Last Updated on September 10, 2020 by Jake
Foosball is based on soccer, and human foosball is based on foosball. This makes for an interesting and fun game that can be played with friends and family. Imagine a huge foosball set with humans instead of tiny foosball men. And instead of a tiny ball, a real-sized soccer ball is used.
There are still rods that connect players laterally just like in real foosball. Between 12 to 14 people can play human foosball. It a great game for work picnics, family gatherings, and any event with a lot of people.
Human Foosball Rules
Human Foosball Set-Up
- The set up of the game is like that of a tabletop foosball, only that it is played with real humans in a large enclosed arena with a soccer ball.
- Two teams play each other in an allotted time over two halves. The team with the most goal win.
- Each team is made up of 7 or 6 players. The players of each team are situated on 3 different rows and the players must face the opposing team’s goal at all times. The first row has the goalie which protects the team goal, right ahead of the is the midfield row with 3 or 4 midfielders (depending on set up), the last row is the offense row which has 2 forwards and comes after the other team’s offense row. The layout is as follows
Layouts vary, you can also have alternating rows for the teams. With this setup team 1’s offense will be right in front of team 2’s goalie and vice versa. This makes scoring much easier.
- As already mentioned, the game is played in two halves. Each half is usually 10 to 30 minutes long. After each half the teams which places.
- There are six poles laid across the area with a sleeve on each pole. This sleeve enables the players to move laterally along the pole but not backward or forward.
Basic Rules of Human Foosball
These are the rules for Human Foosball gameplay:
- The game starts or is live once the referee rolls the ball in.
- Hands on the poles at all times. Players must have their hands on their respective poles at all times and cannot let go while the ball is in play. Players must also have one foot on the ground during play. No jumping or hopping is allowed. Going against this rule results in a penalty.
- No hanging allowed. Players cannot go under the poles. Their chins must be above the poles at all times while the ball is in play. Going against this rule results in a penalty.
- The ball must be kept low. The player with the ball cannot hit the ball above the shoulder level. If this happens, intentionally or not, it a foul against the team whose player kicked the ball. This results in a foul. This stops players from getting hit in the face. However, if the ball is coming towards your face and you head the ball, it’s not a foul.
- Unlike actual soccer (football), you can use your arms to block an incoming ball as far as your hands are on the pole. This is not a foul.
- Stalling play is a foul. A winning team may attempt to stall play but intentionally not playing the ball when they have it. This is considered a foul. Intentionally kicking the ball out of play is also a foul. If you got the ball, you got to play it forward. This results in a penalty kick.
- Submit player lineup to the referee before the game starts. Before each game, the team is to submit the lineup before the game can start.
- Respect the referee. The referee’s word is final. Players are to displayed good sportsmanship. If the referee deems a player as aggressive (either verbally or physically), the referee can eject the player out of the game. An aggressive player may not be allowed to play any other game in a tournament.
Human Foosball Penalty Kicks
When a penalty is given everybody but the penalty taker is supposed to be frozen until the kick is over.
Penalties are given for all fouls.
- If a team commits 1 or 2 fouls, the opposing team’s goalie takes the kick.
- If a team commits 3 to 5 fouls, the opposing team’s midfield (any of them) takes the kick.
- If a team commits 6 or more fouls, the opposing team’s forward (any of them) takes the kick.
This progression discourages a team from committing many fouls. The more fouls committed the easier it will be for the opposition to score from the resulting penalty kick.
How are the kicks taken?
As already mentioned all players but the kicker is to remain frozen. Their knees also have to be locked. Players can resume their normal pose once the kick is over.
Fouls 1–5 (Taking the first 5 penalties)
- All players but the penalty taker must remain still with knees locked.
- The penalty kicker can find an open spot from which to shoot.
- Once the ball is kicked, all players are to remain still until the ball stops moving forward. If the ball ricochets and moves back towards the kicker’s side, all players can move. Similarly, if the ball stops moving either because it has scored, hit another player or wall, or has just lost momentum, players can move.
- If the ball hits the wall or another player but keeps moving forward, all players are still to remain frozen.
- Once the ball stops moving, the referee can blow the whistle and the game continues. If the ball scores, the referee blows the whistle, and the game restarts.
Fouls 6+ (Taking penalties after the first 5)
Here since the ball is very close to the goal, scoring is much easier. As such the rules are slightly different.
- Every player but the penalty kicker and the defending team’s goalie must be frozen.
- The penalty kicker places the ball down after finding an open spot to shoot from. (No other player but the kicker and the defending team’s goalie can move while the kicker is positioning the ball.)
- The goalie of the defending team takes up the best positions to block the shot. (The kicker cannot reposition the ball after the goalie takes up his/her position.)
- Once the goalie takes up his/her position, he/she also stays frozen until the ball stops moving forward after the kick.
- The kicker can now kick the ball.
- Once the ball stops moving forward, the referee blows his whistle indicating so and everyone can move again.
- If the ball scores, the referee blows the whistle, and the game restarts.
Substitutions are allowed in human foosball. This allows a team to swap out tired players or players that aren’t doing well. Here are the rules that govern substitutions.
- Each team can call a single substation during a half. This results in a maximum of 2 substitutions per team over the entire course of the game.
- During substitution and half time break, players can switch places on the same bar or different bars.
- The team is allowed 15 seconds to a minute for substitution. After this time, if players are not ready, this is deemed a foul.
- A team cannot make substitutions or switch places during the opposing team’s substitution time. They have to wait and call for substitution of their own.
To call a substitution, the team captain motions to the referee that they wish to make a substitution. Once the game stops either because of a foul, a goal, or the ball going out of bounds, the team can process with their substitution.
Ending the Game
- The game ends when both halves are over.
- The game official(s) announces the final score. The team with the most goals win.
- Depending on the tournament format, a game can end on a draw.
- If a clear winner must be picked, extra time is played in which the first team to score wins.
Teams are to have a lineup sheet before the game starts. This is particularly useful in tournaments where several teams are playing (not just two teams). The team sheet is to be presented to the tournament coordinator before the game/ tournament commences. All teams must have the same number of players and substitutes.
This ensures the games are fair, tracking stats is easy, and the games move forward with little delay.
A sample team lineup sheet of the Flaming Thunders (this team has 7 players) is as follows –
The Flaming Thunders
Left Midfield: Patricia Williams
Left-Center Midfield: Bruno Garcia
Right-Center Midfield: Linda Wilson
Right Midfield: Richard Moore
Left Forward: Jennifer Davis
Right Forward: Thomas Adams
Similarly, you can use initials for the positions to simplify the lineup sheet. This team has 6 players.
The Flaming Thunders
LM: Patricia Williams
CM: Bruno Garcia
RM: Richard Moore
LF: Jennifer Davis
RF: Thomas Adams
Human Foosball – Wrap Up
This exciting game is a great way to kick start any fun outdoor gathering. It could be a family get together or corporate outdoor games. The playfield can be constructed yourself or you can even rent an inflatable playfield which is great for kids as well as adults.
Looking for more outdoor game ideas? Check out our post on outdoor games ideas right here!