ITSF Rules Book Update for 2016 Tour

It is with a great pleasure that we announce you the following modifications for the upcoming ITSF World Tour 2016 starting on January 1st, 2016.

The New ITSF Rules Book has been reviewed by the ITSF Rules Commission. Objective was to simplified our rules and make it easier to understand for all. English version is now available HERE and others languages will come soon.

See below the main changes and a few words from the ITSF Rules Commission :

''Dear all,
The latest revision of the Rule Book has quite a few changes compared to the old Rule Book. Changes have been made to simplify some rules, to clarify others, and to make it easier for referees to officiate matches. So please read the new Rule Book carefully, to grasp all the rules as intended.
Furthermore, rules relating to ITSF Paralympic Table-Soccer events have been added to the Rule Book, and are are indicated with the symbol.
These are the main changes (in the corresponding chapters):
  • Qualified Authorities e. A Referee who is solicited during a match to make a ruling may gather information from other Referees, from spectators, and from video recordings, if available, to help make the best ruling possible.

4. Serve and ready protocol:

  • To begin play, the ball must be moved from one player figure to another but may not be directly advanced from the second figure. After contacting the second player figure, the ball may be directly advanced by any other player figure. (This replaces the old 1 second rule after the second figure). This means it’s now legal to advance the ball directly from the third touch when putting the ball into play.
7. Ball of the table:
  • If the ball goes off the table following a pass or shot, it will be put back into play at the opposing goalie rods of the team who advanced the ball or had last clear control of the ball.
9. Time Out:
  • If the team in possession of the ball calls time out while the ball is in play and moving, the time out will not begin until the ball has completely stopped. No penalty for calling a time out while the ball is moving as long as it stops before time expires.
13. Table sides:
  • Teams may switch sides of the table between games and have a time limit of 90 seconds to begin the next game. If the teams switch sides after the first game they must continue to switch sides after each subsequent game. If the teams decide not to switch sides after the first game, they must remain on the same sides for the remainder of the match.
  • The Tournament Organizer may require teams to remain on the same sides during televised or recorded matches.
19. Alterations to the table:
  • A player may not intentionally bend or flex the rod to assist in gaining possession of the ball.
  • Players are entitled to begin each match with brand new balls (if available) or they may agree to play with the existing balls at the table.
21. Practice:
  • Illegal Practice is a judgment call by the Referee at the table. Inadvertent movement of the ball, or using the player figures to position the ball before the serve, does not constitute Practice. This implies there is no penalty for moving the ball with the player figures to begin the serve.
22. Language and Behavior:
  • The use of headphones, ear-buds, or any similar electronic listening device is not permitted when the ball is in play.
Changes in the Rule Book to clarify the intention of the rules better:
  • 16. Jarring: improved definition and interpretation of Jarring rules. Emphasis is added to the jarring rule to allow play to continue if possession is not affected.
  • 17. Reset: improved definition of resets, and consequences. The rules allow for the Referee to award the ball back to the five man rod if a reset affects execution of a pass.
  • 19. Alterations to the table: improved explanation on what is allowed and forbidden.
  • 20. Distraction: improved clarification of the definition of distraction.
  • 23. Passing: clarification of the rules concerning striking the side walls (3-wall rule) and clarification regarding getting a stopped ball away from the wall.
Please read the new Rule Book carefully, and always remember the rules are there to help you enjoy the game, to ensure fair play among the competitors and to promote an environment of good sportsmanship.''

Also, In the next weeks the rules commission will split in two commissions. One dedicated on rules and another one for referees.

  • The rules commission will be in charge of the rules only, and will be the only one to be able to change/modify the official rules depending on players/federations feedbacks when necessary.
  • The referee commission will be in charge of referee classification, rules interpretations and referee clinics.

We invite you to be part of one of this commission by sending to ITSF and Rules commission’ President Tom Yore some words to candidate and explain your motivations to be part of it. Deadine is set to December, 15th, 2015.

Feel free to contact us at


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