About Air Hockey
How to Play Air Hockey
Air hockey is an individual sport that consists of two single player teams on opposite ends of the table. Players stand behind the end rail and centered behind their goal box they are trying to defend. They hold a mallet in one of their hands and place it in front of their goal box to protect the puck from going in their goal. Once the puck has crossed the centerline on your side of the table, each player attempts to strike the puck against their mallet towards their opponent's goal. There are a variety of offensive shots that can be performed to score such as the straight, angled, bank, double bank and more. Bank shots can be performed by using the side rails to bounce off of them at the right angle to score. The mallet is usually positioned about 8-14 inches in front of your goal box when playing defense and can be moved further out on offense to strike the puck for a shot.
The game is played until the first player reaches 7 total goals before the other team. Many air hockey tables come with electronic score keeping which makes it easy to keep track of the score during a heated match. Other tables may just come equipped with manual scoring counters that each player will need to count as the game goes along.
The game was pushed out in the early 1970s to the public market and was an immediate success. Regional air hockey associations were quickly formed in Texas after gaining initial popularity. The official US Air Table Hockey Association (USAA) was formed in 1975 to ensure the integrity of the game and rules were established for the sport. They are still the sanctioning body of the sport today and maintain relationships with many of the manufacturers.