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Is Spinning Allowed In Foosball/Table Soccer?

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Have you ever played someone in foosball (also known as table soccer) and all they did was spin their players to hit the ball hard? Maybe they said it was legal and you said it is not. Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about spinning in foosball and if it is allowed or not. 

So is spinning allowed in foosball?

Although there are technically no rules when you play foosball at home, if you are playing in a tournament, it is against the rules to spin your players. It is considered an uncontrollable movement and will result in a foul.

If you want to know more about spinning in foosball and what you can and cannot do, you will want to keep reading. You can also check out this video to learn the official rules of foosball. 

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How is foosball played?

Foosball is one of the most popular table-based games in the world. We play it with the help of men like figures attached to rods. Players rotate these rods to hit the ball with a figure and manipulate it into the opponent’s goal. Any age group can play this game; from children to adults it is loved by everyone. 

Foosball can be played between single opponents, double opponents, or a team of up to 4 members. This game doesn’t require much skill but demands practice and good muscle brain connection. No one is clear about its invention, but Harold Searles Thornton patented it in 1923.

It is promoted by the ITSF (International Table Soccer Federation), a non-profit organization based in France. It endorses foosball tables to meet the needs of the tournament. We assume it as the highest organization that controls foosball in the world. All the specifications, rules and regulations are governed by this body itself.

As we play other games under certain rules and regulations, foosball also has its own rules and regulation to be followed while playing. People playing at home within their family, may not be aware of these rules, but with professional gaming, we cannot ignore these rules.

By reading the official guidelines by the ITSF (International Table Soccer Federation), we can see that spinning is not allowed. Below we will go over everything about spinning. 

What is spinning?

We define spinning as the rotation of any figure over 360 degrees before or over 360 degrees after hitting the ball. It means that when you rotate the rod more than a complete round before or after hitting, the ball is known as spinning. But if you rotate the rod without hitting the ball, then it is not considered a foul. Hitting the ball is a must. Spinning is illegal in foosball as it takes away the skill from the game. It is one of the fundamental rules in foosball and is used everywhere besides variations of the game.

Spinning is intolerable in official games. It is considered being a cheater, or at least a rule breaker. The player spinning the rod could be penalized for it, depending on the game. For beginners, the charges could be negligible, but in competitive matches, one mistake can finish your whole game.

Advantages of spinning

Seriously talking, there is no advantage of spinning. We believe that spinning can help to win the game, but it’s not true. In actuality, it delays the pace of playing and learning the game. Usually, players try to spin their rods randomly to avoid their opponent to hit the ball into the goal. By doing this though, they cannot learn the game strategically. It might help you in winning your match, but once you have won, then you will think of it as a good trick and try to use it more often. This will lead to poor gaming and illegal playing.

Why is spinning not allowed?

Spinning is considered being bad in any game of foosball, as it is an uncontrollable movement. It is not under anyone’s control, and starts to make the game about luck and not skill. Sometimes, your figure can hit the ball and can miss and others go in. Any player using spinning shows a lack of skills. It is normally used by players that are new to the game.

It is also considered amateur behavior. Usually, children or new players spin the rods as they don’t know the right way to hit the ball. It also implies a bad ideology towards the game. It shows a lack of sportsmanship, as a person uses foul tricks to win the game.

When can you spin the rods?

As discussed, spinning is illegal while hitting the ball. But one would wonder whether you can do it ever? It depends upon the circumstances and the match being played. If you are playing with your friend then you will not care much about spinning unless you are practicing for a game, or you are both learning to play professionally. It is not good to practice spinning when you are trying to learn how to play the game professionally. 

In some games, they allow before certain numbers of spins considering it as illegal. Most tournaments though don’t use this rule, as it is difficult to find how many times a rod has spun. This is why it is best to never spin the rod. 

Many people like to play foosball where you can spin the players as this is easy to do and does not require you to actually learn how to play the game. Although it seems like a very easy game to play, there are rules about how many times one person in the game can hit the ball, how many times it can be passed, and so many other trules. Because most people do not like to learn these rules, they just prefer to spin the players to win the round. 

What happens if you spin the rod?

According to ITSF, there are some rules to be followed if you illegally spun your rod. The rules are outlined below. 

  1. If a ball is moved by an illegal spin, then the opposing team has the option to serve the ball or to continue the play from the current position.
  2. If any rod which is not grasped is spun by the force of a ball hitting any figure on it. It will be considered legal, as it was not intentional.
  3. If a player spins his rod and hits the ball into his own goal, then it will be considered as a point for the opponent.
  4. We do not consider the spinning of the rod without hitting the ball as illegal.


Spinning the rod in foosball might seem like a simple trick, and it might even help you score. Sadly, it will destroy your chance to become a good player. This is why we advise you to never spin and to simply focus on improving your skills and tricks.

As per the official rules and regulation made by ITSF, they consider spinning illegal in foosball and it is a fundamental rule that will remain the same. This rule doesn’t matter on table or figure variations, as it is just an attempt to win the game by luck.

This is why it is better to invest your time in learning and practicing the game, instead of wasting it in spinning. Slow and steady wins the race. If you do not spin, you will also be able to win one day as well as beat your opponents without spinning.