If a player has the ball stopped and set up to shoot or pass,
and the ball is unintentionally moved due to jarring by the opponent, the official present
will call "reset" and he will reset all time limits. The player with the ball
has the option of setting the ball up again, or ignoring the reset call and playing the
ball where it is.
the Playing Area
- Any movement of the ball, no matter how slight,
may be considered grounds for a reset (example: a ball rocking in place).
- A reset is not considered a distraction, and the
player with the ball may shoot immediately. The defensive team should not, therefore,
relax or look at the official upon hearing the word "reset," but rather should
stay on defense.
- A reset call does not count as jarring
infraction, however, repeated offenses may be grounds for the official present to call a
technical foul on the defensive player causing the reset.
- A reset violation behind the ball shall not be
considered a reset violation. It shall be considered a jarring violation. (Example: if the
opposing forward is judged to have reset his opponent when the opponent has the ball on
the 3 rod.)
- An intentional reset by the team in possession of
the ball for the purposes of attempting to get a reset call from the official shall not be
allowed. The team judged to be in violation of this rule shall lose possession of the
ball, the ball to be reserved by the other team. (This is not counted as a reset.)
- A team is allowed one reset call per game. After
that, a team causing two resets during the same point will be charged with a technical
- If a technical foul is called for excessive
resets, the next reset call shall not result in a technical foul.
- Resets are charged per-team and not per-player.
- If the defender intentionally jars the table,
this will not be considered a reset, and jarring will be called immediately.
It is illegal
for a player to reach into the play area while the ball is in play without first having
permission from the opposing team, whether he touches the ball or not. However, whenever
the opposing team grants a player permission to reach into the playing area, it is legal
for the player to do so.
to the Table
- A spinning ball is considered
"in-play," even if it is not in reach of a player figure. It is illegal to reach
into playing area to stop a spinning ball, even if done for an opponent.
- A ball which becomes airborne over the table is
still in play until it has hit something not a part of the playing area. Do not catch a
flying ball over the table.
- A ball which has gone dead is considered out of
play. The ball may be freely touched once permission has been granted by the official, or
if no official is present, by the opposing team.
- There is no penalty for touching the ball after
it is dead, regardless of whether or not permission was given to touch the ball.
- A player may wipe shot marks off any part of the
table while the ball is not in play. He does not need to ask permission of the opposing
- The penalty for violation of this rule is as
- If the player has possession of the ball, and the
ball is stopped - loss of possession to the opposing team.
- If the ball is moving in the player's goal area
behind the two-man rod - a point is scored for the opposing team, and the ball is
re-served as if it had gone in the goal.
- Any other case - technical foul.
- Playing area - no changes can be made that would
affect the interior playing characteristics of the table by any player. This includes
changes to the men, playing surface, bumpers, etc.
- A player cannot wipe sweat or spit or any foreign
substance on his hand before wiping ball marks off the table.
- Wiping rosin on the table is illegal.
- Any player using a substance on their hands to
improve their grip, for example, must make sure that this substance does not get on the
ball. If this does occur, and the substance is judged to affect the play of the ball
(Example: a ball coated with rosin) that ball and any others in the table similarly
affected shall be cleaned immediately and the team judged to have caussed this to occur
shall be penalied for delay of game and warned that if this occurs again during the match
they will be prohibited from using the substance.
- Handles - in regard to the use of substances to
improve grip, if a player uses a substance that, upon switching tables sides, has left a
deposit on the handles, he must immediately clean the handles.
- If the time necessary to remove the substance
exceeds 60 seconds, the player will be penalized for delay of game, and the player will be
prohibited from using the substance again.
- A player may not place a tube or handle on the
table exterior that inhibits the motion of the rods (example: for limiting the motion of
the goalie rod).
- A player may not switch the handles on the
exterior of the tables.
- A request to change balls before the start of the
match must be approved by the official present or the Tournament Director. The request
will be granted only if the playing characteristics of the existing balls are
significantly different from the standard.
- New ball - a player may not ask for a new ball
while the ball is in play. During a dead ball, however, a player may request a new ball
from the rack inside the table. Such a request will generally be granted, unless the
official present judges that such a request is made simply for the purpose of stalling
- A player requesting a new ball while the ball is
in play shall be charged with a time out, unless the official present judges the ball to
be unplayable, in which case no time out will be charged.
- Unless otherwise specified, penalty for violation
of any part of this rule may be grounds for a technical foul.
Any movement or sound made away from
the rod where the ball is in play may be judged as a distraction. No point made as a
result of a distraction will count. If a player believes he is being distracted, it is his
responsibility to call for an official.
- Banging the five-man rod or any rod prior to,
during, or after a shot is considered a distraction. Moving the five man slightly after
the shot has started is not considered a distraction, however.
- Talking between teammates while the ball is in
play may be judged a distraction.
- It is not considered a distraction, when passing,
to move the catching rod as part of a fake. Excessive motion, however, is grounds for a
- It is considered a distraction, after setting up
a shot, to remove a hand from the handle and then shoot the ball. The ball may only be
shot after both hands are on the handles for a full second.
Rules Clarification August 1996
The problem with this rule is the wording which will be corrected on the next revision of
the rules. The intent of the rule is to avoid having a player remove their hands from the
handles IN A DISTRACTING MANNER and then shooting as soon as they place their hand back on
the handle. The word "grasped" was used in the last sentence of this rule. In
the case of the "Roll-Over" shot, the rod will be considered to be grasped when
on the wrist of the shooter. In an attempt to stay consistent with the way we have been
ruling in the cases where a roll-over shooter shoots as soon as he slides his wrist on the
handle, this will be legal as long as it is not done in a distracting manner. The way this
is ruled will be looked at by the officiating committee and possibly changed after the
World Championships. The one second on the handle does not apply in singles except in the
case of a set shot on the forward three row. The European style roll-over straight: This
is shot by making the play figure spin around while rolling the handle from your palm to
you fingertips. It is most common with the European style front pin and a straight option
on a pull shot. This is a legal shot.
- Penalty for distraction - if a shot is scored as
a result of a distraction by the offensive team, the point will not count and the opposing
team will re-serve the ball. In all other cases, the opposing team has the option of
continuing play from the current position, continuing play from the point of infraction,
or re-serving the ball. Subsequent violations may be grounds for a technical foul.
Rules Clarification August 1996
This does not mean that the second infraction should be a technical foul. After the first
infraction, the offending team will, at minimum, have to give up the drop to the other
team. A technical SHOULD be called when an official feels that the team is
flagrantly distracting their opponent. A technical should also be called in the case of
repeated distractions when the team being distracted has the ball on the three row (in
which case a drop would be of no benefit to the team being distracted.) In the case where
play was in no way affected (loss of possession or being distracted while shooting or
passing) the first infraction will be a warning.
Once a match has begun, no player may practice either his
serve or shot on either the table being played or on any other table. This rule applies
during time outs and between games.
- Practice is defined as either moving the ball (by
contacting it with a player figure) or practicing the serve.
- Illegal Practice is a judgement call by th
official present at the table. Inadvertent movement of th ball does not necessarily
- Penalty for this infraction is a technical foul,
except in the case of putting the ball back into play following a time out (see 7.11).
Unsportsmanlike comments made directly or indirectly by a
player are not allowed. Violations of this rule may be grounds for a technical foul.
- Calling the attention of the opposing team away
from the game is not allowed (see 18). Any shouts or sounds made during a match, even if
of an enthusiastic nature, may be grounds for a technical foul.
- Cursing by a player shall not be allowed.
Continued cursing by a player may be cause for forfeiture of games and/or expulsion from
the tournament site.
- The use of a spotter in the audience shall not be
allowed. Furthermore, a member of the audience is not allowed to influence a match by
distracting a player or official. Violation of this rule may be grounds for expulsion of
the person from the tournament site.
- Coaching will be allowed, but only duriBng time
- A pinned ball on the 5 man cannot be directly
advanced to the 3 man rod of the same team. It must touch at least two player figures as
it is put into the motion of a pass (Except an accidental stub or squib pass SEE 21.1c). A
pinned ball is on that is pinned to the wall or playfield.
- A ball whose motion has clearly stopped may be
legally passed if this pass if immediate. Any hesitation befor the pass and the pass shall
be declared illegal. Once a ball has clearly stopped and is not immediately passed it must
then touch at least two player figures before it can be legally passed.f
- Changing the lateral speed or direction of the
ball from the front or back of the man prior to passing the ball is considered to be an
adjustment and is illegal. Changing the speed or direction of the ball from the side of
the man is legal.
- An accidental stub or squib pass is legal.
However, if a ball is stubbed or squibbed by a player figure, released, and then passed by
that player figure before striking another player figure on that same rod, it is illegal.
- A pinned or stopped ball may be shot on goal, to
be considered a shot, the ball must either go into the goal, be blocked by the opposing
goalie's men, or hit the back wall. If the atte[Bmpted shot is blocked by the opposing
five-man rod and then caught by the shooter's three-man, It shall be declared an illegal
- If a pinned or stopped ball from the five-man is
shot on goal, and the ball hits the shooter's three-man row, then the shot would be legal,
provided the ball was not caught by the three-man.
- A caught ball is defined as a ball that is in the
possession of a rod long enough for a controlled pass or shot to be attempted (examples:
pick-up and quick shots).
- Before attempting a pass from the five-man rod,
the player cannot make the ball strike the side wall of the table more than twice. It
makes no difference which wall the ball touches - a total of two times is all that is
allowed. If the ball goes to the wall a third time, it must be advanced in the motion of a
pass or shot.
- Defensive trap - if an opponent's pass or shot is
stopped by trapping it against the side wall, that does not count as one of the two times
allowed to touch the wall by the player who made the trap and is now in possession of the
ball on his five-man rod.
- Once the ball has touched the wall, it will not
be counted as hitting the wall again until the ball has rolled off the side strip (if
present on the table).
- Passing from the two-man and goalie rods - rule
21.1 also applies to a pass from the two-man or goalie rod to the same team's five-man
rod. However, once a ball is forwarded from either the two-man or the goalie rods, if it
should strike an opposing team's player figures, that ball is no longer considered a pass
but a live ball that may be legally caught by any player.
- Rule 21.2a also applies here for a stopped shot
from the two- man touched by the five-man.
- It is legal to have just one hand on the rods
when playing defensive (example: right hand on defensive five-man). It is also legal to
use two hands to move a rod (example: defensive five-man).
- Penalty for an illegal pass - if a team violates
the above rule of passing, the opposing team has the option of continuing play from the
current position or re-serving the ball.
- Enforcement of the time of possession rule shall
be made only by an authorized tournament official.
- Possession of the ball at any one rod shall be
limited to 15 seconds, except the five-man rod which has a ten second limit, by the end of
which time period the player in possession must advance the ball to or past at least one
rod of the opposing team.
- A spinning ball that is within reach of a player
figure shall be considered to be in that rod's possession and all time limits shall
continue. Players must make an honest effort to gain possession of a spinning ball that is
within reach, however, if the spinning ball is not within reach, the time limits are not
Rules Clarification August 1996
In the case of this happening in the goalie area, time will be suspended while the ball is
not in reach. The official will add the amount of the suspended time at the end of the 15
- Penalty - penalty for three-man delay is loss of
possession to the opposing goalie. The goalie shall put the ball back into play as if it
had been declared a dead ball. Penalty for delay at any other rod is loss of possession to
the opposing forward for serve.
Best of five matches
shall be limited to one hour of play from the time the match is started. Best of three
matches shall be limited to 35 minutes from the time the match is started.
Delay of Game
- If the specified time limit expires before the
match has been completed, an official will announce to the players that a ten minute
overtime period will begin at that time. If the overtime period ends before the match has
been completed, the winner of the match shall be the player or team which has won the most
games, or if the teams have an equal number of games, it shall be the team that has scored
the most points in the game in progress, after the ball in play at this time that the
overtime period expires has been scored. If the teams have won an equal number of games
and scored an equal number of points after this ball has been scored, one more ball shall
be played to determine the winner of the match.
- Time outs called within the regular time limit of
a match shall be counted against the total amount of time left to play. However, time outs
do not count against the ten minutes in the overtime period (a time out would then stop
- Official time outs do not count against the total
amount of time left to play.
- Enforcement of this rule is the responsibility or
the Tour nt Director.
Play shall be continuous, except
during time outs. A delay of game penalty may only be called by an official.
Rules Clarification August 1996
Continuous play defined: Between balls, a player shall be allowed to wipe their brow, dry
their hands, adjust their grip, change their stance, or any other activity they deem
necessary to prepare themselves for the play of the next ball, providing the combination
of ALL such activities takes less than 5 seconds.
- After a delay of game infraction play shall
resume in at most 10 seconds. At the end of 10 seconds another delay of game call should
- Taking too much time to serve the ball or to put
the ball back into play may be grounds for delay of game.
- The first infraction of this rule is a warning.
Subsequent infractions will result in the player being charged with a time out. Example:
Player charged with delay of game. If still not ready to resume play after 10 seconds -
time out charged. If after the time out still not ready, another 10 seconds- second time
out charged (Technical - SEE 7.8).
Once a match has been called, both
teams should report immediately to the designated table. If a team has not reported to the
table within three minutes, they should be recalled. A team, upon being recalled, must
report immediately to the table in order to stop the forfeiture process.
- A recall is made every three minutes. Penalty for
second and subsequent recalls is forfeiture of a game.
- If a team has forfeited any games due to recalls,
they get the choice of side or serve once play begins.
- Enforcement of this rule is the responsibility of
the Tournament Director.
If, in the judgment of an
authorized tournament official, either team competing in a match is at any time in
flagrant or intentional violation of these rules of play, a technical foul may be called
on the offending team.
Decisions and Appeals
- When a technical foul is called, play shall stop
and the ball awarded to the opponents of the offending team at its three-man rod. One shot
will be taken after which play shall stop. If it scores or not, the ball shall be put back
into play at the spot it was when the technical was called. If the ball was in motion, it
will be put back into play as if it had been declared dead at that spot. (Except as
provided in 14.1).
- A player is considered to have taken a technical
foul shot once ball has left the three-man rod. A player is considered to have been
blocked the shot once the ball has either stopped in or left the defender's area.
- Only the shooter and defender should be at the
table during the technical foul shot.
- On a technical foul shot, the ball must be put
into play before shooting (see 8.1). Furthermore, all rules, including time limits and
resets, still apply.
- A team may switch positions before and/or after
the technical foul shot without being charged with a time out (see 12).
- Time outs may be called during a technical shot,
as long as they would otherwise be legal (see 7).
- A point scored on an illegal technical shot shall
not be allowed, and play shall resume at the spot the technical was called.
- If a technical foul shot ends the game, the
opposing team gets the first serve of the next game.
- Further violations of a flagrant or intentional
nature shall carry additional technical fouls. A third technical foul in any one game
shall result in an automatic forfeiture of the game. Also, the official may announce at
any time after the first technical foul is called on a team that further violation by that
team shall be cause for forfeiture of the game or match.
controversy involves a question of judgement, and the official is present at the time the
events in question transpired, his decision is final and no appeal may be made. If the
controversy involved an interpretation of the rules, or the official was not present at
the time the events in question transpired, the official shall make the most equitable
decision possible under the circumstances. Decisions of this nature may be appealed, but
it must be done immediately in the manner prescribed below.
- In order to appeal a rule interpretation, a
player must file that appeal with the official before the ball being played at the time of
the controversy is put back into play. An appeal concerning the loss of a match must be
filed before the team that won has begun its next match.
- All rule appeals shall be considered by the Head
Official and (if present) at least two members of the officiating staff. All decisions on
appeals are final.
- A team making an unsuccessful rules appeal of an
obvious nature, or a team that questions a judgment call, will be charged with a time out.
In addition, the team may also be penalized for delay of game, at the discretion of the
- Arguing with a Certified official during a match
will not be allowed. Violation of this rule will be grounds for a delay of game penalty
and/or a violation of the code of ethics.
Any action of an
unsportsmanlike or unethical nature during tournament play, in the tournament room, or on
the grounds of the host facility, will be considered a violation of the Code of Ethics.
- Penalty - the penalty for breaking the Code or
Ethics may be forfeiture of a game or match, expulsion from the tournament, and/or a fine.
Whether or not the Code of Ethics has been broken, and what is the appropriate penalty for
the infraction will be determined by the Disciplinary Committee of the USTSA.
- The administration of tournament play shall be
the responsibility of the Tournament Director. This includes making the draws, scheduling
the events, timing matches, etc. The decision of the Tournament Director in such matters
- All matters pertaining to rules of play
(appointing officials, handling appeals, etc.) shall be the responsibility of the Head
Official. The Tournament Director is responsible for appointing the Head Official.
Goalie War is a singles specialty event where
the three and five-man rods are lifted up, and the defenders play against each other.
- The ball must touch two men and then be stopped
for a full second before a shot may be attempted. Violation is loss of possession.
- Time limits start one second after the ball has
touched the second man.
In order to shoot the ball and score a point, a
player must have possession of the ball. If the ball is in a player's defensive area, that
player has possession of the ball. However, if the ball is in the center of the table, the
player who last had the ball in his defensive area loses possession of the ball to the
- A player's defensive area is defined to extend
from the back wall to the end of where the two-man rod reaches. The center of the table is
the remaining area of play.
- A ball that strikes any rod, player figure, or
bumper in the center of the table is still considered a live ball. These rods play no part
in determining possession of the ball.
- If a ball leaves the playing area and strikes a
foreign object, the ball is re-served by the player who originally served the ball. If a
ball goes dead on the table, the ball is re-served by the player who has possession of the
- [sic] If player A shoots a ball that never
reaches player B's defensive area, player A must first stop or control the ball, and then
give the ball back to player B to re-serve. In particular, a shot that bounces back and
goes in the shooter's goal counts, since that player must first stop and control the ball.
There is a ten second possession limit in the
defensive area. In addition, once the ball is stopped or pinned for more than three
seconds, three ball must be moved to another man before a shot is attempted.
Four on Four is a specialty event where there
are four players on a side, with each player holding a single rod.
Change of Positions
- If a team scores a point, they must rotate
positions before the next point: the player on the three-man rod moves to the goalie-rod,
while the players on the goalie, two-man, and five-man rods move to the two- man,
five-man, and three-man rods respectively.
- A team may also change positions before the start
of the match or between games. However, no other changes of positions will be allowed.
- The game is played rollerball style, i.e., a ball
may not be pinned for more than three seconds or stopped for more than one second, and
there is a ten second time limit per rod.
- Once a ball is stopped or pinned, the player must
make sure the ball touches another man of the same team (on any rod) in order to score a
- If a point is scored illegally, the ball shall be
re-served by the opposing team.
Two-Ball Rollerball is a specialty event played
with two balls served at the beginning of a point.
- The game is played rollerball style, i.e., a ball
may not be pinned for more than three seconds or stopped for more than one second, and
there is a ten second time limit per rod. A shot may be directly scored from a pinned or
Serving the Ball
- At the start of a point, each forward should
serve their ball on the count of three. Both balls should hit the playfield within one
second of the three count.
- If a ball goes off the table, and no balls have
been scored yet, both balls shall be re-served. Otherwise, the team scored upon serves the
- If each team scores a goal, then neither team
receives a point. Two balls are re-served.
- If a team has scored the first ball, they may
stop play any time they have control of the second ball and take one point. If a team
elects to take the point, two balls are re-served.
- A team that scores both goals gets two points.
The balls are re-served.
- A shot that goes "in and out" does not
count as a goal scored in Two-Ball Rollerball (rather, play continues).
Forward Shootout a singles specialty event where
the players alternately shoot technical foul shots on each other.
- The ball is placed on the three-man, and then
must touch two men and be stopped for a full second before a shot may be attempted.
Violation is loss of possession.
- The first serve of the match is determined in the
usual fashion, by a flip of the coin.
- The serve alternates between players for the
remainder of the match.
- The ball is considered to have been shot once it
leaves the forward's three man. The ball is considered to have been blocked once the ball
has either stopped in or left the defender's area.
- The usual time limit (15 seconds) applies on the
three-man. Time limits start one second after the ball has touched the second man.
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