Rules of the Game

The rules of the sport of table football are published by the International Table Soccer Federation. The BFA’s official simplified rules – outlined below and in an easy-to-print PDF here – are suitable for all recreational play.

Coin Toss

If you win the coin toss you can choose to take the first kick-off or to pick the table side. You can change sides between games.


Start at the central 5-rod figure. To kick-off or restart, ask “Ready?”, and when your opponent responds “Ready!” you can move the ball. You must touch another figure before advancing the ball.


You can score from any figure on any rod. A ball that goes in and out counts. If you concede a goal you take the next kick-off. 

Dead Ball

If the ball goes dead between the 5-rods, the team that conceded the last goal takes the next kick-off. If the ball goes dead behind a 5-rod, restart from the nearest 2-rod.

Ball Off Table

If the ball flies off the table through the power of your shot, your opponent restarts on their 2-rod.

No Spinning

You can rotate the rod once to hit the ball, but more than one rotation is not allowed.

Fair Play

Don’t put your hand into the playfield while the ball is in play, don’t slam any rod, and don’t lift the table. Play should be continuous until a goal is scored. 


If you break a rule, give the ball to your opponent for a kick-off.

Official ITSF tournament rules are more complex, and can be found here:

Now you know the rules…

Why not play in a BFA event?

Click below to become a BFA member!

Click the pic to check out the best players in the UK!

Got some questions about the rules? Like us on Facebook and ask!