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The Foosball Blog

Foosball is a table top soccer game and sport also known as table football, table soccer, kicker, futbolin, biliardino, and babyfoot.

This blog outlines foosball tips & tricks and any website news worth noting. For a much more complete view see The Foosball Guide.

Foosball Table

Angle that Shot

An angle shot is a kick of the ball by a 3-rod foosman where the ball travels at an angle to the side walls. In order to achieve this effect, the technique is to strike the ball on its side rather than the center. The further away from the center the larger the angle. The shot is often effective against beginners who lack the experience of blocking diagonally travelling balls.

Angle shot illustration

To defend against an angle shot, close the diagonal gap between the goalie and the 2-rod defender by rotating the foot of the goalie forwards and rotating the foot of the 2-rod defender backwards. You need to visually estimate when to do this, because angle shot can be executed at various angles.

19 August 2015

The Foosball Guide is Finally Released!

I have been working on The Foosball Guide for the last 18 months and today it is finally ready to be officially released at www.FoosGuide.com!

I have put a lot of hard work into creating The Foosball Guide. It represents thorough research of existing foosball resources together with my own experience of learning foosball. I have carefully crafted all explanations to be concise, easy to understand, and avoiding repetition. In The Foosball Guide I have put a heavy emphasis on clear 2 dimensional diagrams that I have drawn for all important concepts.

A lot of other resources have photos or 3 dimensional diagrams that are often confusing. In The Foosball Guide I stay away from formal tournament rules and psychology of play. I leave it to other existing resources.

Head over to www.FoosGuide.com and check it out!

19 July 2015

Open-palm Grip

An open-palm grip is the way to hold the rod handle on its side with a straight palm. This grip can initially be helpful to generate power behind the shot. The regular closed-palm grip uses only the flick of the wrist to turn the rod, which needs a few training sessions to make it powerful.

To shoot using the open-palm grip, open your palm with all fingers straight. Hold the rod handle on the right side with the handle being about half way in your palm. Make sure your thumb is not in the way by having it in line with the straight fingers. Rotate the handle approximately 90 degrees clockwise so that the foosman is close to the horizontal position with its feet pointing away from the opposition goal. Hit the ball by moving the palm up and grabbing the handle with the normal grip. After the shot the foosman should be rotated close to the horizontal position with the feet pointing towards the opposition goal.

Open-palm grip

The downside of using open-palm grip is poor ball control during passing. The ball needs to be passed around in the offence to set it up in a perfect place to execute a shot. Thus in most situations you would use the closed-palm grip to set up the ball and then change to the open-palm grip to shoot. The change of the grip causes delay between passing and shooting, which gives the defence time to prepare. It may also create a "tell", by which the opponent can see when the shot will be made.

The disadvantage means that open-palm grip should not be used beyond the very beginner levels of foosball. If you start using open-palm grip for your shots, you should consider switching to using the closed-palm grip in the near future. Avoiding open-palm grip altogether is a good idea, although it will mean the shots are slow and powerless at the beginning, but a few weeks of practice should improve the speed and power significantly without having to switch the grips.

1 June 2015

Square Pass and Catch

A square pass (sometimes called a straight pass) is the transfer of the ball between two rods. One foosman on the 5-rod kicks the ball to the receiving foosman on the 3-rod. The ball travels straight, that is, parallel to the side walls. A square pass is the basis of most other passes in foosball.

You need to know the technique of catching to be able to stop the ball after a pass or a loose ball on the field.

To execute the square pass, put the ball in front of your edge 5-rod man. Align the corresponding 3-rod man with the ball. Tilt the 3-rod anti-clockwise for the receiving foosman to be ready to catch the ball. Quickly rotate the 5-rod anti-clockwise enough for the edge man to kick the ball straight to the 3-rod man.

To catch with the 3-rod man, a ball travelling right from the 5-rod, rotate the 3-rod man anti-clockwise to an angle of 30 - 45 degrees. The catch movement should be soft to absorb some of the impact of the ball. Ideally you should be able to catch a quick pass without the ball rolling or bouncing away.

Square pass and catch

Once you have caught the ball, you have completed your first pass. Now you can put the ball back under the 5-rod and do it again and again until you become comfortable with it.

To practice the square pass, you can lift the 5-rod defenders out of the way of the ball. After perfecting the unobstructed passes, bring down the defenders and try to make your passes through the gaps. Although the defence is stationary, it is a tough exercise.

This basic ball work is extremely important, because it is a building block for all other passes. A straight pass like this on its own is not likely to be used in a game, because it is easily blocked. The following gives some variation on real life passes.

The square pass can be positionally subdivided into two types of passes, a wall pass and a lane pass.

19 May 2013

Setting your Table up for Practice

Very little table setup is needed to practise foosball on your own. The rods can be positioned the way you like and you can block off areas of the playing field.

Two ways of setting up the opposition rods are having the foosmen's feet rotated up or rotated down.

A foot up position is where the foot of the foosman is rotated enough to completely clear the ball. The intention is to stop these foosmen interfering with the ball. Non-counterweighted foosmen can be fixed in that position by using a rubber band, whereas counterweighted foosmen will remain in any position.

Foosman foot up position shown on side and top view. Top view also shows the block to contain the ball in a smaller area.

A foot down position can be used to mimic real game situations. It often helps to secure the rods with men down to prevent them from rotating if the ball hits one of the men. Suspending a heavy bag from the handle is one simple way to lock them in place.

Limiting the playing field can be very helpful to make practice more efficient by reducing the time to retrieve the ball and put it back where you want it. Blocking parts of the field with wooden blocks can accomplish this. For example, if you want the ball contained in the right half of the field you can block off the left side. You can also block off the goal to make sure the ball is always in play.

5 May 2015

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