Air Hockey Rules For Amateurs: Simplified Guidelines For A Better Game

Air hockey is a great way to spend some quality time with family and friends on a snowy Sunday. We all love playing this game. There’s no doubt about that. No matter how old you are, you’d still enjoy a few rounds of air hockey.

However, to make the play more fun you’ll need to stick to some basic air hockey rules. These rules aim to make the game fair for both players without leaving any loopholes that may ruin the game.

Looking for a nice air hockey table? Check out the most complete guide about air hockey tables on the internet.

Air Hockey Is On Its Way To Become A Sport

Nowadays, air hockey is more than just an indoor game. It’s kind of a sport actually. Or at least there are many associations trying to make it a mainstream sport. For example, there’s The US Table Hockey Association.

These associations have made a lot of effort to regulate air hockey all over the globe. They organize tournaments and produce regulations about the rules of air hockey.

But, there’s a small problem for air hockey amateurs like you and me. These rules are often too long and very sophisticated. Nobody got time for dozens of annoying pages, right ?

The reason we find them annoying is because they weren’t made for people like us. These rules were intentionally created for professionals.

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You’re Lucky…I Got Your Back


But, don’t worry.

Fortunately for you, I did go through all that boring stuff. I read it all. And I’m sharing with you in this post the main rules that you should know about.

Printing a version of these rules will save you hours of useless arguing with your friends.

As I said, these rules are just a simplified version of the US Air Hockey Association Rules. My intent is to save you time. But, you can always check the official rules if you want to.

The following rules are all you need to worry about. These rules are sufficient to make your air hockey games fair for everyone.

Air Hockey Rules Simplified

These rules are the basic rules that are necessary to play an organized air hockey game. However, there some official rules I didn’t include here because they are irrelevant for most basic purposes of an amateur player.

Air Hockey Basic Rules
Rule Description
A match is consisted of 7 games.
Before starting the match, a coin toss must be used to determine starting sides. The winner chooses any side he wants to start with.
A second coin toss can be used to decide which player will start games 3, 5 and 7 having the puck. The other player will start with puck on games 2, 4 and 6. As for the 1st game, a puck is placed on the centerline and any player is allowed to push it after the initial countdown.
Any player that scores the first seven goals (points) wins the game.
When the puck drops inside a player's goal, a score has occurred and 1 point is added to the player's opponent (unless a foul was committed).
Players change sides when a game is finished.
The player who conceded a goal will have the puck in the next round.
A player can only touch the puck with his hands after he conceded a goal.
A player can only use one mallet (pusher) in the playing surface.
You can strike a puck with any side of the mallet (pusher).
You are not allowed to top the puck by lifting the mallet.
At any give moment during the play, only one puck is allowed.
A player only has 7 seconds to push the puck once it is on their side of the table.
If the puck is touching any part of the centerline, either players can strike it.
A player can stand anywhere he wants but he cannot trespass the centerline to the other player's side.
If the player touches the puck with any part of his body, that's a foul.
Each player is allowed to take a time-out that is no longer than 10 seconds.
A time-out can only be demanded if the player possesses the puck after a goal is scored.
A player must indicate clearly that he demands a time-out.
The player who conceded a goal has only 10 seconds to resume the play.
If the push rebounds out of the goal mouth, the point does not count.
If a foul is committed, the puck is given to the other player.

Those were some of the basic air hockey rules that will make your matches more competitive and serious. However, keep in mind that you can change whatever rule you want or even add new rules. It’s your home, so your rules. But, be careful not to ruin the whole game.

For example, you can change the number of points each game is supposed to have. You can go for 5 or 3 if your time is tight or you can go for a higher number like 11 or even 21 if you wanna make the match longer. So, as you can see it all depends on what you want.

Keep In Mind…

If you wanna play like professionals do in international tournaments, then you will need to read all the official rules that you can find on the USHTA website.

Bottom line, remember that the ultimate goal of this game is to have fun. So, make sure that everybody walks out happy from your game room. That’s what a game room is for: having a happy time with friends and family.

Have fun buddy..


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