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I've been playing foosball for a while now, but mostly in college and at friend's houses. Just recently I watched some friends playing in a state tournament, and there were some really funky rules about bouncing the foosball around with the five bar.

I remember them saying something like you can only bounce it off the wall twice, and on the second time you have to advance it? What happens if you accidentally don't? And what if the ball is stuck on the wall?

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This is called a Three Wall Violation.

To understand this rule, you need to understand the Passing rule. The International Table Soccer Federation Rule Book covers passing in Rule 23:

23.1 A ball which is advanced from a pinned or stopped position on the five-man rod cannot be directly caught on the three-man rod of the same team regardless of whether or not the ball is touched by the opposing five-rod. The ball must touch at least two player figures prior to advancing to legally be caught on the three-man rod. A pinned ball is one that is pinned to the wall or playfield.

Basically, this means that you cannot pin (stop) the ball at your five-man rod, then pass it to your three-man rod.

To get around this, if you have the ball stopped on your five-rod, you can either pass the ball back to your defense, or you can bounce the ball off the wall before advancing it. However, you can't keep bouncing the ball off the wall over and over. Rule 23.2 covers this:

23.2 A player cannot make the ball strike the side walls of the table (or the side strips if present) more than twice before passing or shooting from the five-man rod. Regardless of which wall the ball touches, a total of two times is all that is allowed prior to advancing the ball. If the ball goes to the wall a third time, it may not be struck again by any player figure on the passing rod.

You get two bounces. The third consecutive time the ball goes from your five-rod to the wall (or side strips), you are not allowed to touch the ball with your five-rod again until it hits another man first.

The penalty for a Three Wall Violation is a loss of ball. The other team gets to serve the ball from their five-man rod.

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