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International Table Hockey Federation Rules

1. Players will act in accordance with the following Players Code of Conduct. All players conduct themselves as fair and good sportsman at all times. Table hockey since its inception has always been and will remain a gentleman’s sport.

2. Game Model and Game Preparation
2.1. Stiga games must be used.
2.2. Goal cups must be removed.
2.3. Games must be fastened to the table.
2.4. The speed of the game’s surface must be kept the same as the usual factory surface speed.
2.5. A player is allowed to put a puck deflector in the opponent's goal. In this case this player must give the possibility to use the deflector also for his/her opponent, having the second similar deflector for him/her.

3. Playing Figures
3.1. Figures from the Play-off version (all figures have the stick on the same side) of Stiga table hockey games must be used.
3.2. The ITHF can allow the use of other Stiga playing figures when there is good cause.

4. Matches
4.1. Matches last five (5) minutes.
4.2. Time runs even if the puck is out of play.
4.3. An audio timer should be used for all matches.
4.4. A clear, unmistakable audio signal must be made to announce that a match is about to begin. This signal (music or audio warning) must be made any time fifteen to thirty seconds prior to the start of each match. The audio timer must signal at specific intervals (either particular thirds or minutes) by unmistakable sounds and music must measure the last thirty (30) seconds of the match. The match ends with a clear final signal.
4.5. If the match has to be played from the start again (e.g. if the timer malfunctions), both players keep all goals they scored during the interrupted match.
4.6. If a player is not at the game and ready to play thirty (30) seconds after the beginning of the match, he/she automatically loses this match by score stated in tournament rules.
4.7. If any player retires during a match when the opponent insists on continuing, he/she automatically loses all his/her goals scored during the game, while the opponent may add an extra five (5) goals to his/her score.
4.8. During the play-off matches, in the event of a draw at the end of the five (5) minutes, there is an overtime. The overtime starts with a new face-off. The winner is the one who scores the first goal (sudden death).

5. Face-offs
5.1. All matches begin with the puck placed at centre spot. Game starts with the opening signal. If any player plays the puck before the signal, face-off is made.
5.2. Face-offs are made by dropping the puck on the centre spot.
5.3. Centre forwards and left defenders must stay on their own side of the centre red line, outside the central circle before a face-off can be made, and cannot enter the central circle before puck hits the centre spot.
5.4. The puck must be visibly released about five (5) cm above the figures’ heads and the releasing hand must be still. The flat side of the puck must face down.
5.5. Players must be sure that their opponent is ready before releasing the puck. If the face-off is made wrong the opponent is allowed to ask for a new one or he/she may make a new face-off by himself/herself. If a player makes a lot of bad drops in a play-off match, the opponent can ask for a neutral dropper.
5.6. Three (3) seconds must elapse after each face-off before a valid goal can be scored. This rule is in effect even if a neutral person is making the face-off.
5.7. The puck must hit the sideboards, or a playing figure other than the center must gain control of the puck before a goal can be counted.
5.8. When play-off matches result in sudden death overtime, players can ask for a neutral person to make the face-off and they may agree to exercise the following optional method of puck dropping for all face-offs: A neutral person places the puck on the center spot, asks each player to announce "Ready", and then says "Go".

6. Scoring
6.1. The puck must stay in the goal cage for the goal to count. In and outs do not count. If the puck goes out from the goal cage, the match continues without interruption.
6.2. The puck must be removed from the puck catcher (if there is any) before the next face off.
6.3. A goal scored directly by pressing a motionless puck against the goal cage or against the goalie does not count. A goal scored in this way indirectly (off the bank or off another figure) counts.
6.4. It is not allowed to stabilize a puck and directly score a goal using the body (not the stick) of a figure. However, it is allowed to score a goal with a figure’s right foot, if using it as a stick (i.e. by rotation of the figure). A goal scored by the body of a figure is valid if the puck becomes motionless in any other way than stabilizing it with the scoring figure.
6.5. If a goal is scored when the final buzzer is sounding, the goal is not valid.
6.6. If any figure or goalie breaks when a goal is scored, the goal is valid.
6.7. A goal scored by moving the whole game is not valid.

7. Goal Crease Rule
7.1. If the puck is in full rest in goal crease and is touching the goal line the defending player may call “block” and a new face-off is made.
7.2. If the puck is in full rest in goal crease and is not touching the goal line the defending player must play the puck.

8. Possession Rule
8.1. It is not permitted to retain possession of the puck without making any recognizable attempt to score a goal. This is regarded as passive play.
8.2. When a tendency towards passive play is recognized, the opposing player may give a warning signal by saying “passive play”. This gives the player in possession of the puck the opportunity to change the method of attacking in order to avoid losing possession. If the passive play continues then the opponent may demand a face-off.
8.3. If the puck is kept in possession by one figure without passing or shooting, a warning can be given by the opponent after five (5) seconds has elapsed since the figure gained puck control.
8.4. If disagreements regarding passive play occur between two opposing players during play-off matches, or if several players in any tournament round accuse one player of passive play, a neutral person agreed by both players (referee) may be called to watch the following match(es). When a referee is called to a match, the players do not give warning signals themselves, and face-offs due to passive play may only be executed by this referee.
8.5. If a player repeatedly ignores these rules on passive play during a tournament, tournament judges may exercise an option to order affected matches to be replayed and supervised by referees. If number of affected matches is too high (more than three (3)) tournament judges can decide that player will automatically lose all these matches by score stated in tournament rules.

9. Interference
9.1. A player can tap down his/her figures only when he/she has complete possession of the puck.
9.2. If a player scores a goal while the opponent is tapping his/her figures, the goal counts.
9.3. If a player notices that any of his/her opponent’s figures are raised up on the peg, he/she may stop playing and ask the opponent to tap the figure back down on the peg and the opponent must do it. The player can continue playing when the opponent is ready again.
9.4. If a player passes the puck to another of his/her figures when tapping the figures down, a face-off is made.
9.5. Rough playing that results in shaking of the game and causing the puck to move is forbidden.
9.6. If any figure loses possession of the puck due to shaking of the game, then the puck must be returned back to this figure.

10. Interruption
10.1. If any unusual situation happens (e.g. broken gear, rod or game, displaced goal cage, lights go out, several pucks appear on the game or somebody/something interrupts any of the opponents), the match must be immediately suspended. A player can interrupt the game by saying „stop” if the opponent is not aware of such situation. The match resumes when both players are ready again.
10.2. If a match is interrupted and significant time is lost then the lost time must be added to remaining time and the match continues.
10.3. Goals scored during an interruption do not count.
10.4. If a player had indisputable control of the puck before the interruption, the match continues with the puck in the place where it was, otherwise a new face-off is made.