How many times have you gotten into a heated debate with someone while playing a game of air hockey over house rules? If you’re like us, it’s probably happened more than once, especially if you know basic air hockey rules, which are completely different than house rules set by your friends.
Sure, we get it. Playing by the rules isn’t a lot of fun, especially when you’re just used to taking a couple of paddles and playing for fun.
However, if you’re really good at the game and want to start competing in local tournaments, you’re going to want to know the official air hockey rules, as stated by the US Air Hockey Association.
Today, we are going to give you a brief run down of the rules for playing air hockey so you can crush it the next time you play the game.
Before we can get right into the rules of playing air hockey, we first want touch briefly on the requirements for the table, the mallet, and the puck used for air hockey.
A sanctioned air hockey table must meet all USAA standards. This includes tables like:
Not only must you use a sanctioned air hockey table, but your table must also be broken in – meaning it isn’t a brand-new table. Players must also agree to play on the table if the USAA Board of Directors have granted a “Conditional Approval” in special circumstances. Also, a table with an overhead light cannot be used in a tournament.
Mallets used in air hockey must be approved by the game’s referees and meet the USAA requirements:
There are three types of pucks that have been approved by the USAA:
The puck must have at least one layer of white plastic tape on the top side of the puck. A puck with more than one layer of white tape may be used as long as both players agree to this.
Also, the puck cannot be changed in the middle of the game unless players both agree, or the referee insists on changing pucks because there is an obvious flaw in the puck, making it unplayable.
Now that you know the rules for the equipment used to play the game, let’s get right into the official air hockey rules, as listed by the USAA.
We’ve mentioned things that could get you a foul or a penalty. First, let’s clear up what it means to be given a foul:
Let’s take a closer look at what could get you penalized in the game of air hockey:
The rules of air hockey are pretty straight forward – don’t be too aggressive and respect the other player. It’s pretty simple, right? We thought so too. Now that you know the official air hockey rules, go forth and kick some air hockey butt!