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ITSF Rules

Per ITSF, and per agreements with USTSA and IFP, USTSF has overall and final decision authority on all rules and disciplinary matters in the USA (See also the "USTSF Referee Code" document on the Bylaws/Documents page).  What that really means is that according to ITSF rules, tournament directors have final say on any rulings or disciplinary matters at their tournaments, but the players involved can appeal to USTSF (if present at an event, or in the case of discipline, formally and in writing).


Condensed ITSF Rules

Differences between ITSF rules and old (2006) USTSA rules

Differences between ITSF rules and old (2006) Bonzini USA rules

(10/10/2008)  A few notes about the ITSF rules:

Globally standardized rules are part of ITSF’s mission and mandatory process towards IOC recognition.  The ITSF rules have being adopted by all of the 60 plus ITSF member nations (including the USA) and by all six of the top six major table soccer manufacturers.

The preliminary ITSF rules have been posted on the ITSF website since January 2006.  The ITSF rules were not developed in a vacuum.  In keeping with requirements of International Olympic Committee (IOC), the ITSF established an independent commission of experienced volunteers from several countries and styles of play (Tom Yore and Adrian Zamora from the USA were on the committee).  That committee met and essentially -- by using the existing USTSA rules as the foundation -- tried to work out a lot of the differences in playing characteristics between the tables and between current rules on each of six tables: Tornado, EuroSoccer, Garlando, Roberto-Sport, Bonzini and Lehmacher Tec-Ball (T.S.).

These rules were field tested (and modified as a result of lessons learned) at ITSF tournaments throughout 2006-7 in Europe, the World Cup.  At the same time, the ITSF Rules Commission understood that this would be a tough undertaking, and that the rules would have to be reviewed and revised for quite some time with feedback from players, officials and of course, actual use. Thus, the ITSF rules were and remain an evolutionary process.

It is the USTSF’s mission/job to represent all U.S. players, promoters, associations and even manufacturers as a liaison (independent from manufacturer ownership) between these, the U.S. Olympic Committee and ultimately, the ITSF. Thus, it is our role to bring issues, such as discrepancies in rules, to the attention of ITSF’s Rules Commission for proposed modification/revision and/or deletion as appropriate.  If you'd like the ITSF to change any rule(s), send the USTSF a pro and con for the change as to why certain rules need better clarifications, revisions, or need to be eliminated.  If possible, site valid situational examples.  USTSF will immediately present to/petition the ITSF Rules Commission on behalf of the U.S. players.

Status Update 2/28/2007:

ITSF International Rules:  This has been a touchy subject for a small but vocal handful of players.  Originally and per International Olympic Committee requirements, ITSF put together a multi-national committee to determine a single set of rules that could be applied regardless of type of table or style of play.  This committee began with the USTSA rules as its foundation and model, with the USA's Tom Yore as its committee head, and a pretty diverse set of recommendations for change from international and USA players alike. 

Fortunately and after several revisions and over a year of tournament play, a new multi-table set of rules (that ended up remaining over 95% USTSA-based) has been established and accepted by the five largest foosball major manufacturers in the world, and further accepted by all 40+ ITSF member countries.  That does not mean that the new rules are 100% perfect.  However, the ITSF Rules Commission meets regularly, and based on further input provided by member federations and by ITSF officials based on tournament play, the Rules Commission is committed to attaining the most complete and concise set of international rules possible. 

My own initial feedback after tournaments like Mary's Super Bowl is that most everyone I talked to said they liked them (especially the goalies!) and/or at least didn't mind them as long as everyone understood the rules and that officials were available who knew how to interpret them.  A number of players, including even Todd Loffredo, mentioned that a few of ITSF's rules were long overdue and they were glad to see some of the changes.  Also, look for USTSF representatives to gradually take on a greater role in coordinating officiation at ITSF sanctioned events (such as Valley's two majors) in the USA.

Larry Davis, President
United States Table Soccer Federation

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