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Is Spinning Allowed in Foosball? (Can You Spin Players or the Ball)

When playing foosball, it’s incredibly tempting to spin the rods as fast as possible because of the speed you generate when making contact with the ball. Spinning to rods allows you to hit the ball with extreme speed and this is difficult for any opponent to defend against. 

There are few casual players with reflexes quick enough to beat physics!

This does however seem like a cheat in foosball, so, is spinning allowed in foosball? 

Officially, you can’t spin the rods more than 360-degrees when playing foosball. There’s no official reason for this but spinning is an illegal move when playing foosball and is against the official rules and regulations of a tournament game. 

Read on to see why spinning is illegal in foosball and if there are any variations you can use in order to still gain an advantage. 

Is Spinning Allowed in Foosball?

According to the rules of foosball, it’s illegal to spin your rod 360 degrees. While it’s tempting to spin those players all the way around, it goes against the rules and can give you a bad reputation around other players. 

However, this is a rule that many foosball players break. 

Of course, it’s fun to spin those little players around a bunch for a laugh, but once you start a game it’s considered a big foul. Not only does it hurt your foosball game, but it’s also very distracting for the other players in the game. 

For complete beginners, you might think it’s a good strategy to win every game of foosball (with minimal skills) but to put it bluntly, serious players will think you’re an amateur if you’re spinning the rods.

Why Is Spinning Not Allowed in Foosball?

You may notice when you’re playing for fun, that some of the people you play with are spinners. Even when you’re learning how to play the game, a spinner could beat you. However, this is not allowed in a formal game of foosball. Let’s take a look at why spinning isn’t allowed in foosball.

1. Spinning Hurts Your Game

Spinning the foosball players around all the way is a bad move, especially when you’re playing against a seasoned player. First off, you will not be able to hit the ball nearly as well when you’re spinning all the way around. You will also have difficulty with the defense, which makes it easier for the other player to score more often.

This poor habit can also slow down the learning process for you if you are new to the game. If you are trying to learn new techniques to improve how you play, spinning will make it more difficult for you.

For technique guides, check out our post on how to grip foosball handles. As soon as you stop spinning, you’ll need to learn how to grip and generate power with each shot – the legal way!

2. It’s a Distraction

You may not be concerned about how your game is going, but other players may want to get a serious round in. For this reason, you are not allowed to spin because it distracts the other players. The spinning motion could make it more difficult for them to get a decent hit. 

What Are the Rules Regarding Spinning in Foosball?

In an official game of foosball, spinning results in a penalty. To be clear about what counts as a spin, it’s anytime you turn the rods 360 degrees. So to avoid this penalty, never spin your foosball players all the way around. Actually, according to the official foosball rules, you are only to turn your rod 90 degrees.

When you’ve turned the rod 90 degrees, the foosball players’ feet will be facing the ceiling. There are some exceptions to this rule though. If you need to tilt the player slightly further than 90 degrees to hit the ball, you will not be penalized for it. However, if you exceed that kick and do a full 360 spin, you will end up with a penalty. 

What Happens When a Player Receives a Penalty for Spinning in Foosball?

If you are just playing foosball with friends for fun on a Saturday night, they may allow the spinning penalty to slide. The same won’t apply during a serious game or a foosball tournament. Spinning your rod to a 360-degree tilt will automatically result in a penalty. So what happens when a player receives a penalty in foosball?

When this happens, the other team/ player will have an advantage against you. The opposing player will gain possession of the ball, which makes it easier for them to score against you. 

Are You Allowed to Spin the Ball in Foosball? 

As is the case with spinning the rods, you also cannot spin the ball in a tournament game of foosball. This applies to when you first put the ball into play as spinning will give you an unfair advantage over your opponent. 

The one exception to this is if you can generate spin on the ball with your players. This isn’t a standard technique as it’s incredibly difficult to execute but if you can hit the ball at specific angles, you can place a spin on the ball – which is allowed. 

Are There Any Occasions in Foosball When a Full Spin Isn’t Against the Rules?

There is one exception to the full spin rule. That is when you hit the ball in the middle of the spin. Essentially, how this happens is when you tilt the rod quickly to hit the ball and end up spinning all the way around after the ball was hit. This is considered an exception because it counts as two half spins.

  • 1 partial spin to hit the ball
  • 1 partial spin to get back in position

The reason this doesn’t break the rules is that after you hit the ball, you’re making a new move. If you aim to hit the ball but miss it and still spin all the way around, it will result in a penalty. 

One other spin that can hurt a player is when they do a full spin and knock the ball into their own goal pit. This will automatically result in a point for the other team/ player.

There are also some very advanced foosball shots that play fast and hard with the rulebook. Some shots are played so quickly (along with having specific techniques) that it’s difficult to see if it was a full spin or just an advanced shot. 

The video below shows a great example of one such shot: 

Final Thoughts

If you’ve played against any amateur (no offence to any beginners reading this), you’ll know one of the first things they’ll do is spin the rods with ferocity and minimal control. When you make contact with the ball, you’ll see it fly at speed towards the opponents net and this is hard to defend against. 

On the flip side, you have minimal control over the players when using this technique and it means any decent player will beat you will ease. That and also the fact that spinning the rods is illegal in foosball…