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Foosball Instruction

Guide to Passing
Content from FAQ2 v 2.4
Guide to Passing (for beginners and intermediates)
(C) 1995 Robert Uyeyama
Permission granted to to publish in modified HTML format.

PART III - 2-3 Bar and 2-5 Bar Passing

Most importantly, you should master the essential skill of the 5-bar to 3-bar brush pass described in Part II before practicing too much in this section. This section is going to be pretty brief and sparse in strategy. In a doubles game: Of course the five bar needs to be raised, preferably horizontally, since upside-down brings the men's heads in striking range for the commonly slightly airborne passes and shots. The three bar should always be placed along one wall; pick one, the far or near, and just LEAVE IT THERE and practice passing to the three men in this position only for a while. Be sure to angle the men forward to catch passes from the two-bar. If the passes are slower (i.e. less than fast shot speed), keep the angle fairly high off of the playing field. However, for fast passes (i.e. FAST shot speed), the impact can be so great so that the ball "muscles" its way underneath and past the three-bar. Hence, for fast passes, hold the front-angle LOWER, even close to 45 degrees! However this is not the key; the key is TO HOLD THE HANDLE LOOSELY. If you are holding on too tightly, the pass will simply ricochet off of your man. However, if the rod is held loosely, and at a low forward angle, the ball will "muscle" the man's angle up, coming to rest in a front pin. So 1) Hold it correctly for the expected speed of pass, i.e. if the pass is slower, hold the man up higher and 2) Keep it on one wall, and don't move it, so the defense knows where to expect the men to be.

The two-bar's easiest pass, of course, is the wall pass. Make sure to start the ball maybe a ball's length off of the wall, since otherwise you will bank the ball off of the wall and into the 3-man's lane; remember that bumper on the rod won't let your man get directly behind a ball that is actually on the wall. You can pass to the 3-bar men which are not on the wall also! You can either practice hitting these specific men, or just ignore the men and shoot your shot-- there is a mild chance that a missed shot will be a great pass! You might as well do something with your missed shots! Eventually the opponent will begin to block your wall passes, so you should also practice angle-passes which go through the five-bar lane(when the opposing five bar is against the wall, guarding the wall pass), and angle right to your three man sitting on the wall.

Two variations: 1) when the ball on the 2-bar is set up for a push or pull, the 3-bar should be placed off of the wall so that the 1st man is directly in front of the ball. Hence, if the push or pull is covered, the straight pass through the lane is open. The 3-bar may be "down" or it may be held up "floating" ready to come down in case of a pass. 2) Or, when set up for a push or a pull, leave the three bar on the wall. Do a fake (push/pull), and as the opponent flinches off of the wall, reverse your motion and brush a wall pass.

For a singles game: All of the above applies, and you can alternative pass from the 2-bar to the 5-bar. Developing a good left hand on the two bar is fairly important. Also, if you can actually shoot kicks or push/pulls with your left hand, your opponent doesn't know whether to guard the shot or pass! One passing trick is to back pin the ball with the far 2-man, and pull the rod fast. The opponent will flinch in your pull direction, but the ball will squeeze out and spin in the push direction, in a pseudo-wall pass along the far wall. Lifting all the rods, and practicing angle passes back and forth between your 2 and 3 bar is worthwhile. Also, practicing a 2-5 bar pass can be even more worthwhile.

2-BAR TO 5-BAR PASSING: This is often a more reliable way to get the ball to your 3-bar, in other words by executing a reliable 2-5 bar pass then another reliable 5-3 bar pass, instead of a risk 2-3 bar pass which skips the 5-bar.

Set the 5-bar on the near (or far) wall, and catch passes the same way you would with the 3-bar, with the following exception: The lane pass should be caught with the 2nd man on the 5-bar. Note that the wall-pass is much riskier, so that you will in general always be watching for the lane pass to the 2nd man. Finally, while bringing the ball into position from the center of the field, you should briefly watch for the open stick pass to the 3rd man.

Happy Passing!

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