When it comes to leisurely pastimes, Foosball is the most cutthroat you can get. Since we at SpareFoot strive for only the most extreme life experiences, it is natural that our office features a Foosball table and a highly competitive roster of Foos combatants.* With fierce competition comes the need for self-discipline, so we’ve come up with a few guidelines that have (so far) protected our office culture from the violence and chaos lurking behind every game of Foosball.

1. Don’t take “no” for an answer. If you have a challenger in your sights, it is within your rights to do whatever you can to make them stop working and come play a game with you. They know they want to, and so do you. Taunting, jokes about their mom, and questioning their manliness/womanliness are all very effective ways to initiate an invigorating match.

2. Carb up. In sports requiring moderate-to-no exercise, daily food intake is key to victory (and, coincidentally, survival). Tony Emerson, SEO Analyst and Bank Shot Expert at SpareFoot, has some very specific nutritional advice: “When training up for a big Foos match, I aim for a 40/30/30 protein/carbs/fat ratio. On match day, I switch that up to 30/40/30 to ensure there’s enough glycogen in my cells for a grueling game. In terms of supplementation, creatine, whey protein and fish oil are the obvious must-haves.” Or, make a sandwich or something.

3. Find your shot and stick with it. If you master a shot in the face of all opponents, you will be able to vault over much of your competition. Cheers of “There he goes again!” and “He just pulled another [your name here]!” will echo the halls of Foosball Fame, and your name will be placed among the pantheon of Foosball Greats like Lee Peppard, founder of the first Foosball Tour and paragon of having too much time on one’s hands. A few classic foosball shots to make your own:

  • The Push/Pull Shot: A staple of most regular players, this usually involves your three-man attacking row. Quick and to the point, the goal is to quickly pull or push the ball into position and let it fire.
  • The Bank Shot: This shot requires a familiarity with the laws of physics to fully master. As Newton’s Second Law states, “Any object, if kicked, will bounce off the wall into a goal, hopefully.” Tony weighed in on his go-to shot: “When the standard push shots and pull shots are consistently getting blocked by an opponent, bank shots are a slightly lower-percentage shot that does a better job of sneaking past the defense.”
  • The Mirror Shot. The most satisfying offensive move in the game, this involves careful shadowing of your opponent’s goalie and defenders. If they attempt a pass or a shot from one of these defensive positions, slap it into their goal and make a “Oh no you didn’t” face.

4. Physics is just a theory. It’s also a fickle mistress in the land of Foosball. If it’s not your day, gravity will create a funnel through which even a baby could hit your goal. There is nothing you can do when this happens except follow the next tip:

5. Take everything personally. Foosball is 90% attitude, and the only way to win is to couple a steely resolve with the emotional turbulence of, say, the honey badger. One mustn’t “congratulate” his or her “opponent” on a “great score.” Rather, the offender should be seen as a cheater and a butthead. He must have had an inside tip as to the lean of the foosball table, and he’s probably all Juggernauted-out on steroids. Insult his mom in the spirit of the game. But no matter how high emotions flare, everything can be resolved with a post-game beer.

If your office loves the sport but doesn’t have the room to indulge, consult your local self-storage manager for help! A storage unit provides the perfect solitary setting for explicit Foos-related insults.

Do you have a group of Foosers who compare to the SpareFoot team? Tell us about your own office Foosball experiences below!

*It should be noted that SpareFoot employees work upwards of 10 hours a day, cranking away at our never-ending to-do lists. Startups are intense, so we need a break sometimes. Enter Foos.

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  • Alana

    6. Shoes are crucial

    Very funny Matt!

  • Sprinkler

    If the table & players starts to break/shatter, new rules can be created.

  • Chris Williams

    Fun stuff. We’re not so big on #5 here at my office, but #3 has inspired me to really find my own shot.

  • Daniel Wright

    It’s fun seeing the names that other places come up with for the same shots. Our office, for example:

    1. The Trout (your Mirror Shot): so named because the ball is shoved back down your throat => troat => trout. We’ve even got variations on the theme: “trout” from the forwards; “Mouffette” from the midfield (Mid-Field Trout => MFT => Mouffette); and D-Trout Rock City when your defencemen trout your opponents’ forwards.

    2. We’ve named The Push/Pull Shot the Toe-Drag, after the hockey move.

    3. The Bank Shot is the “Richard O’Shea” => Rick O’Shea => ricochet.

    There are probably dozens of others. My favourite is the semi-legendary Teen Wolf, when the ball caroms off the play surface, touches the scoreboard, falls back into play and into the net.

    None of these are trademarked (even the Trademark), so feel free to absorb them into your office’s lingo.

  • HDawg

    At our office, we used to play foosball to destress. After a while though, we became so competitive that now we have to destress from foosball! We recently upgraded our foosballs from the cheap kind that came with the table to professional grade ones. Yea, it makes a difference. We’ve held two tournaments, one of which ended with the losers having to chug a can of cheap nasty beer.

    Our rules are a little different. We call the “mirror shot” a “ricochet”. We don’t count the point if the ball goes into the goal and bounces back out, but we do count the point if the ball is dropped in and spins directly into someone’s goal (as long as it has touched another player). We’ve dubbed that shot the “McCray” after one of our employees who made it his signature. No spinning of course, and we switch positions after 5 points.

    We also work long days, so foosball is a great way to break up the monotony and do something that requires coordination. It may not be the best for our blood pressure though!

  • Durski

    Matt,
    Your writing is outstanding and dynamic.
    Your correctly reported what really goes on,
    not just the usual party line.
    Durs in Forestville