USTSA Table Soccer Rules of Play
1. To Start a Match
1.1 A coin flip shall precede the start of the match. The team that wins the flip has the choice of table side or first serve. The team that loses the flip has the remaining option and must also pay for the first game, with that expense alternating thereafter.
1.2 Once a team has chosen either the table side or the first serve, they may not change their decision.
1.3 In the event of the loser's bracket winner beating the winner's bracket team in the first match, the second match will be started in the same manner as a regular match with the coin flip, etc.
1.4 The match officially starts once the ball has been put into play. (BUT violations such as cursing, etc. may be called by the official assigned to judge the match as soon as he and both teams are present at the table.)
2. The Serve
A serve through the serving hole is used to put the ball into play at the start of the match, after a point is scored, or after a ball leaves the table. The server may attempt to influence the roll of the ball, but may not allow any part of either hand to be in the play area once the ball hits the play field.
2.1 The play area shall be defined as the area above the playing surface to the height of the side boards of the cabinet.
2.2 Prior to serving the ball, the server may place either hand in the play area in order to position the ball. However, no part of either hand may be in the play area at the moment the ball is released into play.
2.3 If the ball hits the play field while any part of the server's hand is in the playing area, the serve shall be considered illegal. This includes any finger used to push the ball through the serving hole.
2.4 The ball may not be struck by either team following a serve until it has touched the play field, at which time the ball is considered to be "in play" and the time limits start.
2.5 Spinning the ball shall be allowed in order to influence the serve, however, no point shall be scored by the serving team unless the ball is struck by one of the serving team's figures.
2.6 The server must not serve the ball until he has the assurance that the opposing team is ready for play to begin. The server can signify that play is about to begin by tapping the ball on the side of the table.
2.6.1 If the server has tapped the ball, and the opposing team is holding their handles, the opposing team shall be deemed to be ready for play (unless they have specially stated before the ball hits the playing surface that they are not ready yet).
2.7 On the first violation of any part of this rule, the ball shall be re-served by the original server. Subsequent violations, however, shall result in the ball being put into play by a server of the opposing team.
2.7.1 If the ball is incorrectly served, but the server has not violated any part of these rules, the ball is considered in play. In particular, the player may not reach into the play area to re-serve the ball (see 16).
3. Subsequent Serves
Following the first serve of a match, subsequent serves shall be made by the team last scored upon. First serves in subsequent games of a multi-game match shall be made by the team which lost the preceding game.
3.1 If the ball is served by the wrong team, and the violation is discovered before the ball is scored, play shall be stopped and the ball shall be re-served by the proper team. Once the ball is scored, no protests shall be allowed, and play shall continue as if no infraction had been committed.
3.2 If a team receives the serve because the opposing team is being penalised for a rules infraction, and if, after the ball is served, it goes dead or leaves the table and must be re-served, it shall be re- served by the team who originally served it prior to the infraction.
4. Ball in Play
Once a ball is put into play by the server (see 2), it shall remain in play until the ball is hit off the table, a dead ball is declared, time out is called, or a point is scored.
5. Ball Off the Table
If the ball should leave the playing area and strike the scoring marker, ash trays, top of the side rails, cabinet ends, or any object that is not a part of the table, the ball shall be declared off the table. The ball should be put back into play with a serve by the team which originally served that ball.
5.1 A ball entering the serving cup and then returning to the play field is still considered "in play."
6. Dead Ball
A ball shall be declared a dead ball when it has completely stopped its motion and is not within reach of any player figure.
6.1 If the ball is declared dead between the goal and two-man rods, it shall be put back into play by placing the ball in the corner nearest the spot of the dead ball and releasing it into play from rest.
6.1.1 The goalie must have the assurance that the opposing team is ready for play to continue before putting the ball back into play in this manner (see 2.6). Furthermore, the goalie must then move the ball from one player figure to another one and then stop the ball for a full second before the motion of a shot or pass may begin.
6.1.2 The time limits begin one second after the ball touches the second man.
6.2 If the ball is declared dead anywhere between the two-man rods, it shall be put back into play with a serve by the team that originally served that ball.
6.3 A ball that is spinning in place is not considered to be a dead ball.
6.4 A ball that is intentionally made dead in order to advance the ball or reset the time limits shall be given to the opposing team for a re-serve (example: the two-man placing the ball just out of reach in order to re-serve the ball).
6.5 The penalty for illegally putting the ball back into play (as in 6.1) is the opponent's choice of either continuing play from the current position or re-serving the ball. This includes the cases where a player either loses the ball or scores on himself before the ball has been put back into play.
7. Time Out
Each team is allowed two time outs per game during which the players may leave the table. Such time outs shall not exceed 30 seconds. If the ball is in play, time out may be called only by the team in possession of the ball, and then only if the ball is completely stopped. If the ball is not in play, either team may call time out.
Rules Clarification August 1996
When calling a time out while the ball was in play, a team is allowed to take a second time out (providing they have one left) as long as they do not begin to put the ball back into play (by moving the ball). During an official time out, a team may not request a time out unless they would have otherwise been allowed to do so had the official time out not been called.
7.1 Either team may take the full 30 seconds, even if the team that called the time out does not wish to take the full allotment.
7.2 Either team may switch positions during a time out (see 12).
7.3 A time out called between games shall apply to the following game to be played in counting time outs per game.
7.4 A player who removes both hands from the handles and turns completely away from the table while the ball is in play shall be considered to have requested a time out.
7.4.1 A player can take his hands from the handles to wipe them off before a shot, as long as it doesn't take more than two or three seconds. However the time limits continue to run while the player wipes his hands. The team on defence should not relax if the opponent takes his hand(s) off the rod (see 18.4).
7.5 Either team member may call time out when either he or his partner has the ball. The time out starts the moment the time out is called.
7.5.1 If the team with the ball attempts a shot or pass immediately after requesting a time out, the play shall not count, and the team shall be charged with a distraction (see 18.2) rather than a time out.
7.6 If the team in possession of the ball calls a time out while the ball is in play and moving, that team shall lose possession, and the ball shall be served by the opposing forward. If the team not in possession of the ball calls a time out when the ball is in play, that team shall be charged with a distraction (see 18.2).
7.7 If a team is not ready to play at the end of the 30 second period, that team shall be charged with another time out.
7.8 A team calling and/or charged with more than two time outs per game shall be charged with an automatic technical foul. The technical foul shall be shot before the 30 second period is granted.
7.8.1 A team charged with a time out shall always be given the full 30 second period, even if they have previously taken two time outs, and either team may switch positions during this time.
7.9 Once a player begins to put the ball back into play following a time out (by moving the ball), a time out may not be called again until the ball has left the current rod of possession.
7.9.1 Penalty for violation of this rule (7.9) is loss of possession, and the ball shall be served by the opposing forward. The team shall not be charged with a time out.
7.10 During a time out a player may reach into the play area to spray the rods, wipe the play field, etc. The ball may be picked up by hand, as long as it is returned to its original position before play is continued.
7.11 During a time out the player may not move the ball from man to man without the permission of the official, as this can be considered practise (see 19). Penalty for violation of this rule (7.11) is loss of possession and the ball shall be served by the opposing forward. If the official present feels that it would be impossible to be sure of accurately replacing the ball to the exact position it occupied at the time of a time out, they may deny a request to pick up the ball (example: a ball precariously perched on the edge of the goal).
8. Resuming Play After Time Out
Following a time out, the ball shall be put back into play by the player who had possession when the time out was called.
8.1 If the ball was in play when the time out was called, the player [B must have the assurance that the opposing team is ready before moving the ball. The player must then move the ball from one player figure to another one and then stop the ball for a full second before the motion of a shot or pass may begin.
8.1.1 The time limit begins one second after the ball touches the second man.
8.2 If the ball was not in play when the time out was called, the ball shall be put back into play with a serve by the team that originally served that ball.
8.3 The penalty for illegally putting the ball back into play is the opponent's choice of either continuing play from the current position or re-serving the ball. This includes the case of a player losing the ball before touching two men.
9. Official Time out
An official time out does not count towards the two time outs allowed per team per game. After an official time out, the ball is put back into play as though a regular time out were called.
9.1 If an official is not present at the start of the match, and a dispute arises during play, either team may request an official. Such a request can be made at any point during the match that the ball is stopped or dead.
9.1.1 The first request for an official is considered an official time out. The cost for the official will be split between the two teams.
9.1.2 If the defensive team makes a request for an official while the ball is in play and stopped, and the offensive team simultaneously attempts a pass or shot, the request for a time out will be treated as a distraction by the defensive team. Likewise, a request for an official while the ball is in motion will also be considered a distraction.
9.2 Any team subsequently requesting an official will automatically be charged with a time out. Such a request may only be made during a dead ball. The penalty for requesting another official while the ball is in play is a technical foul.
9.2.1 The Head Official will decide whether the request for a new official will be granted. If the request is granted, the team requesting the official must pay the full cost of the new official. The two officials will then judge the match. An official may be replaced only at the discretion of the Head Official.
9.2.2 If there are already two officials present, any request for a new official will be denied, and the team will be charged with a technical foul.
9.3 A team may not switch positions during an official time out, unless they are otherwise entitled to do so (see 12).
9.4 Table Maintenance - Any necessary table maintenance, such as changing balls, tightening the men, etc., must be requested before the start of the match. The only time that a player may call a table maintenance time out during a match would be in the case of a sudden alteration to the table, such as a broken man, broken screw, crumbling bumper, bent rod, etc.
9.4.1 If a player figure is broken while in contact with the ball, an official time out will be declared while the rod is fixed. Play will resume on the rod where the player figure broke.
9.4.2 If the table lighting fails, play shall immediately stop at that point (as though an official time out were called).
9.4.3 Routine maintenance, such as spraying the rods, etc., should only be done during time outs and between games.
9.5 Foreign objects on field of play - if an object should fall on the play field, play shall immediately stop at that point. There should be nothing on the ends of the table that could fall onto the play field.
9.6 Medical time out - a player or team may request a medical time out. This request must be approved by the Tournament Director, the Head Official, and a member of the officiating staff. They will determine the length of the medical time out, up to a maximum or 60 minutes. A player who is physically unable to continue playing after that time must forfeit the match.
9.6.1 If the request for a medical time out is denied, the player will be charged with a time out. The player may also be penalised for delay of game (see 24), at the discretion of the official.
9.6.2 Medical time outs will typically be granted only for accidental or unexpected injuries incurred during the course of play.
10. Point Scored
A ball entering the goal shall count as a point, as long as it was legally scored. A ball which enters the goal but returns to the playing surface and/or leaves the table still counts as a goal.
10.1 If a point is not counted on the scoring markers and both teams agree that it was previously scored and inadvertently not marked up, the point shall count. If both teams do not agree that a point was scored and not marked up, after another ball is scored, that point shall not be counted.
10.2 If there is a controversy over whether or not the ball entered the goal, an official should be called.
10.3 Any team intentionally marking up a point not scored shall not get credit for the point illegally marked up and shall be charged with a technical foul. Further violations of this rule will be grounds for forfeiture of game or match (to be determined by the Head Official).
11. Table Sides
At the end of each game, teams must switch sides of the table before play of the next game can begin. A maximum of 60 seconds is allowed between games.
11.1 Either team can request the full 60 seconds. If both teams acknowledge that they are ready to resume play before the full time is used, play shall continue and the remainder of that 60 seconds is then forfeited.
11.2 If a team, is not ready to play at the end of the 60 second period, that team shall be charged with delay of game.
12. Change of Positions
In any doubles event, each player may play only the two rods normally designated for his position. Once the ball is put into play, the players must play the same position until a point is scored, a team requests a time out, or a technical is called.
12.1 Either team may switch positions during a time out, between points, between games, or before and/or after a technical foul shot.
12.2 Once a team has switched positions, they may not switch back until after the ball has been put back into play or another time out has been called.
12.2.1 A team is considered to have switched positions once both players are in their respective places facing the table.
12.3 Illegally switching positions while the ball is in play will be judged a distraction.
12.3.1 In any doubles event any player placing their hand on any rod normally designated as one played by their partner while the ball is in play shall be judged as a distraction violations.
13. Spinning the Rods
Spinning of the rods is illegal. Spinning is defined as the rotation of any soccer figure more than 360 degrees before or after striking the ball. In calculating the 360 degrees, you do not add the degrees spun prior to striking the ball to the degrees spun after striking the ball.
13.1 A ball which is advanced by an illegal spin is replayed as follows:
If the ball goes in the goal, then it will not be counted as a point and will be put back into play by the goalie as if the ball had been declared a dead ball between the goal and the nearest two-man rod.
If the ball does not go in the goal, the opposing team will have the option of continuing play from the current position or re-serving the ball.
- Spinning of a rod which does not advance and/or strike the ball does not constitute an illegal spin. If a player's spinning rod hits the ball backwards into his own goal, it will count as a goal for the opposing team. Spinning of a rod away from the ball (when there is no possession) is not considered an illegal spin, but may be ruled as a distraction.
Rules Clarification August 1996
A ball is considered to have advanced once it is out of reach of the playing figures on that rod whether it went forward or backwards. In the case of the goalie area, a ball is considered advanced once out of reach of the two bar and beyond the goalie area.
- If an ungrasped rod is spun by the force of a ball hitting a player figure on the rod, the spin will be considered legal (example: a two-man shot in singles hitting the three-man).
Any jarring, sliding, or lifting of the table shall be illegal. Whether or not the table jarring is done intentionally is of no consequence. This call must be made by an official. It is not necessary for a player to lose the ball for jarring to be called on his opponent.
14.1 The penalty for violation of this rule:
First offence - the opposing team has the option of continuing play from the current position, continuing play from the point of infraction, or re-serving the ball. If an illegal jar causes the player to lose possession of the ball from a rod, play may be continued from that rod.
Subsequent violations - Technical foul. After the technical shot the non offending team continues to have the options listed under First Offence (14.1).
- Touching or coming into contact with your opponent's rods in any way shall be penalised exactly like jarring, sliding, or lifting.
- Jarring of the table may be called even if the ball is not in play. In particular, slamming the rod after the shot may be considered jarring.
If a player has the ball stopped and set up to shoot or pass, and the ball is unintentionally moved due to jarring by the opponent, the official present will call "reset" and he will reset all time limits. The player with the ball has the option of setting the ball up again, or ignoring the reset call and playing the ball where it is.
15.1 Any movement of the ball, no matter how slight, may be considered grounds for a reset (example: a ball rocking in place).
15.2 A reset is not considered a distraction, and the player with the ball may shoot immediately. The defensive team should not, therefore, relax or look at the official upon hearing the word "reset," but rather should stay on defence.
15.3 A reset call does not count as jarring infraction, however, repeated offences may be grounds for the official present to call a technical foul on the defensive player causing the reset.
15.3.1 A reset violation behind the ball shall not be considered a reset violation. It shall be considered a jarring violation. (Example: if the opposing forward is judged to have reset his opponent when the opponent has the ball on the 3 rod.)
15.3.2 An intentional reset by the team in possession of the ball for the purposes of attempting to get a reset call from the official shall not be allowed. The team judged to be in violation of this rule shall lose possession of the ball, the ball to be reserved by the other team. (This is not counted as a reset.)
15.4 A team is allowed one reset call per game. After that, a team causing two resets during the same point will be charged with a technical foul.
15.4.1 If a technical foul is called for excessive resets, the next reset call shall not result in a technical foul.
15.4.2 Resets are charged per-team and not per-player.
15.5 If the defender intentionally jars the table, this will not be considered a reset, and jarring will be called immediately.
16. Reaching Into the Playing Area
It is illegal for a player to reach into the play area while the ball is in play without first having permission from the opposing team, whether he touches the ball or not. However, whenever the opposing team grants a player permission to reach into the playing area, it is legal for the player to do so.
16.1 A spinning ball is considered "in-play," even if it is not in reach of a player figure. It is illegal to reach into playing area to stop a spinning ball, even if done for an opponent.
16.2 A ball which becomes airborne over the table is still in play until it has hit something not a part of the playing area. Do not catch a flying ball over the table.
16.3 A ball which has gone dead is considered out of play. The ball may be freely touched once permission has been granted by the official, or if no official is present, by the opposing team.
16.3.1 There is no penalty for touching the ball after it is dead, regardless of whether or not permission was given to touch the ball.
16.4 A player may wipe shot marks off any part of the table while the ball is not in play. He does not need to ask permission of the opposing team.
16.5 The penalty for violation of this rule is as follows:
16.5.1 If the player has possession of the ball, and the ball is stopped - loss of possession to the opposing team.
16.5.2 If the ball is moving in the player's goal area behind the two-man rod - a point is scored for the opposing team, and the ball is re-served as if it had gone in the goal.
16.5.3 Any other case - technical foul.
17. Alterations to the Table
17.1 Playing area - no changes can be made that would affect the interior playing characteristics of the table by any player. This includes changes to the men, playing surface, bumpers, etc.
17.1.1 A player cannot wipe sweat or spit or any foreign substance on his hand before wiping ball marks off the table.
17.1.2 Wiping rosin on the table is illegal.
17.1.3 Any player using a substance on their hands to improve their grip, for example, must make sure that this substance does not get on the ball. If this does occur, and the substance is judged to affect the play of the ball (Example: a ball coated with rosin) that ball and any others in the table similarly affected shall be cleaned immediately and the team judged to have caused this to occur shall be penalised for delay of game and warned that if this occurs again during the match they will be prohibited from using the substance.
17.2 Handles - in regard to the use of substances to improve grip, if a player uses a substance that, upon switching tables sides, has left a deposit on the handles, he must immediately clean the handles.
17.2.1 If the time necessary to remove the substance exceeds 60 seconds, the player will be penalised for delay of game, and the player will be prohibited from using the substance again.
17.2.2 A player may not place a tube or handle on the table exterior that inhibits the motion of the rods (example: for limiting the motion of the goalie rod).
17.2.3 A player may not switch the handles on the exterior of the tables.
17.3 A request to change balls before the start of the match must be approved by the official present or the Tournament Director. The request will be granted only if the playing characteristics of the existing balls are significantly different from the standard.
17.3.1 New ball - a player may not ask for a new ball while the ball is in play. During a dead ball, however, a player may request a new ball from the rack inside the table. Such a request will generally be granted, unless the official present judges that such a request is made simply for the purpose of stalling play.
17.3.2 A player requesting a new ball while the ball is in play shall be charged with a time out, unless the official present judges the ball to be unplayable, in which case no time out will be charged.
17.4 Unless otherwise specified, penalty for violation of any part of this rule may be grounds for a technical foul.
Any movement or sound made away from the rod where the ball is in play may be judged as a distraction. No point made as a result of a distraction will count. If a player believes he is being distracted, it is his responsibility to call for an official.
18.1 Banging the five-man rod or any rod prior to, during, or after a shot is considered a distraction. Moving the five man slightly after the shot has started is not considered a distraction, however.
18.2 Talking between teammates while the ball is in play may be judged a distraction.
18.3 It is not considered a distraction, when passing, to move the catching rod as part of a fake. Excessive motion, however, is grounds for a distraction.
18.4 It is considered a distraction, after setting up a shot, to remove a hand from the handle and then shoot the ball. The ball may only be shot after both hands are on the handles for a full second.
Rules Clarification August 1996
The problem with this rule is the wording which will be corrected on the next revision of the rules. The intent of the rule is to avoid having a player remove their hands from the handles IN A DISTRACTING MANNER and then shooting as soon as they place their hand back on the handle. The word "grasped" was used in the last sentence of this rule. In the case of the "Roll-Over" shot, the rod will be considered to be grasped when on the wrist of the shooter. In an attempt to stay consistent with the way we have been ruling in the cases where a roll-over shooter shoots as soon as he slides his wrist on the handle, this will be legal as long as it is not done in a distracting manner. The way this is ruled will be looked at by the officiating committee and possibly changed after the World Championships. The one second on the handle does not apply in singles except in the case of a set shot on the forward three row. The European style roll-over straight: This is shot by making the play figure spin around while rolling the handle from your palm to you fingertips. It is most common with the European style front pin and a straight option on a pull shot. This is a legal shot.
18.5 Penalty for distraction - if a shot is scored as a result of a distraction by the offensive team, the point will not count and the opposing team will re-serve the ball. In all other cases, the opposing team has the option of continuing play from the current position, continuing play from the point of infraction, or re-serving the ball. Subsequent violations may be grounds for a technical foul.
Rules Clarification August 1996
This does not mean that the second infraction should be a technical foul. After the first infraction, the offending team will, at minimum, have to give up the drop to the other team. A technicalSHOULD be called when an official feels that the team is flagrantly distracting their opponent. A technical should also be called in the case of repeated distractions when the team being distracted has the ball on the three row (in which case a drop would be of no benefit to the team being distracted.) In the case where play was in no way affected (loss of possession or being distracted while shooting or passing) the first infraction will be a warning.
Once a match has begun, no player may practise either his serve or shot on either the table being played or on any other table. This rule applies during time outs and between games.
19.1 Practise is defined as either moving the ball (by contacting it with a player figure) or practising the serve.
19.1.1 Illegal Practise is a judgement call by th official present at the table. Inadvertent movement of th ball does not necessarily constitute Practise.
19.2 Penalty for this infraction is a technical foul, except in the case of putting the ball back into play following a time out (see 7.11).
Unsportsmanlike comments made directly or indirectly by a player are not allowed. Violations of this rule may be grounds for a technical foul.
20.1 Calling the attention of the opposing team away from the game is not allowed (see 18). Any shouts or sounds made during a match, even if of an enthusiastic nature, may be grounds for a technical foul.
20.2 Cursing by a player shall not be allowed. Continued cursing by a player may be cause for forfeiture of games and/or expulsion from the tournament site.
20.3 The use of a spotter in the audience shall not be allowed. Furthermore, a member of the audience is not allowed to influence a match by distracting a player or official. Violation of this rule may be grounds for expulsion of the person from the tournament site.
20.4 Coaching will be allowed, but only during time outs.
21.1 A pinned ball on the 5 man cannot be directly advanced to the 3 man rod of the same team. It must touch at least two player figures as it is put into the motion of a pass (Except an accidental stub or squib pass SEE 21.1c). A pinned ball is on that is pinned to the wall or play field.
21.1.1 A ball whose motion has clearly stopped may be legally passed if this pass if immediate. Any hesitation before the pass and the pass shall be declared illegal. Once a ball has clearly stopped and is not immediately passed it must then touch at least two player figures before it can be legally passed.
21.1.2 Changing the lateral speed or direction of the ball from the front or back of the man prior to passing the ball is considered to be an adjustment and is illegal. Changing the speed or direction of the ball from the side of the man is legal.
21.1.3 An accidental stub or squib pass is legal. However, if a ball is stubbed or squibbed by a player figure, released, and then passed by that player figure before striking another player figure on that same rod, it is illegal.
21.2 A pinned or stopped ball may be shot on goal, to be considered a shot, the ball must either go into the goal, be blocked by the opposing goalie's men, or hit the back wall. If the attempted shot is blocked by the opposing five-man rod and then caught by the shooter's three-man, It shall be declared an illegal pass.
21.2.1 If a pinned or stopped ball from the five-man is shot on goal, and the ball hits the shooter's three-man row, then the shot would be legal, provided the ball was not caught by the three-man.
21.2.2 A caught ball is defined as a ball that is in the possession of a rod long enough for a controlled pass or shot to be attempted (examples: pick-up and quick shots).
21.3 Before attempting a pass from the five-man rod, the player cannot make the ball strike the side wall of the table more than twice. It makes no difference which wall the ball touches - a total of two times is all that is allowed. If the ball goes to the wall a third time, it must be advanced in the motion of a pass or shot.
21.3.1 Defensive trap - if an opponent's pass or shot is stopped by trapping it against the side wall, that does not count as one of the two times allowed to touch the wall by the player who made the trap and is now in possession of the ball on his five-man rod.
21.3.2 Once the ball has touched the wall, it will not be counted as hitting the wall again until the ball has rolled off the side strip (if present on the table).
21.4 Passing from the two-man and goalie rods - rule 21.1 also applies to a pass from the two-man or goalie rod to the same team's five-man rod. However, once a ball is forwarded from either the two-man or the goalie rods, if it should strike an opposing team's player figures, that ball is no longer considered a pass but a live ball that may be legally caught by any player.
21.4.1 Rule 21.2.1 also applies here for a stopped shot from the two- man touched by the five-man.
21.5 It is legal to have just one hand on the rods when playing defensive (example: right hand on defensive five-man). It is also legal to use two hands to move a rod (example: defensive five-man).
21.6 Penalty for an illegal pass - if a team violates the above rule of passing, the opposing team has the option of continuing play from the current position or re-serving the ball.
22. Time of Possession
22.1 Enforcement of the time of possession rule shall be made only by an authorised tournament official.
22.2 Possession of the ball at any one rod shall be limited to 15 seconds, except the five-man rod which has a ten second limit, by the end of which time period the player in possession must advance the ball to or past at least one rod of the opposing team.
22.3 A spinning ball that is within reach of a player figure shall be considered to be in that rod's possession and all time limits shall continue. Players must make an honest effort to gain possession of a spinning ball that is within reach, however, if the spinning ball is not within reach, the time limits are not in effect.
Rules Clarification August 1996
In the case of this happening in the goalie area, time will be suspended while the ball is not in reach. The official will add the amount of the suspended time at the end of the 15 seconds allowed.
22.4 Penalty - penalty for three-man delay is loss of possession to the opposing goalie. The goalie shall put the ball back into play as if it had been declared a dead ball. Penalty for delay at any other rod is loss of possession to the opposing forward for serve.
23. Match Time Limit
Best of five matches shall be limited to one hour of play from the time the match is started. Best of three matches shall be limited to 35 minutes from the time the match is started.
23.1 If the specified time limit expires before the match has been completed, an official will announce to the players that a ten minute overtime period will begin at that time. If the overtime period ends before the match has been completed, the winner of the match shall be the player or team which has won the most games, or if the teams have an equal number of games, it shall be the team that has scored the most points in the game in progress, after the ball in play at this time that the overtime period expires has been scored. If the teams have won an equal number of games and scored an equal number of points after this ball has been scored, one more ball shall be played to determine the winner of the match.
23.2 Time outs called within the regular time limit of a match shall be counted against the total amount of time left to play. However, time outs do not count against the ten minutes in the overtime period (a time out would then stop the clock).
23.3 Official time outs do not count against the total amount of time left to play.
23.4 Enforcement of this rule is the responsibility of the Tournament Director.
24. Delay of Game
Play shall be continuous, except during time outs. A delay of game penalty may only be called by an official.
Rules Clarification August 1996
Continuous play defined: Between balls, a player shall be allowed to wipe their brow, dry their hands, adjust their grip, change their stance, or any other activity they deem necessary to prepare themselves for the play of the next ball, providing the combination of ALL such activities takes less than 5 seconds.
24.1 After a delay of game infraction play shall resume in at most 10 seconds. At the end of 10 seconds another delay of game call should be made.
24.2 Taking too much time to serve the ball or to put the ball back into play may be grounds for delay of game.
24.3 The first infraction of this rule is a warning. Subsequent infractions will result in the player being charged with a time out. Example: Player charged with delay of game. If still not ready to resume play after 10 seconds - time out charged. If after the time out still not ready, another 10 seconds- second time out charged (Technical - SEE 7.8).
Once a match has been called, both teams should report immediately to the designated table. If a team has not reported to the table within three minutes, they should be recalled. A team, upon being recalled, must report immediately to the table in order to stop the forfeiture process.
25.1 A recall is made every three minutes. Penalty for second and subsequent recalls is forfeiture of a game.
25.2 If a team has forfeited any games due to recalls, they get the choice of side or serve once play begins.
25.3 Enforcement of this rule is the responsibility of the Tournament Director.
26. Technical Fouls
If, in the judgement of an authorised tournament official, either team competing in a match is at any time in flagrant or intentional violation of these rules of play, a technical foul may be called on the offending team.
26.1 When a technical foul is called, play shall stop and the ball awarded to the opponents of the offending team at its three-man rod. One shot will be taken after which play shall stop. If it scores or not, the ball shall be put back into play at the spot it was when the technical was called. If the ball was in motion, it will be put back into play as if it had been declared dead at that spot. (Except as provided in 14.1).
26.1.1 A player is considered to have taken a technical foul shot once ball has left the three-man rod. A player is considered to have been blocked the shot once the ball has either stopped in or left the defender's area.
26.1.2 Only the shooter and defender should be at the table during the technical foul shot.
26.2 On a technical foul shot, the ball must be put into play before shooting (see 8.1). Furthermore, all rules, including time limits and resets, still apply.
26.2.1 A team may switch positions before and/or after the technical foul shot without being charged with a time out (see 12).
26.2.2 Time outs may be called during a technical shot, as long as they would otherwise be legal (see 7).
26.2.3 A point scored on an illegal technical shot shall not be allowed, and play shall resume at the spot the technical was called.
26.3 If a technical foul shot ends the game, the opposing team gets the first serve of the next game.
26.4 Further violations of a flagrant or intentional nature shall carry additional technical fouls. A third technical foul in any one game shall result in an automatic forfeiture of the game. Also, the official may announce at any time after the first technical foul is called on a team that further violation by that team shall be cause for forfeiture of the game or match.
27. Rules Decisions and Appeals
If a controversy involves a question of judgement, and the official is present at the time the events in question transpired, his decision is final and no appeal may be made. If the controversy involved an interpretation of the rules, or the official was not present at the time the events in question transpired, the official shall make the most equitable decision possible under the circumstances. Decisions of this nature may be appealed, but it must be done immediately in the manner prescribed below.
27.1 In order to appeal a rule interpretation, a player must file that appeal with the official before the ball being played at the time of the controversy is put back into play. An appeal concerning the loss of a match must be filed before the team that won has begun its next match.
27.2 All rule appeals shall be considered by the Head Official and (if present) at least two members of the officiating staff. All decisions on appeals are final.
27.3 A team making an unsuccessful rules appeal of an obvious nature, or a team that questions a judgement call, will be charged with a time out. In addition, the team may also be penalised for delay of game, at the discretion of the official.
27.4 Arguing with a Certified official during a match will not be allowed. Violation of this rule will be grounds for a delay of game penalty and/or a violation of the code of ethics.
28. Code of Ethics
Any action of an unsportsmanlike or unethical nature during tournament play, in the tournament room, or on the grounds of the host facility, will be considered a violation of the Code of Ethics.
28.1 Penalty - the penalty for breaking the Code or Ethics may be forfeiture of a game or match, expulsion from the tournament, and/or a fine. Whether or not the Code of Ethics has been broken, and what is the appropriate penalty for the infraction will be determined by the Disciplinary Committee of the USTSA.
29. Tournament Director
29.1 The administration of tournament play shall be the responsibility of the Tournament Director. This includes making the draws, scheduling the events, timing matches, etc. The decision of the Tournament Director in such matters is final.
29.2 All matters pertaining to rules of play (appointing officials, handling appeals, etc.) shall be the responsibility of the Head Official. The Tournament Director is responsible for appointing the Head Official.
Goalie WarGoalie War is a singles speciality event where the three and five-man rods are lifted up, and the defenders play against each other.
- The ball must touch two men and then be stopped for a full second before a shot may be attempted. Violation is loss of possession.
- Time limits start one second after the ball has touched the second man.
PossessionIn order to shoot the ball and score a point, a player must have possession of the ball. If the ball is in a player's defensive area, that player has possession of the ball. However, if the ball is in the centre of the table, the player who last had the ball in his defensive area loses possession of the ball to the other player.
- A player's defensive area is defined to extend from the back wall to the end of where the two-man rod reaches. The centre of the table is the remaining area of play.
- A ball that strikes any rod, player figure, or bumper in the centre of the table is still considered a live ball. These rods play no part in determining possession of the ball.
- If a ball leaves the playing area and strikes a foreign object, the ball is re-served by the player who originally served the ball. If a ball goes dead on the table, the ball is re-served by the player who has possession of the ball.
- [sic] If player A shoots a ball that never reaches player B's defensive area, player A must first stop or control the ball, and then give the ball back to player B to re-serve. In particular, a shot that bounces back and goes in the shooter's goal counts, since that player must first stop and control the ball.
There is a ten second possession limit in the defensive area. In addition, once the ball is stopped or pinned for more than three seconds, three ball must be moved to another man before a shot is attempted.
Four On FourFour on Four is a speciality event where there are four players on a side, with each player holding a single rod.
Change of Positions
- If a team scores a point, they must rotate positions before the next point: the player on the three-man rod moves to the goalie-rod, while the players on the goalie, two-man, and five-man rods move to the two- man, five-man, and three-man rods respectively.
- A team may also change positions before the start of the match or between games. However, no other changes of positions will be allowed.
- The game is played roller ball style, i.e., a ball may not be pinned for more than three seconds or stopped for more than one second, and there is a ten second time limit per rod.
- Once a ball is stopped or pinned, the player must make sure the ball touches another man of the same team (on any rod) in order to score a point.
- If a point is scored illegally, the ball shall be re-served by the opposing team.
Two-Ball Roller ballTwo-Ball Roller ball is a speciality event played with two balls served at the beginning of a point.
The game is played roller ball style, i.e., a ball may not be pinned for more than three seconds or stopped for more than one second, and there is a ten second time limit per rod. A shot may be directly scored from a pinned or stopped position
Serving the Ball
- At the start of a point, each forward should serve their ball on the count of three. Both balls should hit the play field within one second of the three count.
- If a ball goes off the table, and no balls have been scored yet, both balls shall be re-served. Otherwise, the team scored upon serves the remaining ball.
- If each team scores a goal, then neither team receives a point. Two balls are re-served.
- If a team has scored the first ball, they may stop play any time they have control of the second ball and take one point. If a team elects to take the point, two balls are re-served.
- A team that scores both goals gets two points. The balls are re-served.
- A shot that goes "in and out" does not count as a goal scored in Two-Ball Roller ball (rather, play continues).
Forward Shootout a singles speciality event where the players alternately shoot technical foul shots on each other.
The ball is placed on the three-man, and then must touch two men and be stopped for a full second before a shot may be attempted. Violation is loss of possession.
- The first serve of the match is determined in the usual fashion, by a flip of the coin.
- The serve alternates between players for the remainder of the match.
The ball is considered to have been shot once it leaves the forward's three man. The ball is considered to have been blocked once the ball has either stopped in or left the defender's area.
The usual time limit (15 seconds) applies on the three-man. Time limits start one second after the ball has touched the second man.