A collaboration space for the Pacific Northwest foosball community

To Learn a New Foosball Shot, Step One; Front Pin

By KC Watkins

If you have been watching any foosball video or tournament play and want to learn the Rollover or the Euro Toe shot, the first thing you will have to do is learn how to get the ball out there in front of your man with the foot resting on top of the ball. Warning; this will take Practice.

All Toe Up

In foosball to gain this position is to toe up, or front pin, as the position is called when you have the ball held by the toe of the man (the pointy part of the foot) in front. There is a back pin too, but generally pinning is done out in front of the man.

The front pin is more useful for offense so we’ll be looking at it. There are a few basic ways to execute the move, the corner tap, the brush up, and the back pin sweep are the most common.

The key to getting the foosball pinned no matter which technique you use is consistency, getting that consistent movement. Everyone uses their technique for the same reason; they feel they get a consistent movement, a consistent result, out of it.

So, who’s wrong? No one, really. Find the method that feels right to you, and practice that one. Because practice is the key here.

corner tap

Assuming you’ve been practicing your tic-tac skills, the corner tap is a move directly from tic-tacing.

As the ball approaches the center man you try to hit the ball with the forward corner of the man to get it to roll forward.

This technique may take longer to perfect. It takes a certain level of exactness to use the corner of the man effectively. But, it is a game friendly technique, if you make a bad hit the foosball has a tendency to stay within the reach of your men, giving you a better chance of keeping the ball while you learn.

The Brush Up

The most common method out there of getting the foosball onto the toe of your man is the brush up from a tic-tac. Largely because less perfection is required to get the pin.

The action of the man moving forward will change the direction of the ball’s momentum regardless of exactly where the ball and side of the man meet.

Ideally, you want the foot of the man slightly behind the rod when you make contact. This ensures you enough of a stroke to get the ball moving more forward than sideways. But the forward stroke needs to be just right, not to firm or to soft, to get the momentum of the foosball to change and still stay close enough to catch it.

And of course, this method will work to get a back pin; just, you know, do it backwards.

The Brush Up can also be used standing still. The standing method takes a high level of touch and practice. Because the ball will be pushed away from the man with anything but the slightest of touches.

The Back Pin Sweep

This move is used by more advance players for a variety of reasons. One main reason is this method uses one smooth movement from beginning to end leaving less room for error, giving you better consistency and ball security.

I have used this example of sweeping from one man to another because it is easier to learn this method, and this is a great exercise in ball control. Once you learn this continuous smooth movement it is much easier to move on to a sweep and catch with the same man.

This is an advanced method but I encourage you to try it out and practice this move at least a few times because moving the ball from a Back Pin to a Front Pin is always a handy skill. Who knows maybe this is the move for you, the one that fits your game.

Regardless of which method you use, I have to say it one more time, the key to consistency and control, is my old nemesis; practice, practice, practice.

Foosball and Spinning


One of the first things that everyone wants to to talk about when I mention posting for beginners is… spinning. In the beginning there is always spinning because it is the easiest way to get power on a shot. Players that want to get more serious about their game quickly learn that spinning is a bad idea.

First; It is not allowed in tournament play, period. So If you ever want to try your hand at tournament play it is best to get away from the spinning technique immediately.

Second; You have virtually no control of the ball when practicing the spinning technique, and scoring on yourself is a very real possibility.

Third; It is hard on the table. It can break the pins that hold the men, and even the men themselves. When that happens it usually ends the game until repairs can be made.

But then there is the problem of being in the bar and a cute girl/boy wants to play but they start spinning. Do you let lust rule and let it happen or do you let loyalty to the game rule and call them on it. Hmmmm. In all honesty I would probably let lust rule and keep my mouth shut on the subject. Unless a relationship develops later, then it’s time for the talk. I mean unless there is money on the line I think fun is important too.

Local rule

When I use to live in Pensacola there was a young lady that started coming around the tournament that was happening then. She had developed a controlled spin shot; she let go of the handle but then grabbed it again before a full rotation. Much discussion ensued. The general consensus among the players was; that in the strictest interpretation of the rules it was considered a legal shot because she would catch it before a full rotation. (And everyone wanted more women involved in the tournament.) So they let it ride, with some dissent.

But it all worked out in the end. She developed a wicked pull shot and got away from the spin shot. And more women began coming to the tournament.

Fun Rule

I don’t care for spinning, and try to discourage it whenever I can. But I am not going to go up to a group of people laughing and joking and spinning at a bar table and tell them they are doing it wrong. What good would that do? They probably don’t care as long as they are having fun.

How you react to spinning is a personal decision. I just want to remind everyone; remember to have fun.


George will you take donations to send in? I would pledge 20$ for it. Will try to get to Friday tourny soon. Just not sure when. Foos on!