Sunday 5th September 2021. The event is hosted and organised by Haverhill Rovers Table Football Club and will be held on Sunday 5th September 2021. Entrance fee to the event will be £3, under 18s FREE.

The event is sponsored by Wobbly Hobby Shop, Westwood Table Soccer, Subbuteo Collector, FISTF, the English Subbuteo Association (ESA), Subbuteo Online and Table Football Monthly.

The Venue

Hot and cold food is available at the venue and there is also a fully licensed bar.

Getting There

Directions to The Culina Hub, The New Croft, Chalkstone Way, Haverhill, Suffolk CB9 0BW

From North:

Follow A11 until the junction with the A1307, travel towards Haverhill going through the villages of Abington and Linton. At the first roundabout take the left towards the town centre and left again at the second roundabout keeping Sainsburys to your right. Go straight over the mini roundabout and then right at the next one, still heading into town. Continuing straight you will then come across two roundabouts close together, turn left and stay left heading up the hill towards Bury St Edmunds keeping Tesco on your right. Take the second right turn, just after the pedestrian crossing, into Chalkstone Way. Continue straight past Samuel Ward Academy on your left and then you will find the ground on your left. There is a car park at the ground.

From South:

Follow the A1017 towards Haverhill, after the village of Sturmer at the first roundabout go straight over towards the town centre sign posted A143. At the mini roundabout take the right into Chalkstone Way with the Snooker Club on your left. Follow the road around the estate going straight over three mini roundabouts and then you will find the ground on your right. There is a car park at the ground.

From East:

Follow the A143 from Bury St Edmunds towards Haverhill, carrying on past the crossroads for Kedington on your left and Great Wratting on your right. As you come down the hill into Haverhill Chalkstone Way will be on your left before the pedestrian crossing. Continue straight past Samuel Ward Academy on your left and then you will find the ground on your left. There is a car park at the ground.

Places to stay in Haverhill

The Event

Government Covid guidance must be followed at all times, further details will be published nearer to the event date.

8am Doors open and stall set up and open all day.

9am The Keith Littler Subbuteo Skills Challenge- Open all day. Prizes for winner and runner up.

9am The Jon Rosten Subbuteo Quiz- Open all day. Prizes for winner and runner up. 

9am The Westwood Subbuteo Team Painting Competition- Entries taken all day and judged by a special guest. Prizes for winner and runner up.

9am 1st round Group draw of Advanced Rules Tournament. on Facebook Live drawn by a Stewart  Grant (youbutteo and Subbuteo Collector) and Jason Christopher (Argo Table Soccer).

10am - 5pm Advanced Rule Tournament Start

5pm Presentations (also on Facebook Live)

Advanced Rules Tournament (Sponsored by Subbuteo Online) Winner and Runner up.

Jon Rosten Subbuteo Quiz- Winner and Runner Up

Keith Littler Subbuteo Skills Challenge- Winner and Runner Up

Westwood Table Soccer Subbuteo Team Painting Competition (Sponsored by Westwood)- Winner and Runner Up

6pm Event finish

The Collectors Fair

Doors will open at 8am for stalls to set up. Stalls will be open all day unless closed for stall holders playing in the Advanced Rule Tournament.

Due to the venue releasing more space, the stall fee is now FREE. Stall holders who have already paid will be refunded. To reserve your stall, please email to

There is still limited spaces available for stalls so reserving early is encouraged

Advanced Rule Tournament

The registration fee is £10. Registration MUST be made by Paypal to

There is limited spaces available for the tournament so early registration is encouraged.

Please provide your full name, contact details and state whether you are booking for the tournament or a stall, when making payment. Cash entries will not be accepted. Full refunds will be given if the event is cancelled.

The tournament will be played to Subbuteo Advanced Rules 1974.

Equipment- All Subbuteo branded equipment can be used, up to and not including the Hasbro era. Players must provide their own team(s). The tournament will be played on Subbuteo baize with Modern Metal Goals.

Fixtures will be announced and displayed at the Officials table.

Results must be handed to the Officials table after each match. A match report slip will be provided at each table.

Games will start promptly. Any person not at the game table for the start of the game will lose the match 2-0. 

Round 1 will be played in a 4 person group format. Subsequent rounds will be a knockout format.

There are no seedings for the tournament

In the group stages 3 pts are awarded for a win and 1pt for a draw.

In the event of a group points total draw the order in the group is then decided
based on goal difference(GD). If GD is also equal then goals scored (GS) will decide.

Each match consists of one period of 15 minutes – no half time

There will be no more than a 5 minute break between each group match

session is played to time keeping controlled by the tournament Officials.

To aid social distancing there will not be referees for the event until the Semi Finals and Final. We ask all participants to embrace the friendly atmosphere of the day. Where a referee is used the referees decision is final

Old Subbuteo Advanced Rules apply
– a copy will be available at the Officials table.
Each table is numbered to correspond with the table number against each fixture.
Polishing is allowed between matches.

“Shoot out” rules apply in the event of a knock out match being drawn in the knockout stages.
We will run a Plate competition for Group losers if time permits. This will be announced on the day of the tournament.
Anyone displaying unsporting behaviour will be first warned and on the second incident ejected from the tournament. The event organisers decision is final. Such behaviour must be reported immediately to the Officials table at the end of the match in question for any action to be able to be taken.  

A special thank you to our event sponsors








Subbuteofest21 Playing Rules

Based on the 1974 Subbuteo Handbook

Edited by Simon Goodman

The figures permitted for the Advanced Rule Tournament, on Sunday 4th July, will be Subbuteo Flats, Subbuteo OHW Figures, Subbuteo Moulded Figures, Subbuteo HW Figures, Subbuteo Zombies and Subbuteo LW Figures. Figures must be original and from the era and not modern reproductions.




Place the rod of the goalkeeper underneath the bottom of the goal net so that the goalkeeper can be manipulated from behind the goal.



The playing figures are propelled in the following manner:

(1) Place the first or second finger of the right or left hand immediately behind the figure, with the tip of the finger-nail just touching the pitch. Using the pitch surface slightly as a 'spring' gently flick the figure against the ball.
(2) DO NOT use the thumb as a 'spring', the thumb does not enter into propulsion.



The standard Goalkeeper is on a player rod so designed that the goalkeeper is limited in action to the goal area. Where it is desired that the goalkeeper takes a goal kick, free standing‘spare’ goalkeepers are available for this purpose. This goalkeeper can be brought into play to take the kick and then be removed from play. Whilst the kick is being taken the goalkeeper on the rod is out of play and should be withdrawn into the back of the net, coming back into play after the kick is taken and the kicking goalkeeper removed.


 The general rules of play are basically the same as those for Association Football, with some necessary additions to govern their application to Subbuteo Table Soccer. The elementary rules are a simplified version of the Advanced Rules, for the benefit ofthe beginner. A certain amount of duplication has been retained for easier reference and to avoid confusion.


As in real football, a coin is tossed for ends and the losing team kicks off. The centre forward is gently propelled against the ball and the game is on. If the ball does not touch an opposing figure the team that has kicked-off is still in play. A nearby figure is again played at the ball, and so long as the player is hitting the ball with one of his own figuresand the ball does NOT touch an opposing figurehe remains in play.

Immediately the player MISSES the ball with his figure, or if the ball touches an opposing figure, it is then his opponent's turn to play in the same way. The figure that touches the ball last represents the team that is in play, unless the figure flicks the ball out of play. Then the opposing side takes the goal kick, corner or throw-in for the resumption of play. Goalkeepers are neutral and do not alter the sequence of the possession of the ball.


SUUBUTEOFEST21 Matches will be 15 mins, one way with no half time. Extra time in rounds after the Group stage will be 5 mins one way.

Twenty minutes each way is recommended for the duration of a game, particularly for competition play, but this can be altered by mutual consent between players. Half-time interval to be agreed, normally five minutes.

In competition play if the score is level at the final whistle, extra time periods of five minutes each way should be played. If still level after extra time the following formula is recommended. Each side to be allowed FIVE shots at goal, as for penalties but taken from different positions ON the SHOOTING AREA LINE.

(1) where the shooting area line joins the touchline on left of pitch
(2) where the shooting area line joins the touchline on right side of pitch
(3) opposite the penalty area line on the left
(4) opposite the penalty area line on the right
(5) opposite the regulation penalty spot, centre of shooting area line.

In each case the ball should be placed in a shootable position (ie completely within the shooting area, just inside the shooting area line).  The goal shots should be controlled by the referee, as with penalties, and all figures other than goalkeeper should be withdrawn from the shooting area.  The goalkeeper is not confined to the goal-line.



The figures must be flicked cleanly as described, NOT knocked, scraped, or pushed. A free kick should be awarded against any breach of this rule. No one figure may flick the ball more than THREE times in succession. Following each third flick another figure of the same team must play the ball, and so on until possession is lost.



Before a shot at goal can be made the ball must be completely within the SHOOTING AREA.



Either an outfield playing figure or the spare Goalkeeper may be used to take goal kicks. As in real football these are taken from the side where the ball went out of play.



is normally taken from the touchline by flicking the ball in the normal manner from the point where it crossed the line, but the figure taking the kick must not follow over the line into the playing area. If it does, the opposing side is awarded a foul throw and re-takes it.



A foul is awarded when a figure hits an opponent's figure WITHOUT first touching the ball and a free kick is given.  When the offence takes place within the penalty area, a penalty is awarded against the offending team.



During a penalty kick the goalkeeper must be standing still on his own goal line. Figures of both sides that were within the penalty area must be withdrawn outside the area and behind the penalty kicker.


A figure is considered 'injured' if during play it is damaged, it may be taken off for repair and then resume play. If it suffers further injury it must be retired from the game. Allowance should be made for 'injury time' by the referee.



Figures may be placed in position for the taking of goal kicksand free kicks anywhere, except as follows:

No more than three defending figures may be placed in the penalty area.

Figures may NOT be positioned within the opposing SHOOTING AREA.

For Corner Kicks both sides may flick three figures for positioning and marking, the attacking side flicking first.

For Free Kicks TWO figures and for Throw-ins ONE figure of each side may be flicked into position.



When throw-ins, corner kicks, etc. are to be taken, players may use 'free flicks' to flick their figures into position to mark dangerously placed opposing figures, and/or set up their own for defensive or attacking movements. These are used for positional play and must not contact the ball.



In all sports and games there must be honour between competitors, at all levels. The losing side has the right to declare the length of time that shall be taken for the replacing of the figures for a goal kick. When 'free flicks' take place the defending side should be the last to move a figure. Players should mutually agree as to procedure when in doubt over any matter relative to the game. If a third person is acting as referee his decision should be accepted as final without dispute.



The following complete rules are an extension of the Elementary Rules, and should be adopted by advanced players.


Positioning Tactical positioning (by placing for goal kicks) shall be governed by the rules that the figures shall be placed at least one inch (2.5 cm) apart.


(a) The centre-forward kicks off forward over the half-way line, after which he may not touch the ball until it has been played by another figure of his side. 
(b) The side in possession shall be deemed the attacking side. No single figure may play the ball more than three times in succession, unless it rebounds off another figure of the same side. 
(c) A side may continue to play the ball until their figure misses the ball or it touches an opposing figure. 

(d) Each side must have at least three figures within 3.5 inches (9cm) of the half-way line and the defending side shall have no figures inside the centre circle.



When the ball passes completely over the touch-line a 'throw-in' must be taken from the spot where the ball left the field. The ball is flicked into play. The figure may only flick once and must not travel over the touchline, otherwise it is a 'foul throw' and will be penalised.

The throw in is made by a figure opposite to that side which touched the ball last before it travelled over the line. 'Forcing' a throw in off an opponent can only be made subject to the following conditions:

(a) The ball and players concerned must be in the same quarter of the field and the ball must leave the field within the limits of that quarter. 
(b) A shot at goal is made and the ball rebounds off the goalkeeper (or handle) and goes into touch. 
(c) Figures outside the touch-line, but not off the baize cloth, may be forced off (as long as the ball hits the figure before it goes out of play). 
(d) After a figure has taken a throw in, it shall be placed exactly on the touch-line and within an inch of where the throw in was taken. 

(e) A player may (after being flicked) leave the field of play (i.e. cross the line) and return again on to the pitch proper (i.e. a swerve) without penalty provided it does not leave the green baize or touch the fence surround. If the latter occurs, it should be placed on the touch-line at the spot it first crossed the line.

(f) A figure flicked successfully at the ball but then travelling over the touch-line may be placed on the touch-line at the point of departure and then be used to flick immediately.

(g) A figure travelling into goal.

(1) If an attacker, the figure shall be placed just outside either goal-post on the goal line.

(2) If a defender, the figure shall be placed anywhere within the goalkeeper's box.

In the real game, under normal circumstances, it would be almost impossible for a full-back clearing from his own penalty area to kick the ball on to an opponent and gain a corner at the other end of the field. It would, however, be reasonably simple to do so in Subbuteo Table Soccer. It is, therefore, rules that before gaining a corner, goal-kick or throw in off an opponent the ball must be forced off an opponent within the limits of the quarter it was originally in. In the case of a throw in both figures must be in the quarter to start with; with corners the figure forced off and the ball must be in the same quarter, the forcing figure in the same half.



(a) Before a shot may be taken at goal, the ball must be (entirely) in the Shooting Area, but the figure making the shot need only be in its opponent's half. No shot taken with the ball outside the area can score, no matter what figures the ball touches en route to the goal. No corners, or alternatively goal-kicks, can be attained in this manner. Similarly, if a ball does go into the net in this fashion a goal-kick is awarded. (Rules3(f) and 5(f) are exceptions to this rule).

(b) The ball must be entirely over the goal-line to score. 
(c) The figure MUST be flicked in the correct manner, not pushed, scraped or knocked. 
(d) As in real football, the ball may be hit whilst rolling. 

(e)  Attacking players do not have to wait for a goalkeeper to be ready. Likewise, they do not have to wait for the defender's blocking flicks.

(f) The ball passed back into one's own goal from any part of the fieldis a goal, or, if travelling over the dead ball line a corner.

(g) The goalkeeper that drags a stationary ball into his own goalconcedes a goal.


Rule 4.  OFFSIDE.

(a) At least one defender, other than the goalkeeper, must be in the defending area before 'offside' can be claimed.

(b) Any attacking figure nearer to the dead ball line than the defence, other than the goalkeeper (or other figure), is in an offside position.

(c) If the ball is flicked past the last defending figure, whether or not it is passed directly to the attacking figure, that figure is offside. 
(d) A figure in an offside position may be flicked onside at any time by a player asking permission providing the player asking is in possession of the ball. A figure flicked onside should not touch an opposing figure and may not be used until another of that side has been flicked and when flicked should be aimed totravel generally speaking parallel with the touch-line and not more than six inches 'onside'.  Non-compliant onside flicks should be ordered to be re-taken by the referee. 

(e) A figure in an offside position (as 4(b)) is not actually offside until the ball in passed through, but if from this position he attempts (is flicked) to play the ball he is immediately penalised.

(f) When a 'goal' is scored by a figure from an offside position, and a goal is signalled by the referee before noticing that the figure was offside, unless the situation is apparent at this time enabling the referee to give a sound decisionthe decision of a goal should stand. If the game is competitive and has a linesman, the referee may consult him but the referee's decision is final whatever the outcome of this consultation. Any claim to a figure being offside by the defence must be made immediately after the ball enters the net, and before the field has been re-arranged for the kick-off.

(g) If, through the play of his opponents, a figure in an 'offside position' is 'left with the ball', this has the effect of playing him onside and he may continue in the normal manner.

(h) If a ball is passed through to a player in an offside position and touches an opponent before ultimately touching him, he is 'played on' and may continue.

(i) For each 'onside flick' taken by the attack, the defence may have an extra blocking flick for marking purposes.

(j) No figure outside the shooting area can be adjudged offside.

(k) No figure can be offside from the taking of a goal-kick, corner-kick or throw-in.


Rule 5. FOUL PLAY.

(a)  It is a foul if the attacking figure hits the defending figure before touching the ball. A free kick or penalty is awarded accordingly. The player to whom the award is made can acceptthe free kick or indicate 'play on', whichever is to his advantage.

A goalkeeper is a special case, see Rule 10(i). 

(b) A figure hitting a goal upright, corner flag or surround and rebounding on to the field and hitting an opposing player does not commit a foul, play continues.

(c)  A figure over the touch-line but not off the baize can be fouled.

(d) A player laying down CANNOT be fouled and if the ball touches such a player he should be penalised for HANDBALL. Within the penalty areaa penalty. With regard to handball, a referee should give a player reasonable time to stand a player upright.

(e) If the player's hand prevents the ball going into the net through negligence or accident, a penalty should be given.  If in the opinion of the referee it is done deliberately, a goalshould be awarded. Should a player pick up the ball whilst play is continuing, a free kick should be awardedif in the penalty areaa penalty.  If the ball hits a player's hand
accidentally when he is in possessionpossession goes to the other side or a corner, throw in etc. is given away. 
(f) If a defending player obstructs his opponent round the table, a direct free kick should be given from the position of the ball at the time. (Two warnings should precede action). 
(g) If the goalkeeper touches the ball outside his 'box' whilst on the handle whether in possession or not it is a penalty. (One warning should be given). 

(h) A player shall not put both hands on the table at the same time, in a manner that may interfere with play, though he may hold the goalkeeper whilst flicking. Indirect free kick. (One warning).

(i)  A figure being flicked four times in succession. Indirect free kick.

(j)  Offsideindirect free kick.

(k)  Handball (as 5 (d)).

(I) When a direct free kick is taken inside the shooting area, the defending side may place up to four figures (by hand) as a "barrier" in defence. Subject to Rule 7 (d) (3.5" clearance).

Rule 6.  DEFENCE.

The side not in possession (the defence) may have alternate flicks to the attack's positive flicks for defence purpose but when taking these flicks they must not touch the ball or any of the attacking figures, should they do so, the attack may appeal "Back" and have figure and ball restored to their former positions. On resuming, the defence forego the block flick that was replaced in penalty. Should a mix up occur, which in the referee's opinion is blameless to either side, he can restore both figures and ball to their former positions and then order a restart to play from that point.

Rule 7.  GENERAL RULES FOR SET PIECES (Corner kick, free kick, penalty kick and throw in)

(a) The figure taking the award shall be picked up first and placed where kick or throw in is to be taken. The attacking side then take their flicks for positioningthree for a corner, two for a free kick and one for a throw in, the defence then do likewise to mark up etc.

(b) A figure taking any of the above awards may not play the ball immediately afterwards until another figure has been flicked at the ball. 
(c) Offside in relation to the above awards. See rule 4 (k). 

(d) No figure may approach within 3.5" (9cm) on these occasions.

(e) A goal can be scored direct from a corner. A shot deflected from the goalkeeper or it’s rod into the net is a goal. 
(f) Direct free kicks must not be taken until signalled by the referee. 
(g) Forcing of the above off opponents. (See rule 2.) 

(h) ClarificationMovement of players on these occasions.Goal-kick by picking up the figures and placing. Three FLICKS for a corner, two FLICKS for a free kick and one FLICK for a throw-in.


(a) The last figure to intercept (touch) the ball is ruled to be in possession (excepting goalkeepers). 
(b) Goalkeepers are neutral with regard to possession of the ball for their side. If a goalkeeper saves a shot and pushes the ball out into the field of play, possession goes to the side whosefigure is nearest to the ball when it stops rolling. If the ball actually touches a figure during this, then of course possession goes to that side. Should there be any doubt in the mind of the referee which side is nearest advantage goes to the defence. 
(c) If a shot is saved by the goalkeeper and then is hit again by an attacker BEFORE it stops rolling, it is in order and if a goal is scoredit stands. 
(d) Where two figures contact the ball at the same time, the last side to play the ball assumes possession and it is their flick, but when played, unless they can hit the ball to touch one of their own side, possession goes to their opponents. 
(e) If a figure is flicked at the ball, does not connect, but causes another of the same side to connect with it (providing no other infringements occur), contact has successfully been made. 
(f) Any figure moved extraneously (such as a figure rebounding off the fence or being moved aside legally) to allow another figure to be played, should be replaced to its correct position, and the opposing side may demand this if they consider the matter vital. 


Should a figure suffer damage or fall apart during a game, it may be taken off and repaired. The referee should note any 'injury time' and allow accordingly. If the same figure is 'injured' again, it must be withdrawn from the game. Substitution for injured or ineffective players should be agreed by the players BEFORE the match and in accordance with current F.A. rules on substitutes. Goalkeepers are not subject to this rule and may be replaced at any time. (This rule may be altered in Official Tournaments & figures replaced when broken).


(a) When a penalty is taken a goalkeeper is to be on his goal-line touching the cloth and stationary until the ball is actually played. (If this rule is infringed three times a goal should be awarded.) 
(b) When a penalty is awarded, a player shall keep his hands off the table until the referee gives the order "Play on!" The penalty is then taken. 
(c) When a figure is flicked at the ball when taking a penalty, providing the defending side has not infringed, the shot is ruled as takeneven if the ball is missed. 
(d) A goalkeeper must always be ready during play. No hindrance to a shooting figure is allowed.  If the player tries to adjust his goalkeeper and the ball hits his handa penalty isawarded. 
(e) A goalkeeper on the handle must not touch the ball out-side their own 'box' in any circumstances (see 5(e)). 
(f) The goalkeeper may be taken off the playing handle, or be substituted with a 'Spare Goalkeeper' without handle for taking goal kicks or advancing outside his area to clear the ball upfield. He may only be used in this capacity when the ball is in his side's possession. Once on the field of play he becomes an ordinary figure and prone to the same rules. If, during an attempt to clear in this fashion, he misses (or loses possession of) the ball, he cannot be re-instated into goal until the opposing side has had up to three flicks (assuming they keep possession in the normal way). During this time, of course, the attack may shoot into an empty net. They must, however, on completion of the three flicks, wait for the goalkeeper to be re-instated in goal before proceeding further. 
(g) A spare goalkeeper on the field of play and out of possession of the ball may be used for defensive flicks in the normal way. Whatever capacity a spare goalkeeper is on the field of play, as soon as he has completed his task, he should be withdrawn and the goalkeeper proper put back in goal. 

(h) When a spare goalkeeper is on the field, the proper one should be taken out or pushed well back into the back of the goal. If a spare goalkeeper is on the field and a shot is saved by the goalkeeper on the rod a goal should be awarded.

(i) A referee will not normally give a foul when a goalkeeper is "fouled" but the defence may appeal on such occasions and if the referee feels the defence are being vitally threatened or penalised in such a situation he may award a free kick or, alternatively, wave play on.

(j) The goalkeeper must not be waved rapidly 'to and fro', neither may he be pushed or knocked outside his box'Billiards style'with the handle.

(k) The goalkeeper and his handle are as one. The handle can deflect a shot into the net or save it, as part of the goalkeeper, or give away a corner etc.



A goal-kick is given in circumstances similar to that under F.A. rules subject to:

(a) A goal-kick may only be forced when both figures and ball are in the defensive area and the ball goes over the dead line inside that area. It may be forced off a figure that is off thefield (as Rule 2(d)). 
(b) The player taking the goal-kick may pick up his figures and place them wherever he wishes, except in the opposing area and in his own goalkeeper's box. Three figures must be placedwithin 3.5" (9cm) of the half-way line if a side is concentrated in their own half. 
(c) When taken, the ball must pass outside the defending penalty area and not touch any figure inside the penalty area whilst doing so, or the goal-kick must be re-taken. 
(d) Should a defence be unusually slow in 'marking up', the referee may give permission for the kick to be taken forthwith. Conversely, the referee may also hold up briefly the taking of akick to enable the defence to re-arrange. 
(e) Spacing of players should be at least 1" apart for placing or marking with the exception of a direct free-kick within the shooting area, whereby the defence may form a defensive 'wall' of not more than four players, which may be as closer than 1” but not touching. 

Rule 12.  CORNER KICK.

A corner kick is given in circumstances similar to F.A. rules subject to:

(a) A corner kick cannot be forced unless the ball and defending figure are both inside the defending area. The attacker figure concerned must be in his opponent's half. The defending figure may be off the field of play (see Rule 2(d)).

Note: Similarly, a figure in its own defending area forcing a goal kick off an opponent must be in that area when achieving this (as also must be his opponent and the ball).

(b) A goal may be scored direct from a corner. 
(c) The ball may be flicked twice (including the taking of the corner) before the offside rule becomes operational (see Rule 4 (k)). 


Rule 13.  REFEREES

(a) In all competitive games a referee should be in control. In Friendlies it is desirable. 
(b) If possible, a referee should appoint a linesman. The linesman may indicate a point but shall not voice an opinion until asked to do so by the referee. 
(c) The referee shall enforce the laws but should refrain from penalising where he believes the infringing side may gain advantage. 
(d) Competitors have the right to appeal for or against a decision but not to haggle.
(e) Time Wasting If the referee is of the opinion that a competitor is wasting time deliberately, however this is accomplished, even within the normal laws of the game, he should award an indirect kick to the opposing side.






Q.  Can I hold the goalkeeper horizontally and in mid-air when a forward is about to shoot?

A. No! The yardstick is Association Football and such an event on the field of play has yet to occur. A goalkeeper may move slowly to and fro corresponding to what might happen in reality. After the shot is taken the goalkeeper may jump, dive or fling himself in mid-air as is usual on the field of play (Rule 13f). He should be upright until the ball is kicked.

Q.  May I hold the goalkeeper's rod over the bottom bar of the goal, or in a goal without a bottom bar hold the wire upright so as to shield part of the goal?

A.  No!

Subbuteo Playing Rules

Based on the 1974 Subbuteo Handbook

Edited by Simon Goodman


The purpose of this document is to explain, in hopefully simple terms, major differences between the Subbuteofest Playing Rules and yany other Playing Rules that you might be habitually used to playing.



1. The goalkeeper is placed under the lowest of any back bar on the goal.  The keeper must be upright until any shot is struck but is permitted to move from side to side – SLOWLY.
2. The Goalkeeper is neutral in terms of possession.  After a shot hits the goalkeeper and comes to rest possession goes to the player whose figure is nearest to the ball.  Any doubt it is defender’s possession.
3. The attacker does not get a block flick for a save in the event that they lose possession as described in 2. Above.
4. As a keeper is neutral the attacker can shoot again at a MOVING ball after it has been saved.
5. This doesn’t mean that you cannot force a corner or a throw-in off the keeper – it would not make sense if it wasn’t possible.  As long as the ball goes out of play in the same quarter a throw-in can be forced off the keeper.  For a corner any valid shot deflected over the goal-line by the keeper is a corner.



1. If a game is decided on shots each player should take their five shots consecutively and not by alternating the shooter/keeper as in, for example, the FISTF Playing Rules.



1. The ball can be placed as desired so long as it is touching the touch-line when viewed from above.
2. The figure taking the throw-in must not be on the pitch either before or after taking the throw-in unless it rebounds off the fence.
3. Unless a moving ball from a throw-in is played again by the attacker play is paused while the figure taking the throw-in is placed back to its original position and a block flick is then taken.  Otherwise this is done when the ball comes to rest and any untaken block flick for the attacker’s last flick is taken, assuming that the same player is still in possession.



1. It is a foul if an attacking figure hits a defending figure unless it has first hit the ball. This is unlike other rules where in order to be a foul you would have to hit a defending figure and then the ball.
2. It is not a foul if the attacking figure hits another attacking figure (whether or not the original figure or the figure hit then hits the ball).  In fact if the attacking figure hit then hits the ball, possession is retained.



1. In order to claim offside the defender must have at least one defending figure partly in the defending shooting area.
2. A player can have as many onside flicks as they like as long as they are in possession at the time and request them before taking them.
3. An offside figure cannot be used to play the ball.  If this happens or if the attacker fails to request an onside flick it is a free kick for offside from where the player was flicked.
4. If the through-ball hits a defender and then goes back onto the offside figure then it is not offside.
5. There are no ‘free’ onside flicks – the defender is always entitled to a block flick for the onside flick.



1. A player may not hold onto the fence with their non-flicking hand.  The first time it is a warning, after that an indirect free kick to the opponent.



1. When taking any set piece the attacker cannot play the ball onto another of their figures and then use the set piece taker for the next flick – the ball must be played at by a different figure before the set piece taker can be used again.
2. The attacker can opt not to take their positional flicks but the defender is still allowed to take theirs.
3. There is no ‘distance’ for set pieces but the defender cannot flick a figure to within 3.5” (9cm) of the ball or move any figure that is already with this distance closer to the ball.
4. For a direct free kick inside the shooting area the defender can for a wall of up to four figures rather than take their two positional flicks – the wall must also be at least 3.5” (9cm) from the ball.  Creating the ‘wall’ is the only time that you are allowed to place figures closer than 1” (2.5cm) apart (from each other, they must still be at least 1” from any attacking figure).  They cannot be placed touching each other.



1. When the ball comes to rest against figures of both teams the attacker must, to retain possession, play the ball onto a different one of their figures (ie one not involved in the original situation).



1. In a ‘keeper-out’ situation the attacker takes three flicks before the defender is allowed to take their keeper back in.  They do not have to be taken with the same attacking figure.