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Foosball Glossary of Terms

Ball Return- Where a player retrieves the ball after a goal has been scored. The two options are side or end ball returns. Side ball returns are a little more convenient, but not a necessity.

Bearing- A component that connects the table and rod, allowing the rods to move and spin freely.

Bumpers- A rubber piece on each rod acting as a buffer between the men and sidewalls.

Bushing- A component taking the place of a bearing system. The bushings become the table/rod connection, and are usually made from an oil-impregnated plastic. Because there are no moving parts to a bushing system, none of the parts wear out. It requires only simple maintenance, needing a few drops of liquid silicone to re-lubricate the bushings.

Compression Pin / Spiral Pin- A system of attaching players to a foosball table without using threaded nuts and bolts. This system prevents pieces from becoming loose and wobbly by eliminating threads that become stripped and loose. Found on Tornado, Shelti, and Performance Games tables.

Counter Balanced Men- A player with a weighted head, designed to counter-balance the weight of the foot. This allows a foosball player to maintain its position on the rod without the foot falling to the table.

Grip- The portion of the bar the players grasp. Grips are usually made from rubber or wood. Many high-end foosball tables feature wood grips because they provide a non-slip surface by absorbing perspiration. These are more expensive to produce.

Hollow Rods- Made from hollow chrome-plated steel, these rods are packed with technology but are expensive to produce. Usually found on high-end foosball tables, hollow rods combine durability and performance. While reducing rod weight without sacrificing durability, foosers enjoy faster reaction times.

Leg Boots- This is a common leveling system where removable rubber boots are fitted over the base of the foosball table legs. They slide on and off easily. This system allows square shims to be placed inside the boot to level the playing surface properly.

Leg Levelers- A screw in insert found on each leg of a foosball table. They allow a hassle-free leveling of the playing surface. Remember: floors are not always level!

Sidewall- The portion of the cabinet the foosball bounces off of during play. Sidewall width is important because it determines the ultimate performance of the table--the thicker the sidewalls, the truer shot and pass deflection. The sidewall width also is one factor in determining the overall weight of the table--the heavier the table, the more stable it is.

Single Goalie- This is a back rod with a single player. A single goalie table will have corner ramps to prevent dead spots in the table. A few manufacturers still offer a single goalie option along with the tournament style goalie.

Solid Rod- Made from solid chrome-plated steel, these rods are durable and inexpensive to produce. The drawback is that they are heavier than their hollow counterparts, resulting in a slower reaction time.

Split Cabinet- A cabinet with a hinge in the middle allowing access to internal ball return shoots. This is a great feature if a foosball table will be placed in a commercial setting. It allows a table to be cleaned easily and makes it simple to find objects that find their way into the goals.

Telescopic Rods- A type of rod developed for safety. It does not extend beyond the non-player side of the sidewall, which prevents passing children and opponents from getting injured by the rods.

Tournament Style Goalie- This is a back rod that holds three players instead of the traditional single goalie. It is quickly becoming the standard, because it prevents many dead spots found in the corners of a traditional table. Since the newly added players can reach the hard-to-reach spots of the table, the corner ramp is unnecessary. is a Hayneedle Inc. store. Copyright 2005 - 2010 , Hayneedle Inc., all rights reserved.