There are a number of different sets of rules for this game. The rules as published by Subbuteo during its heyday are seldom used.
Most players around the world now play to the FISTF ruleset:
The FISTF rules are summarised down into a short ruleset that covers the absolute basics of game play:
MiSTFA has developed a few house rules to try to improve game play. Otherwise all play in MiSTFA competition is based on the FISTF ruleset.
- Direct free kicks
Any free kick with the ball in a shootable position (but not in the penalty area) is a direct free kick. The defending player may place a wall of four players - or a total of four players in any location - no closer than "10 yards", or the distance between the penalty spot and the penalty arc.
- Forcing a throw-in across two zones
A throw-in may be forced across two zones, i.e. all players involved plus the entire path of the ball must be in a maximum of two adjoining zones, rather than just the one.
- Inactive offside
A player in an offside position that does not play the ball and remains further than "ten yards" (distance from penalty spot to penalty arc) from the path of the ball is not offside. Any such player may still be moved onside as part of FISTF rules.