Foosball seems like an easy game with a simple objective: Try to score as many goals as possible against your opponent without letting him/her score. But there is more to this game than meets the eye. There are a few tips and tricks you need to keep in mind to become a master in foosball.
How to Play
Before you start playing foosball, let us look at some of the rules of this game.
Each team has 13 players fixed to four different rods. You need to push, pull, and turn the rods to pass the ball and deposit it into your opponent’s goal. The first player to reach five (5) goals, wins the game.
To begin, start the game with a coin toss. The one who wins the toss gets to serve. You should toss the coin only before the start of a new game. If anyone scores, the last team scored upon gets to serve.
What if the ball goes out of play? Or maybe gets stuck in such a way that neither team can reach it? In that case, the team that scored last starts again. You should move the ball to your nearest player to restart the game. Also, remember, you cannot hog the ball while thinking of a strategy. The ball can remain stationary for only 15 seconds. Make sure you think on your toes as you pass and play.
Improve Your Technique
Foosball is not just about turning the handles and scoring goals. There are numerous strategies involved. Moreover, you should learn the techniques of how to use the handles so that you can defeat your opponent.
1. Gripping the handle
Properly gripping the handle improves your speed and accuracy of passing the ball. It provides you with a range of movement so that you can maneuver the ball against your opponent and score goals. But make sure you grip the handle loosely. A firm grip may not be ideal in foosball. Many players make the mistake of tightly squeezing the handle. Gripping the handle too tightly would slow you down when you need to move to a different handle.
Focusing on the movement of the ball should help in changing your grips on different handles. The moment the ball reaches near your goalie, shift to your team’s last rod nearest the goal. From there, push the ball into the other player’s side of the fill to give your front three players a chance to score. You should also be quick to change your grip from the last handle to the first one to put the ball into your opponent’s goal.
2. Popular grips
The traditional grip can perform several shots, such as the push, tic-tac, spray, and pull shots. To best perform these shots when using the traditional grip, you should keep a minimal gap between your index finger or thumb and the handle. Wrapping your fingers around the handle is a telltale sign of an amateur player.
A firm grip is essential in games such as tennis or golf, where you need to hold the handle of a racquet or bat and drive the ball with a considerable force. When it comes to foosball, it is wise to have a light grip so that you can move to the next handle swiftly.
An open-handed grip is another popular grip that you should try. It is helpful to attempt a snake shot or rollover shot. You should start the game with a traditional grip. While shifting to an open-handed grip, your wrist and bottom of the hand should touch the handle. It is crucial to move the handle with just one flick of your wrists to enable the foosball men on the respective handle to tilt forward. Their toe would pin the ball as soon as it reaches within their grasp.
As soon as you flick your wrist, the handle makes almost a full rotation before a team member hits the ball. But isn’t that illegal in foosball? No, it is not. The foosball man is not making the 360-degree rotation before contacting the ball. It is doing it after hitting the ball. That means you will apply full force to hit the ball and score a goal. And when you do that, the handle may turn 360 degrees after hitting the ball.
Tips to Improve Your Grip
All strategies aside, it is the grip that can decide whether you win or lose in foosball. And the best way to improve your grip is to use rubber grips on the handles. Also, do not try to hit the ball hard all the time. You cannot attack throughout the game. Your opponent will work equally hard to beat you. Make sure you pay attention to blocking the ball also.
Coming in line against the opponent’s offensive handle should block the shot of the forward players. Once you move the ball from your defense to the midfield line, you should consider changing your grip from traditional to open-handed. Hit the ball as hard as possible to score. Even if you do not, the ball would most likely remain in your opponent’s half. Use your midfield and attacking line to pass the ball and score.
Basics of the Serve
There is a unique serving technique that beginners should know to ensure they can beat any type of opponent in foosball. Suppose you win the toss and decide to serve. Cover the serving hole with your left hand and put the ball from the other end. Place your right thumb just above the ball lightly. Keep your thumb in an 11 0’ clock position. Now, remove your left hand and push the ball with your right thumb in such a way so that it spins and reaches your team’s midfield line. Practice this until you can serve correctly.
Now you know almost everything about foosball. Call your friends and start playing it as soon as possible. This game is so addictive that you may lose count of hours while playing. Good luck!