History of
the Laws of the Game


"all football rules but one", the Ground, the Goal, the Fence,  the Corner Flag, Fouling, the Legs Goalkeeper,  unlimited positional  flicks, unlimited flicks to the ball, the referee courses and certificates, the removal of quarters, the claimable ball, Subbuteo's official years

2017 Rules

2.2. Raising playing figures

2.2.1. A playing figure lying down shall be put upright by the player observed and not by the referee at any time. To put a lying playing figure upright the junction of the lying playing figure's base with the playing surface shall be used as a fixed point when standing up the playing figure.

5.2 Attacking

5.2.1. The attacker player may play a moving or stopped ball with his playing figures as many times in succession as the player wants until:

a. Possession of the ball has changed;

or d. The ball has completely crossed the goal- or touchlines.

5.3. Foul play by the attacker

5.3.1. An attacking playing figure flicked at the ball may not touch any stationary opponent playing figure or opponent goalkeeper, regardless if hits the ball or not

5.3.3. The attacking playing figure may touch any other attacking playing figure, an attacking goalkeeper or the defender's body before coming to rest. However, the attacker's flick may not cause (either directly or indirectly) the displacement of any defending playing figures.

If the defending playing figure hits a moving or standing attacking playing figure:

Free-flick awarded from the point of contact foul.

(ii) Yellow and red cards to figures shall only be awarded if a violated attacking playing figure has been prevented from playing a moving ball or if the game play in the area near the ball was somehow affected as a result of the infringement.

(iii) Free-flick from where the defender’s playing figure has committed the offence. Free-flick from the penalty-spot, if the offence has been committed in the defender’s penalty-area.


8.2.2. The goalkeeper may not touch any stationary opponent playing figure that is positioned in the penalty box-area or touching the goal-area line.

When the offence occurs, it is a Free-flick from the penalty-spot.

8.2.3. The goalkeeper may hinder the attacker in attempting to flick an attacking playing figure into or through the goal-area.

Example of a goalkeeper hindering an attacking playing figure into or through the goal-area Goalkeeper in the air inside the box area

Goalkeeper touches the pitch inside the goal-area

Goalkeeper is past the goal-area line

Goalkeeper touches the goal-area line

Goalkeeper positioned between the ball and the attacking playing


9.1.2. The spare-goalkeeper / legs goalkeeper may enter the game

regardless if its player is in possession of the ball or not ;

9.2.1. The spare-goalkeeper may be taken off the playing area any time to reinstall the goalkeeper. The spare-goalkeeper's player does not need to be in possession of the ball. If the spare goalkeeper/legs goalkeeper has lost possession of the ball, the spare-goalkeeper can remains in the game or the goalkeeper/hands goalkeeper may be reinstalled whenever the player wants. The legs goalkeeper that just lost the ball and does not want to stay in field, has to come as fast as possible back to its goal and/or goal area so the hands goalkeeper can be back in play. During this time the attacker can obviously score.

10.1.2. In case of intentional or continuous violation of the rules the referee has the authority to give the offending player and/or the offending player’s playing figures, a warning                                10.1.3. If this continues or the offence(s) are intentional according to the referee, then, the referee has the authority to give the offending player a yellow card.                                                                     10.2.2. The referee has the authority to give the offending playing figure a red card if according to him the contact with an opponent playing figure was so severe, careless and/or was intentional  that could cause a real damage to the opponent player. The referee should judge the contact in first place in relation to range, ethics and/or nature of the contact with an opponent playing figure and especially to its base.  Awarding a foul indirect or direct, or even a penalty, sometimes is not enough. In those cases, a red card is the appropriate step of punishment.                                                   10.2.3. In case of serious misconduct, the referee shall give the offending player a red card that implies the immediate disqualification from the match by losing with a minimum of 0-3. If the score of the interrupted match was higher, the actual score shall be kept.      10.2.4. The disqualified player may suffer from additional disciplinary sanctions defined by the competition's refereeing authority or local and/or national Subbuteo Authority such as NA, Confederation Subbuteo Authority and/or FISA.


11.2.2. Each player may proceed with any number of positional flicks with no particular order. The playing figure flicked to take the free-flick cannot be removed from the playing area by the referee or any of the players to allow the positional flick to be taken by either player. An attacking playing figure in offside position shall be declared offside when:

a. the attacking playing figure in offside position has been touched by the ball or touches the ball.


14.1.2. In order to force a flick-in, the ball, the deflecting defending playing figure(s) and the forcing attacking playing figure or goalkeeper could be positioned anywhere at the pitch as the ball passes completely the touchline with its full size.

14.2.9. After the taking of a flick-in the ball may go anywhere in the playing area.


Rule 2: Goals

2.3. The posts shall be upright and parallel, 4.5 +- 5 cm in height and 12.5 +- 1 cm apart. The crossbar shall be fixed to the top of the posts. The back bar(s) shall be positioned parallel to the crossbar. The posts and the bars shall not be thicker than 6 mm. The distance from the goal-line to the back bar shall be 6-9 cm.


5.2. Dimensions of the goalkeeper

5.2.2. The handle may not exceed 20 cm in length.