How to Play Gaelic Table Football
Rule 1: Possession
- The side in possession of the ball shall be known as the attacking side; the side not in possession is the defending side.
- No single figure shall play the ball more than four times in succession, unless the ball touches another figure of the same side.
- Only the figure flicked by the attacking side can strike the ball. No pushing of other figures onto the ball is allowed. If this occurs a free kick is given to the defending side at the point where the foul occurred.
Rule 2: The Throw-In
- At the throw-in, the ball is placed on the throw in line at midfield with both teams' midfielders on their respective 65M lines.
- Each player must have six figures in the opposition half prior to the throw-in.
- When the start of the game is signalled, both players flick their midfielders at the ball once.
- The ball cannot be knocked beyond either 65M line until after all four midfielders have been flicked at the ball once.
- if the previous rule is infringed, the ball and the infringing figure are returned to their positions they were in before the flick and that figure cannot be flicked again.
- The figures can legally make contact with the opposing figures to jostle for the ball. However, if they move the opposing figure by more than 5cm they are deemed to have committed a foul and a free kick is given to the opposing team.
- The figure which comes to rest closest to the ball is deemed to have won possession.
- The ball cannot be forced out of play off an opposing figure during the throw in until the ball has crossed one of the 65M lines.
- The attacking side continues to play the ball until:
- the figure misses the ball
- the ball is intercepted by an opposing stationary figure
- possessions has been won fairly by the defending team following a shoulder tackle (see Rule 3)
- the ball is kicked out of play
- a foul is committed
- a point or a goal has been scored.
Rule 3 Blocking Flicks and Shoulder Tackles
- The defending side may flick a figure for defensive purposes immediately following a flick by the attacking side. However, the attacking side does not need to wait for the defending side to make their blocking flick.
- The blocking figure may make contact with the last attacking figure to strike the ball in an attempt to “shoulder” the figure out of the way and disrupt possession. However the attacking figure may not have been moved by more than 5 cm or knocked over as a result of this contact.
- If the attacking figure is moved by a distance greater than 5 cm or knocked over as a result of the blocking flick, a free kick is awarded to the attacking team for excessive use of force.
- If the blocking figure strikes any other attacking figure or the ball before striking the last attacking player to touch the ball, a foul is deemed to have been committed.
- If the blocking figure makes contact with the ball after making contact with the last attacking player to touch the ball, the defending team is deemed to have won possession fairly.
Rule 4: Goal Kicks
- A goal kick is awarded to the defending side when the whole of the ball crosses the goal line without scoring having last been deflected or played by an attacking figure.
- For a goal kick each player may pick up his figures and place them anywhere, with the exception that no figure can move into the opposition’s penalty area and six figures must be in the opposition half.
- No figure, apart from the goalkeeper, should be in the penalty area of the side taking the goal kick.
Rule 5: Sideline Kicks
- A sideline kick is awarded to the opposite team when a figure plays the whole of the ball over the sideline.
- The sideline kick must be taken from the point at which the ball crossed the line.
- Each team is allowed one positional flick, with the attacking side flicking first.
- It is possible to score from a sideline kick, providing the below rules on scoring are adhered to.
Rule 6: Scoring
- Before a point can be scored, the ball must be completely inside the opponent's 45M line.
- The attacking team must signal an intention to score a point before bringing on a chipping ramp or a kicking figure such as the Subbuteo corner kickers.Once the scoring attempt has been announced, the defending team cannot take a blocking flick. Kicking figures can be used subject to the following restrictions:
- If a kicking figure is used, he can only replace the figure in possession;
- The kicker must be placed in such a way that part of its base contacts the area where the figure it replaced stood;
- The kicking figure must not be positioned in such a way as to move a defending figure, although it may make contact with it.
- The ball must remain in its original position before the kick is taken. If the ball goes over the crossbar between the uprights, a point is awarded to the attacking team.
- If the ball goes wide or drops below the crossbar and into the goal without touching a legitimate attacking player (see Rule 6.7) or a defender, a goal kick is awarded to the defending team.
- Goals can only be scored by when the ball is struck from inside the 20M line. However, a figure outside the penalty area can score a goal if the ball is already inside the 20M line.
- For a goal to be awarded, the whole of the ball needs to cross the goal line beneath the cross bar.
- Goals can be forced in off any legitimate attacking figure, i.e., one who is already inside the 20M line but outside of the small square. However, the figure taking the flick must be inside the 45M line.
- Goals cannot be forced off defending figures who are standing outside their own 20M line. If the ball is forced into the goal off a defender outside the 20M line, a 45M free is awarded to the attacking team (see Rule 11).
- Any ball flicked from anywhere on the pitch by either side into their own net counts as an own goal.
- Following a goal or a point, the defending team takes possession of the ball. Their goalkeeper takes a flick from the defending team's 20M line.
- Players can be repositioned for this flick as with goal kicks (see Rule 4) with the exception that no figure can be behind the 20M line of the side taking the kick-out.
Rule 7: Square Ball
- No attacking player may arrive in the small square before the ball. If this occurs, a free kick is awarded to the defending team.
- The free kick is taken from the edge of the small square.
Rule 8: Fouls and Discipline
- If an attacking figure is flicked and hits a defending figure before hitting the ball, it is a foul and a free kick is awarded at the point of the offence.
- If either player touches the ball with his hand, it is a foul and a free kick is awarded at the point of the offence.
- If a player's hand prevents the ball from going into the goal, a penalty is awarded.
- If a defending player obstructs his opponent around the table, it is a foul and a free kick is awarded at the position of the ball at the time of the offence.
- If an attacking figure is flicked at the ball five times in succession, it is a foul and a free kick is awarded at the point of the offence.
Rule 9: Free Kicks
- The chipping ramp or corner kick figures can be used for taking free kicks. Normal rules for scoring apply (see Rule 6).
- For free kicks, each side is allowed three positional flicks. The attacking side flicks first.
- The figure taking the free kick can be taken from anywhere on the pitch.
- No figure standing within13cm of the ball at the time of the free kick is taken can receive possession of the ball directly from the free kick.
- If the ball strikes a defending figure standing within 13cm, the free kick is moved forwards by 13cm and retaken.
- If the ball strikes an attacking player standing within13cm, the attacking side loses possession and a free kick is awarded to the defending side from the point where the offence occurred.
- A free kick awarded for a foul by a defending player inside his own 13m line but outside the penalty area shall be taken from the 13m line opposite where
the foul occurred.
Rule 10: Penalty Kicks
- If a foul is committed by the defending team in their own penalty area, a penalty is awarded to the opposing team
- When a penalty kick is taken, the base of the goalkeeper must be touching the goal line. The handle must be level with the pitch and the goalkeeper must remain stationary until the kick is taken. if this rule is infringed three times, a goal is awarded.
- The figure taking the penalty can be taken from any part of the pitch.
- The player taking the penalty must, after setting up his shot, take his hands well away from the pitch until his opponent says "ready". The penalty must then be taken without delay.
- The penalty kick is taken from the midway point of the 13M line. All figures apart from the goalkeeper and the penalty taker, must be outside the 20M line and arc.
Rule 11: 45s
- A 45M free is awarded:
- if the attacking side plays the ball over his own goal line;
- if the ball is forced over the goal line off a defending figure;
- if the ball is forced into the goal off a defending figure outside the penalty area.
- Points can be scored direct from a 45M free
- The ball must be placed on the 45M line opposite where the ball went over the goal line.
- See Rule 9 for the placing of figures and positional flicks in relation to free kicks.
Rule 12: Goalkeepers
- The goalkeeper, including the handle, are as one, and any part of it can make a save, deflect the ball into his own goal, or concede a 45M free or a sideline ball.
- A goalkeeper must be ready at all times during play. No hindrance to the attacking player is allowed.
- The goalkeeper must not be waved to and fro, either in the air or on the ground, nor may it be flicked by the handle at the ball.
- The goalkeeper's handle must not raise the net at the back of the goal.
- The goalkeeper must not be raised from the playing surface prior to a shot on goal.
- The goalkeeper must not be used to knock away any attacking players in the penalty area to prevent a goal from being forced in off those attacking figures,
- If a shot at goal is unsuccessful as a result of the infringement of any of these rules then a penalty is awarded to the attacking team.
- When a goalkeeper makes a save possession of the ball passes to the defending side as the goalkeeper was the last figure to touch the ball.
Rule 13: The Spare Goalkeeper
- The goalkeeper on the handle may be replaced by a spare goalkeeper. This can be used to take kick-outs and to play the ball outside the penalty area.
- The spare goalkeeper can be flicked from anywhere in the penalty area and the area immediately behind it.
- The spare goalkeeper may only be used by the side in possession of the ball.
- When the spare goalkeeper is brought into use, the standard goalkeeper must be pushed well back into the goal.
- After a kick-out has been taken, the spare goalkeeper should be removed from the field of play and replaced with the standard goalkeeper, otherwise Rule 12.6 applies.
- Once on the field the spare goalkeeper is subject to the rules of the game for a normal figure. If during an attempt to clear the ball (excluding kick-outs-see Rule 12.5) the side using the spare goalkeeper loses possession, the standard goalkeeper cannot be replaced until the spare goalkeeper has managed to get back (using blocking flicks) into the penalty area.
- If the spare goalkeeper is on the field and the standard goalkeeper prevents an otherwise legal goal (see Rule 6) a goal is awarded.
- The spare goalkeeper must be kept well away from the field of play when not in use.