.

Stationary ball: A ball which is not moving.

Stopped ball: A stationary ball which has not been immediately played.

Stub pass: A stationary or moving ball which is passed as a result of the downward force of a momentarily pinned ball.

Table maintenance: An interrupt during which a problem with the table is resolved.

Team: One or more players on the same side of the table.

Time control: The parts of a match which have a time constraint, i.e. active possessions and pauses.

Time-out: A pause during or between games when players may converse and leave the table.

Transfer: A move directly followed by a contact on another figure on the same rod.

Transition: A move that causes the ball to leave the rod of active possession.

Trapped: A reachable ball that is stopped at or near to the wall.

Tournament desk: The place where players go to contact tournament officials.

Uncontrolled possession: An active possession where contact either does not occur or is momentary and uncontrolled.

Uncontrolled transition: A transition that directly follows an uncontrolled possession.

Unprocessed infraction: An infraction that has just occurred but not yet been processed.

Unreachable: A ball that is not currently reachable by any rod.

Wall: An internal vertical surface that bounds one side of the playing area, or if present the side strip that runs along each side of the playing area.

Wall contact: A move that causes the ball to make contact with the wall.

Wall contact count: The number of effective 5-rod wall contacts made during one active possession.

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