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The Rules of Air Hockey

By Service AirHockeyTable June 23, 2023 0 comments

Competitive air hockey is a fast-paced game played on a specially designed table with low-friction playing surface, air jets, and two player-controlled paddles. The objective is to score goals by hitting a puck into the opponent's goal. Here are the in-depth rules for competitive air hockey:

  1. Setup:

    • Air hockey is typically played by two players, although there can be variations with multiple players.
    • The table should have a smooth, level playing surface with air jets that create a cushion of air for the puck to glide on.
    • Each player stands at one end of the table and controls a striker or paddle.
    • The puck is placed in the center of the table.
  2. Game Start:

    • A coin toss or any fair method is used to determine which player starts the game. The winner of the toss begins with the puck.
    • The game starts when the puck is released by placing it in the center of the table.
    • Players are not allowed to touch the puck with any part of their body or any object other than their paddle.
  3. Player Movements:

    • Players control their respective paddles to strike the puck and aim for the opponent's goal.
    • The paddles are held by the players and can be moved in any direction to hit the puck.
    • Players are not allowed to use their hands or any other body part to touch the puck.
  4. Scoring a Goal:

    • A goal is scored when the puck completely crosses the goal line into the opponent's goal.
    • The player who scores a goal is awarded one point.
    • After a goal is scored, the puck is returned to the center of the table, and the player who was scored against serves the next round.
  5. Serving:

    • After each goal, the player who was scored against serves the next round.
    • The serve consists of releasing the puck by placing it in the center of the table.
    • The player serving must strike the puck so that it crosses the center line and enters the opponent's half of the table.
  6. Game Continuation:

    • The game continues with players taking turns striking the puck until one player reaches the predetermined winning score.
    • Common winning scores are usually 7, 9, or 11, but this can be determined before the game starts.
  7. Fouls and Misplays:

    • In competitive air hockey, there are certain fouls and misplays that players should avoid:
      • Striker Topping: Lifting the paddle or striking the puck with the top surface of the paddle, instead of the bottom.
      • Palming: Holding or trapping the puck with the paddle.
      • Guarding: Positioning the paddle or body in a way that obstructs the opponent's shot or prevents fair gameplay.
      • Delay of Game: Intentionally delaying the game, such as stalling or unnecessarily delaying the serve.
    • Fouls and misplays typically result in a loss of possession or a point awarded to the opposing player.
  8. Winning the Game:

    • The game is won by the first player to reach the predetermined winning score (e.g., 7, 9, or 11 points).
    • If the game reaches a tie score, additional rounds can be played until one player achieves a two-point lead.

These rules provide a foundation for competitive air hockey gameplay. However, it's important to note that different tournaments or regions may have slight variations or additional rules, so it's advisable to check and follow the specific rules of the event you are participating in.

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