Air Hockey Rules for Beginners: Air Hockey is an interesting game to play with your friends. However, you may enter into arguments if you don’t know the basic rules of air hockey game. In order to play air hockey wisely, you should know its rules and follow them from the beginning to the end.
There are official air hockey rules which are more strict and applicable to professional air hockey players in state to national level tournaments. But as an amateur or beginner, you should know the primary rules for playing your air hockey game with more fun, excitement and adventure.
Air Hockey Rules: A Guide on How to Play Air Hockey
The Air Hockey Game is more fun to play when you know the rules. It makes you stronger to play efficiently and make your way towards the victory. You should have a good table for playing the game. To find such table, you should refer our best air hockey tables for kids and adults. Once you have an air hockey table, you need to know the playing rules. Here we provide the basic rules for playing air hockey which you should keep in mind.
Before the Air Hockey Game Starts…
- The Air Hockey Match is made of 7 games or rounds. In short, the air hockey game starts from 0 goals and ends when one of the players scores 7 goals.
- You need to toss a coin to decide from which side of the table you will play air hockey. The winner of coin tossing can choose any side of the table for playing.
- You may need to toss a coin again to decide who will have the puck in 3rd, 5th and 7th round. The opposite player will have puck in 2nd, 4th and 6th round of the game.
During the Air Hockey Game…
- For the 1st round of air hockey game, the puck is placed on the centerline and the initial countdown begins. Any player can push the puck as the countdown gets over.
- The first player to achieve 7 points will win the air hockey match/game.
- The players can use only one puck at a time on the air hockey table.
- When a foul is committed by one player, the puck will be given to the other player.
- When the puck rebounds out of goal’s mouth, no point will be counted or added to player’s score.
- When the puck enters and drops inside a player’s goal, the opposite player will gain one point. The point won’t count if the offensive player has done a foul during or prior to the shot. The point won’t count also when the referee has suspended the game play.
- After each game, the players have to change their table sides. E.g. If you play first game from right side of table, you will be on the left side in next game.
- The player who has scored upon will have possession of puck for the next serve.
- A player may hand serve the puck only after it has entered his goal.
- A player is allowed to use only one mallet on playing surface of the table. Use of more mallets will be considered as a foul.
- The player can stroke the puck with any part of the mallet.
- The mallet must not come on top of the puck, the player must take care of it. It is not allowed before a serve or after a serve during the game play. The player can use the mallet to bring an airborne puck back on the table or opponent’s goal. It won’t violate the rules irrespective of which side or edge of the puck is touched with the mallet.
- A player is given 7 seconds time to execute a shot which crosses the centerline. The period of 7 seconds starts when the puck enters the remains on that player’s side. If the player can’t execute a shot in 7 seconds, it will be treated as a foul.
- When the puck is touched with any part of centerline, any player can hit the stroke on puck.
- A player is allowed to stand anywhere around the table on his/her side of the centerline. He/she may not stand past that line.
- Any part of player’s hand, arm, body or clothes should not touch the puck. If it happens, the referee will call it “palming” foul.
- When a player is scored upon, he/she will have 10 seconds time to get the puck from goal and place it into play. The 10 seconds start after the puck is into the goal and available for pick up. This 10 seconds rule is not applicable during a time out.
- Each player can take one time out per game, the time out duration is set up to 10 seconds and not more.
- The player can request for a time out only when the puck is in his/her possession and not in the play.
- The player who wants a time out, should give a clear indication so that the referee can understand player’s intention.
The simple rules given above will make your air hockey game more effective. Now, you know how to play air hockey, so you can perform sincerely. Moreover, the knowledge of rules will reduce the clashes and arguments between you and your friend(s) while playing the air hockey game as opponents.
When you play air hockey in your rec room, you don’t need to stay rigid on all the rules. Of course, the air hockey rules are important and you should always follow it. But you can make minor changes which don’t change its roots and authenticity.
For Example: It is not mandatory to always play a game of 7 points. If you have shortage of time, you can make it a 5 or 3 points game. So, in that particular game, the first player to make 3 or 5 goals will win the game. If you want to play a longer air hockey game, you can set it for 11 points or 21 points. However, you should follow all other rules strictly to play the game ideally.