Speed Ball Rules

Following the ITSF Congress, The rules commission is pleased to announce you the Speed ball Rules for the up coming World Championship Series Bonzini that will take place in Pontoise (France) from May 16th to 18th.


1. The Match

A standard match will be the best two of three games to five points unless otherwise indicated by the tournament organizer. The final game of the match must be decided by a two goal margin up to a maximum of eight points.

  • 1.1 A coin flip shall determine the first possession or choice of table side. Teams are not permitted to change table sides between games.
  • 1.2 In multi-table events, a coin flip shall determine which table will be played first and then a second coin flip shall determine the first possession or choice of sides.
  • 1.3 The match will be played with the ball normally designated for each table. 

2. Serve and Ready Protocol

The Serve is defined as putting the ball into play at the beginning of a game, after a point is scored, or if the ball is awarded to a player on the five-man rod following a penalty.

2.1 The Serve

The serve shall begin with the ball stopped at the middle player figure of the five-man rod. The player serving the ball must then follow the ready protocol.

  • 2.1a If the ball is served from a position other than the middle player figure the opponent has the option to continue play from the current position or serve the ball.

2.2 Ready Protocol

To put the ball into play, the player with possession must ask if the direct opponent is ready.  The opponent must respond within 3 seconds and play must begin within 3 seconds after the opponent indicates he is ready.  Violating these time limits may result in a Delay of Game Penalty.

  • 2.2a The ball must be moved from one player figure to another before it can be legally advanced. 
  • 2.2b The ball may be advanced directly from the second player figure.
  • 2.2c Putting the ball into play without touching a second player figure or without asking if the opponent is ready will be the opponent’s option to continue play from the current position or to serve the ball.

3. Ball in Play

Play shall be continuous and the ball may not be stopped or pinned for more than 1 second. The ball may be pinned, released, and struck with the same player figure if done within the 1 second time limit. 

If the ball is pinned, released, and pinned again, it must touch a second player figure before advancing. The penalty for violating this rule is the opponent’s choice to continue play from the current position or to serve the ball.

4. Ball off the Table

If the ball leaves the playing area and strikes the scoring markers, light fixture, or any object that is not part of the table, the ball shall be declared off the table. If the ball hits the top of the side rails or cabinet ends and returns to the playing surface it will be considered in play. 

  • 4.1 If the ball goes off the table, play shall resume in the goalie area of the team last scored upon.  
  • 4.2 There is no penalty for aerial shots or for intentionally causing the ball to go off the table.

5. Time of Possession

The time of Possession shall be 3-Seconds for ALL rods. The goalie rods are considered one rod. When serving the ball or resuming play, the time limits begin when the ball touches the second player figure. During play, time begins when the ball is either controlled or in a position to be controlled. The time of possession is suspended when the ball is not within reach of any player figure.

  • 5.1 If the ball is completely stopped and not within reach of any player figure it will be put back into play at the goalie area closest to where the ball stopped.  If the ball is stopped between the five-man rods, it will be served by the team last scored upon.
  • 5.2 The penalty for violating the time of possession on the 3-man rod is loss of possession to the opposing goalie.  If the time limits are exceeded at any other rod, the ball will be served by the opponent at the 5-man rod.

6. Time Outs

Teams may take two 15-second time outs per game. Time outs are only allowed between points or between games. Time outs are not allowed while the ball is in play, however, an Official Time Out may be called to request a referee or to call a foul.  Violation of any part of this rule is a Delay of Game penalty.

7. Delay of Game

When a player is charged with Delay of Game, play must resume within three seconds. The penalty for the first violation is a warning and the second violation is loss of possession.  Subsequent violations will be a Technical Foul.

8. Passing

All passes are legal and there is no limit to the number of walls may be struck before advancing the ball.  The ball may also be advanced from a pinned position according to Rule 3, Ball in Play.

9. Jarring

Any banging, lifting, or sliding of the table that causes a player to lose possession is considered Jarring.  The penalty for Jarring is the opponent’s option to continue play from the current position, from the rod which lost possession, or may serve the ball at the five-man rod. 

  • 9.1 The penalty for a third jar infraction in a match is a Technical Foul. 

10. Technical Foul

When a technical foul is called, a penalty shot is taken at the 3-man rod of the non-offending team.  The shot may be taken and defended by either the forward or the goalie but only the player shooting and the player blocking are allowed at the table.  

  • 10.1 All rules, including the Ready Protocol and Time Limits must be observed during the Penalty Shot.
  • 10.2 If the shot scores, the ball shall be served by the team who was scored upon. If the shot did not score, play shall resume from the location of the ball prior to the technical foul or as specified by the rules. 

11.  Code of Ethics

Any player, whose action is deemed unsportsmanlike or unethical by a referee, will be issued a warning. Subsequent violations will result in a Technical Foul.  Depending on the severity of the unsportsmanlike conduct, a referee may recommend forfeiture or expulsion to the Tournament Organizer.

12.  Decisions and Appeals

Players have the right to appeal or challenge a referees ruling to the Head Official, or if not available, to the Tournament Organizer.  Players are not permitted to appeal any ruling that involves a referee’s judgment.   Players who lose an appeal will be charged with a time out. 


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