Tips and Tricks for Foosball / Table Soccer

Foosball Passing Drills: Learn to Improve With These Practice Tips


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Importance of Passing

Foosball Passing Drills are the key to becoming good at the game. The passing techniques help you have the possession of the ball. Passing is, ultimately, the key to scoring more goals.

Foosball Passing mainly consists of Brush Pass, Tic-Tac pass, and their variations. A Foosball player needs to pass within a bar and across the bar. This article is to understand all kinds of passing and practice tips &techniques to improve the game.

·  Setting up play

Passing sets the Foosball game. With Passing, one can spend time between defense and goalie rod. The ball is then passed to the midfield 5-rod and finally to the 3-man striking rod. The final shot for the goal from striker needs to be set up.

This Setup is impossible without passing skills. The opposition can easily grab the ball and not let you make the requisite move to make a game.

The movement from one rod to another and within a rod has to be swift. Foosball can easily roll down or go to the opponents’ rod. Passing and holding keep the game on your side.

· Keeping the Ball in Possession

Anybody who has seen a football knows that they show the percentage of possession of the ball with each team. There is a strong correlation between possession and winning, even in Foosball.

Most of the conditions that apply to soccer apply to Foosball as well. Passing allows you to keep the ball completely in your possession.

Without keeping the possession, the player is mostly relying on long shots. It’s great to have that perfect long shot at highest speed. But, if the opponent has a good defense, it might not result in points.

· Using all the Players

Foosball is all about getting all the players into action. There are various gaps to be exploited in Foosball. These gaps aren’t always the same.

Different opponents would have different strategies. While some of them would give you gap by the walls, some could give it at the center.

With good passing techniques, you can use any gap that is available to you. If you rely on a couple of good shots, the opponent could block it with ease.

· Opening up the Playing Field

Foosball isn’t played with only striker rod. All the rods and all the players together play the game. The playing field is the whole area available to a player.

With passing, you can keep your ball almost anywhere in the field. This makes the opponent’s task difficult. By opening up the playing field, you are asking the opponent to raise the bar.

Also, it creates frustration for the opponent when you play everywhere. It is not easy to make a strategy for someone playing everywhere. This is only possible with amazing passing skills.

· Guiding the Ball Towards Your Strength

Most of the great players have a couple of great shots. This is their biggest strength. They often use these shots to get to the goals.

With passing techniques, the ball can be swiftly guided towards that strength. A player reaches exactly where he or she wants by Tic-Tac within a rod and across the rod.

You can choose where you want to play. Otherwise, you are relying on the weakness of the opponent rather than your strength. To win, you have to use both. Most good players wouldn’t give you many gaps.

Also, a good defense can easily understand if you are relying on a couple of shots.

· Going Back and Forth

It is sometimes done on 5-rod mid-field and 3-rod striker. It isn’t used often because no one wants to go back once they have entered the opponent’s area.

This can give you time to think and gauge how the opponent reacts to the play. This will give you an insight into the opposition’s play.

There are few things in a competitive game that is more important than knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent.

· Difficult to Predict

Be predictable, and you lose. You can’t win a game if the opponent knows exactly what you are planning. Unless you are a world champion whose speed is impossible to handle.

But you wouldn’t be here, then. Passing makes it difficult to know which player will be used and which gaps will be exploited.

Passing keeps the opposition on the toes. This makes a game better and you a better player.

Foosball Passing Tips & Techniques

You can practice and improve your Passing by understanding the following and working on it. The tips to practice are provided for you.

· Ball Control

Many beginners don’t practice ball control. They straightway jump into passing and shooting. Foosball, the game, is all about ball control. If you can control the ball, you can control the game.

Inspiration from players is great. But, even they practice control, even after years of playing the game. Ball Control is the key to advancing in Foosball.

There are a few techniques to gain ball control. These tips will give you confidence that you are controlling the game rather than the other way around.

Holding the Ball under the feet

The ball comes towards you. You stop it, but it rolls over to the other player. This is a perfect recipe for disaster in a Foosball game.

How to Practice Ball control

Keep the ball on the table just behind the players. Tilt the player backward so that the legs are resting on top of the ball. Move it slightly in both the directions to know if you are applying the right amount of pressure.

Take the ball as far as you can without losing the grip on it. Start the practice on the 5-rod. Take it from one player to another. Leave the ball. Tilt the second player backward and take the ball to the third.

Repeat it till you reach the fifth rod. Bring it back to the first. Do not use your hands to place the balls. Every time the ball rolls go back to the first rod. Do it as long as you require. The idea is to feel confident that you can comfortably take the ball from one end to another.

Repeat it for the striker rod, defense rod, and the goalie rod. Do not think that this will be used in the match. This is a perfect way to practice ball control. If you learn how to control foosball, passing, and shooting become comparatively easier.

· Pinning the ball

It’s important to pin the ball before you pass. When your players get into the way of the ball, you need to take the control.

The player is tilted backward and the ball is received. The legs stay on the top of the ball. It brings the ball entirely in your area of play.

If the legs are too high, the balls could pass from below. If it is too low, it might reflect the ball back to the opponent. If the ball is shot at you, you need to pin it down.

This is best practiced by using two rods, two players, and hitting back and forth. Start with stationary pinning. In this, you can concentrate on turning the player rather than moving it across.

Once you feel confident, get the players moving and use all the players. Try all the possible combinations between all your players, especially between strikers and mid-fielders.

This can also be practiced with another player. In the match situation, along with blocking and pinning the pass, you will also have to block the pass of the opponent. Pin it down, take the control and make the game.

This should be practiced for bot front pinning and back pinning. You should practice by tilting the rods in both the directions.

Types of Passes & Practice tips

There is always some variability due to individual styles. But, broadly there are two types of passing players use in foosball.

·  The Tic-Tac Pass

The Tic-Tac Pass is regularly used by all the Foosball Players. You tic-tac pass between the first and second player on the 5-rod. And, then you pass it to the striker rod or you tic-tac on 3-rod and go for the shoot

The edges of the players are used for Tic-Tac Pass. This can be done between any two players on the rod. Tic-Tac gives you the whole width of the Foosball table to play with.

The Tic-Tac passing could be a Lane pass or Wall Pass. Both the passes are equally effective. The frequency of choice of the pass depends on the weakness of the opponent and the gap available at that moment.

·  Wall Pass

This Tic-Tac pass is done by the first player on two ends of the rods. The tossing continues between players till the ball is shot across the mid-field of offense to the strikers.

As the players on 5-rod pass, one never knows when exactly the shot would come. This shot capitalizes the gap between the wall and the first player of the opponent.

The speed matters a lot because it has to go past a 5-rod. This passing is supported by right pinning on the receiving end.

·  Lane Pass

As the name suggests, the pass goes through the players. Usually, it is between the first and second player of the opponent. The second player on your 5-rod plays the lane pass.

Finding gap with lane pass is tougher than the wall pass. But, when executed well, it brings you closer to the goal as it reaches the middle player on the striker rode.

This, too, requires a lot of momentum. Finding a gap is one thing, but momentum and accuracy decides if the pass is successful

The Tic-Tac Pass

· How to Practice Tic-Tac Pass?

It’s great to see Foosball champions toss the ball with unimaginable speed. A lot of practice goes behind the speed. Tic-Tac needs hours and hours of commitment.

Begin with two adjacent players, preferably first and second player on the 5-man rod. There are a couple of reasons for selecting the rod and position. This is the most used position on the table.

Start with slow passing from first to second and another way around. Don’t worry about anything else as you practice. Don’t think about shooting. That will come later. Learn to pass well.

Start slowly and gradually increase speed. Don’t try to reach supersonic speeds too fast. Focus on keeping the rods vertical and taking the ball by using the bulk of the leg.

The next step is to practice Tic-Tac pass at all the possible angles of the players. Increase the angles gradually and toss it across. Once you are done, move on different combinations.

Different combinations include all the players in a rod. Till you can’t control every combination of players on a rod, you shouldn’t try anything fancy.

This might take a little time, but once you are done, this will maximize your playing experience. Tic-tac Pass is used most of the time. So, naturally, it should be practiced more often. You don’t need an opponent to practice Tic-Tac. It will improve your game many folds.

The Brush Pass

The Brush pass is an advance level passing technique. This uses both spin and momentum to pass the ball from one rod to another. It needs a lot of practice.

The built-up to the brush pass is similar to the tic-tac pass. You toss the balls between the players. When the opportunity arises, you brush it to another rod.

Brushing puts a spin to the ball. By using Brush technique, you can pass ball diagonally. You can pass it from either side of the opponent’s player. It increases your area of play.

The direction the ball takes depends on pushing and pulling direction. It isn’t easy to generate speed and momentum with brush pass.

How is Brush Pass different from a simple pull or push shot?

This is an important question. Why take so much effort, if you can go across with a straightforward push or pull. Why put a spin to the ball?

There are a couple of advantages of putting a spin to the ball during passing.

First, when the ball has spun on, it becomes difficult for the opponent to pin it down. Any lapse on the opponent’s part brings them back into your field of play. This is indeed a big advantage in the game.

Another advantage is that while doing wall pass, the ball grips to the wall and almost skids to the other side. A nice brush stop doesn’t bounce off the wall but goes along the wall to your player on the other side.

· How to Practice the Brush Pass

Keep the ball behind the rod. Make your player horizontal and see that the center of the ball is just beyond the top edge of the legs. Practice moving the ball around for a while in this position.

When you push from the position with a jerk, the ball goes on left diagonal. When you pull from the position, the ball goes on right diagonal or by the wall if you’re passing from the first player.

Initially, you might not be able to generate a lot of momentum in the past. This shouldn’t discourage you because this is the norm with anybody trying to play the brush pass.

Once you have these two passes in your play, you are good to go. This will make you better at making a good Foosball game.

International Rules for Foosball Passing

A great passing technique comes to nothing if one is not aware of the international regulations. These rules should be considered while practicing. Whether you play it for fun or trying to be a professional, these rules will help you understand the game better.

1. The rule for the stop ball

If the ball has stopped and you pass it across to another rod, it is a foul. The serving goes to the opponent.

If the ball has stopped, it has to be brought back into play by using at least two players. You can only pass it when the ball is moving.

When the ball stops, you can’t use one player and pass. Two players have to be brought into the game.

2. Tic-Tac with the wall

While tossing the ball on the 5-man rod, if the ball touches the wall thrice, it is a foul. The ball goes in the opponent’s possession.

It doesn’t matter whether the touch has been made consecutively or otherwise. Third, touch while tossing on the 5-man rod is a foul.

The ball can though touch the wall third time in passing. If you are passing across by bouncing off the wall, it isn’t a foul.

3. Time out

As you learned about passing, you should know you can’t do it for eternity. There is a time out for the time that a player can spend one rod.

The time duration for Striker rod, Defense rod, and Goalie rod is 15 seconds. The time for mid-field or 5-man rod is 10 seconds. If the time is more than given, it is declared a time out. The ball goes to the opposition.

Beguile Pass

This isn’t a type of pass. This is the way you use tossing to deceive the opponent. Foosball is a game of skills as well as tactics. It involves both mind and hands.

Many players make the opponent believe that they will be going for the lane pass, and in the final moment, they change it to the wall pass or vice-versa.

It needs advanced-level skills to fool the opposition. You need splendid control on the ball. Without control, none of the above would work. Control of the ball is the key to all passing techniques.

Generating speed

The gap between the opponent’s players stays for a fraction of second. In spite of having good passing techniques and ability to pick the game, passing without momentum would result in opposition intercepting your ball.

Speed is one of the key factors of possessing a good passing technique. But, the speed in foosball isn’t generated by using raw power. It is a skill to generate power on the foosball table.

The gripping should be convenient. There is no hurry. When you start the game, ensure that you are comfortable with the handle. Change the grip if you have if you think you need another. Wear gloves if it gives you better control.

The speed generated is a combination of grip, stance, and the flick of the wrist and point of contact. All these factors come together to generate speed on the foosball table. There are many players who can generate speed above thirty miles per hour on a foosball table.

· How to Practice Speed?

Place the ball just below the rod and bring the player from an angle. The angle doesn’t have to be very high. It should just be enough to allow you the little jerk.

There is this misconception amongst many players that speed is generated by a bigger angle. The speed is generated by the angle but the speed of the jerk. To improve, you should work on the jerk.

The best way to practice is to do it between the 5-man rod and 3-man rod. Practice and repeat, with different position of the players and placement of balls.

Gradually, work both on speed and accuracy. Both the factors together will give you an edge over the opposition.

Difference Between Brush and Tic-Tac Pass

The central difference is the way they are shot. Tic-tac pass is a simple push or pulls pass which follows the tic-tac tossing between the players on the rod. Brush passing is slightly more complicated and imparts spin to the ball.

Tic-tac is comparatively easier to learn. It’s easy to generate speed with it. It takes considerable time to become a brush pass expert. There are many professional players who haven’t perfected brush pass.

Tic-Tac can be intercepted easily compared to brush pass shot at the same speed. A player should ideally practice both the passes to reach the advanced level.

Passing Between Different Bars

On the defense part of the table, there are no opposition rods. But, one should also learn how to pass conveniently between goalie and defense rod.

A good defense is significant. The capability to block and pin, without losing control, makes a good game. Once the opposition goes for the striking defense should give it back to the mid-field.

Though it is easier to pass between defense and goalie rods, it shouldn’t be neglected.

Sometimes, players also use long shots to pass. It could be from goalie to midfield or defense to strikers. The techniques are the same. The difference is mostly the speed and gap.

Long passes are mostly used when the opposition has a good attack but vulnerable defense. Foosball should be thought like field soccer. The dynamics of football works with foosball. Not all, but most of it.

Combining Passes with Shots

To win, goals have to be scored. A good passing technique should be backed up with a good shot. All comes to nothing if one doesn’t convert at the end.

Most good players perfect one shot. It is the shot they rely on. While a player should have many shots in the kitty, ever player should concentrate on the favorite.

When the ball reaches the last bar, the shot matters

· Understanding the Opponent

Foosball isn’t an individual game. The passing and the overall game depends on the opposition. Different players have different strategies. A player should gauge the strategy quickly.

Gauging the strategy of the opposition is the biggest advantage one has after the skills. Only focusing on one’s skills without understanding other player is not a wise choice.

After an initial couple of minutes, one can build the idea of the strengths and weakness of the opponent. A mental note of players the opposition uses, gaps available, and strategy clubbed with the passing skills a winning combination.

To progress to advance level, a foosball player needs great hand-eye coordination and smartness to gauge the movement of the oppositions.

· Learn the Limitation of the Different Bars

All rods are not the same. The number of different players on different rods changes the dynamic of each rod. The way you operate 5-rod wouldn’t be the same as operating the two or three-player goalie rod. Practice on each rod to get an intuitive sense of each rod.

This also helps a player in finding the gaps. An opposition with great mid-field control might not be good at guarding the goal by the 2-man rod. The idea is to improve at using each rod and exploiting the weakness of the opponent.

Can I Improve My Foosball Passing Skills by Practicing Advanced Shots and Techniques?

Improving foosball passing skills often involves practicing advanced shots and techniques. Mastering advanced foosball shots techniques allows players to maneuver the ball with precision, deceive opponents, and create scoring opportunities. By dedicating time to refining these skills, players can elevate their passing abilities and become more effective on the foosball table.


Passing is the key to a good game of Foosball. With passing, you can make a game, stay on top of it and get the maximum out of it. It takes time to practice passing. But then this applies to everything else.

This article- Foosball Passing drills: learn how to pass with these practice trips is to assist you in improving your game. All the bits of advice and tips come from players who have been part of the game for long.

Foosball is a great sport. From bars and cafes all over to international competitions, Foosball has spread all over the world. With these skills, one can improve their game and become good at the game they love. Watch this space to learn all about foosball.

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