PROFESSIONAL TABLE FOOTBALL RULES
The full F.I.S.T.F. rules are also available on this site,
but these Quick Rules are based on the official rules to enable the new
player to get playing quickly.
The pitch should be laid on a flat
level surface and the goals attached firmly. The playing figure bases
should be well polished and the two teams set out as for a real game of
- Match Duration. FISTF Rules state matches should be two halves of 15 minutes but for beginners two halves of 10 minutes suffices.
Flicking & kicking. The ball is "kicked" when it
is struck by one of the playing figures, usually by the base but not
necessarily so. In order for this to happen the player in possession of
the ball flicks the base of the playing figure cleanly with the nail of
his/her fore finger or middle finger. It is permissible to use the
pitch surface to spring the flicking finger off. It is an illegal flick
Penalty for illegal flicking: Free-flick
- the thumb is used to spring the flicking finger
- the back or side of the finger is used instead of the nail
- if another figure or the ball is touched when making the flick
- the hand moves whilst making the flick (no swiping)
- the figure is pushed instead of flicked.
- Possession of the ball. The attacking player is
the player in possession of the ball, the defending player is the player
who is trying to gain possession of the ball. Possession of the ball is
retained if the ball is legally hit (kicked) and the ball remains in
play without striking an opposition figure. If another figure (of either
team) is struck before the ball is struck it is a foul and a free-flick
to the defender is awarded. If the ball is not struck or it last
strikes an opposition figure possession changes. If the ball is not
struck but the flicked figure hits another figure, possession changes
and a Back is awarded. The same playing figure may only strike the ball
three times in succession.
Blocking & Back. If the player in possession
flicks, hits the ball and retains possession the defending player may
take a Block-flick. The object of a block-flick is to obstruct the
attacking player by
A block-flick can also be used to move figures around the pitch for
strategic purposes. In making the Block-flick the normal flicking rules
apply and in addition the flicked figure must not come into contact
with another figure (of either team) or the ball. If it does it is a
Back. If the figure or ball it came into contact with was stationary
all the pieces are returned to their original positions. If the ball
was moving then a Free-kick is awarded to the attacking player at the
point of infringement. If the ball was stationary and a moving attacking
figure was hit (intercepted) by a defender's figure then Back is
awarded but the attacker's figure is placed at the point of
- positioning a defending figure in front of the ball so that it is difficult to hit
- positioning a defending figure behind the ball so that the way to goal is obstructed.
- Scoring a goal. A goal may only scored if the
ball is wholly inside the shooting area when it Is struck. If the ball
is struck from outside the shooting area and deflects off a figure
inside the shooting area into the goal or across the goal-line a
goal-kick is awarded. A goal is only given if the ball is wholly across
the goal line, between the posts and under the cross bar.
- Goal Kick. If the attacking player hits the ball
over his opponent's goal-line without scoring a goal or forcing a corner
kick a goal-kick is awarded. Both players may pick up and reposition
all of their playing figures. The defending player should position
his/her figures after the attacking player. The ball is placed wholly
inside the goal area and either the rod goalkeeper, the spare goalkeeper
or one of the outfield playing figures is used to kick the ball out of
the penalty area.
- Corner kick. A corner kick is awarded when the
defending player hits the ball over his/her own goal-line or when the
attacking player hits the ball which is wholly inside the shooting area
off a defending playing figure which is also wholly within the shooting
area and the ball then crosses the goal-line.
- Procedure for taking the Corner kick. The
attacking player nominates a figure to take the corner. He then takes
three positional flicks. The defending player then takes three
defensive flicks. The corner kick is then taken.
- Throw-in. A throw-in is given to the defending
player if the attacking player hits the ball across either touchline. A
Throw-in is awarded to the attacking player if he/she forces the ball
over the touchline off a defending figure only if the ball, the flicked
figure and the defending figure are all within the same zone when the
flick is made and the ball crosses the touchline wholly within the same
- Procedure for taking a Throw-in. The attacking
player nominates the figure to take the throw-in and takes one
positional flick. The defending player then makes a positional flick.
The ball is placed on the touchline at the point where it crossed it.
The attacker then flicks the nominated figure so that the ball is
brought back into play. The defender is allowed a block flick. Play
resumes as normal.
- Procedure for taking Free kicks. The attacking
player nominates a figure to take the free kick and then makes a
positional flick. The defender then takes a positional flick. The
attacker then strikes the ball with the nominated figure and play
resumes as normal as soon as the ball is struck. All free kicks except
the penalty flick are in-direct.
- Goalkeeping. The goalkeeper can be manipulated by
use of the handle to save shots anywhere within or directly above the
goal area. It can be held above the pitch before the shot is taken, The
only exception being is when a penalty is being taken, when the
goalkeeper must not be forward of the goal-line. If the ball is touched
by the goalkeeper outside the goal area an indirect penalty is awarded.
If this offence is repeated in the same match a penalty is awarded.
- Spare Goalkeeper. The goalkeeper may be
substituted for the spare (Flicking) goalkeeper at any time by a player
in possession of the ball. The spare goalkeeper must come on the pitch
within or directly behind the goal area. It may be used to take goal
kicks, clear the ball or for any other purpose but the rod goalkeeper
may only replace the spare goalkeeper when the player is in possession
of the ball or when a penalty flick is awarded. If both goalkeepers on
the pitch at the same time an indirect penalty kick is awarded.
- Offside. A figure is in an offside position if it
is wholly within the shooting area and there are less than two
(including the goalkeeper) opposition figures between it and the goal
line. However Offside is only given when the ball is wholly within the
shooting zone and has passed the last defender.
- Onside Flicks. The attacking player may take up
to three onside flicks per possession. After each onside flick (Tick)
the defending player takes a positional flick.
These Quick Rules have been written to help development of the game and may be freely copied under the terms of the Creative Commons licence.
This license allows the rules to be freely distributed or edited, even
for commercial use, as long as the original author is credited.
Written by: Pêldroed Bwrdd, 8 Station Road, Knighton, WALES, LD7 1DT.