All You Need To Know About Air Hockey
Air Hockey is an action-packed game that consists of two single-player teams standing on the opposing ends of the table, called hockey table. Some of the equipment necessary to play the game includes pucks, goalies that you use to push the puck, the goal line and hockey table.
The table, the most crucial equipment, must be friction less besides having a fan system whose role is to blow air continuously across the tabletop during the game. The air, in turn, makes the puck glide across the board.
Table of Contents
Starting the Game
A coin toss determines starting side as well as puck possession. So, the player who wins the coin toll has the privilege of either opting to possess the puck or choose the side to start on. Consequently, if he settles for puck possession, he will be the one to use the puck to start games 3, 5 and 7. The opponent, on the other hand, begins games 2, 4 and six with the puck.
Playing Air Hockey
Players, who stand behind the end rails, are centered behind the goal box they are defending. Each of them holds a goalie using one hand and positions it before their goal box to shield the puck from entering their goal box. Immediately the puck crosses the center line thus moving to your side you strike it using your goalies towards your opponent’s goal.
You should position your goalies 8 to 14 inches ahead of your goal box while defending, and are allowed to move it further out when striking the puck to score. There are many offensive shots that you can perform to score, including the straight, angled, bank, double bank and much more.
Where to strike the puck
While there are many shots that a player can utilize to score a goal, it is important first to know the side of the hockey table that you are allowed to strike the puck. Use any section up to the center line, provided your mallet doesn’t cross the line. You have a maximum of seven seconds to strike the puck.
So, utilize this time and space to align your shots. Avoid executing all shots close to your own goal; the puck has a long distance to travel and hence spend a longer time which gives your opponent ample time to react.
In Play and Out of Play
The Legal bounds include the table’s playing surface, the goal’s front faces, the interiors of the goals, the player's wallet as well as the barriers of the rails. Should the puck touch some other objects as you are playing, regardless of whether a foul or interference occasions the same, the puck is said to be out of bounce and hence considered out of play.
Interference in Air Hockey refers to any unsuitable item on the table/playing surface. A puck is also out of play if it grazes any top surface of the rail even if it, later on, return to the surface of the table.
To score 1 point, you must strike the puck in such a way it slides fully through your opponent’s goal before falling into the strategically positioned container. If the puck slides partially into the goal, you are allowed to remove it provided you can do so without touching it with your hand.
Out Offensive Shots
a) The Cross Straight
This shot is relatively simple to pull off especially after some level of practice. Its purpose is to hit the puck right into the corner of your challenger’s goal. From the puck’s original position, at the center of the best air hockey table, pull back your mallet, at 45 degrees towards your opponent’s side.
After lining it up correctly swipe across the rear of the pack targeting the corner of his or her goal. If you use a bigger angle, the puck will hit the parallel sides of the board, thereby resulting in a poorly performed bank shot.
b) The Bank
This shot will first hit the sides of the board before finally arriving at your opponent’s goal. While arcades the puck hitting both sides of the hockey table before getting to the goal, you should avoid doing so as it reduces the speed of the shot and gives your opponent enough time to adjust their defensive position. So, one time is enough.
The two forms of bank shots are under and over;
1. Under bank shot is the most common and entails the puck hitting the side wall before going past your challenger’s mallet and straight into the goal. This situation arises when the other player is perilously defending too high up the board.
2. Over bank shot, on the other hand, happens when your opponent opts to defend on the goal line allowing the puck to travel right in front of or across the mallet right into the goal. If you want to strike this hot, use your wrist power as opposed to arm power. The reason is using this section of your hand generates just the correct level of power for the puck to travel across the table without undesirably leaving the board.
Common Mistakes to avoid while playing Air Hockey
Make yours under shots travel at the highest speed the table permits the puck to move without leaving the table.
Executing overly complicated drift and shots show the player lacks an adequate understanding of the offense. So, perfect six major shots: the under and overs of both banks, cut and cross.
Avoid bending your shoulders forwards as you position your torso above the table while defending. Stopping under banks in such position is ineffective because you won’t be able to move backward quickly.
Make sure you can execute the under as well as complimentary straight from the same place while using similar drift and release. Make your opponent aware of your exceptional skill immediately the match starts, and proceed to use other techniques.
Know Air Hockey Table Game - Video
Despite air hockey’s apparent simplicity, you still require a significant amount of skills to play the game successful. So, dedicate your time and energy towards perfecting your expertise. With enough practice, you will be able to improve your proficiency, develop the necessary abilities bot to control the game and also score maximum points possible.