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A table hockey game, also called rod hockey game, stick hockey, bubble hockey, and board hockey, is a game for two players, derived from ice hockey. The game is made up of representatives of a hockey rink; the players score goals by hitting a little puck into the opposing “net” with cutout figures that represent hockey players. The figures are manipulated by rods below the “ice”: everyone slides forward and back along its narrow slot once the player pushes or pulls on the rod, or rotates (about a vertical axis) to either shoot or stickhandle the puck when the player spins the pole. Though similar in concept to air hockey (commonly known as “glide hockey”), table hockey games are more of a simulation of the sport of ice hockey while air hockey is more abstract.
Original table hockey.

pool table air hockey combination

Don, like so many Canadians from the depths of the depression, was short of cash for Christmas presents. He had a wife and three young kids. That year, the family pitched in and made the first table hockey game. This mechanical game was built from scrap wood and metal and comprised used coat hanger wire, butcher’s twine, clock springs, and lumber from the coal bin. The playing surface had a peak in the center and sloped down toward each end. The players controlled levers for the goalie and flippers for the players. [1] The story goes that a traveling salesman noticed the sport and encouraged Don to take the match down to the local Eaton’s department store. From the time Mr. Munro got home, the game was sold and more orders were placed.

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There are many types of the game. The defunct Munro Games of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, manufactured the first variant of the sport in Burlington, Ontario. [1] Stiga Games in Sweden are used in the table hockey sport administered by the International Table Hockey Federation.
The sport has also been playing with a variety of commercial boards in North America since the 1920s. Rick Benej,[2] of Greenwich, NY, has constructed table hockey games since the 1980s. His model has gone through three unique designs and refinements over time. The most popular board for several years was manufactured by the now-defunct Coleco company, and many North American boards (like those constructed by The Carrom Company and Irwin toys) are a variant of the model. However, the Stiga board has started to tap the North American market, even as other new boards continue to be introduced.
Arcade variant[edit] The arcade version is known as ‘dome hockey’ or ‘bubble hockey’, due to the large plastic dome that covers the playing surface in order to prevent the puck either becoming lost or stolen. The most popular of the ‘bubble hockey’ tables is Chexx (The USA vs. the Soviet Union) and its successor, Super Chexx (Canada vs. the USA).
Game variants[edit]

Another table hockey game, called Do-To-Ho, is completely different from the other games specified here. The play figures are not fastened to bars but are mobile on the whole playing field. In their bases, exactly like in the puck, there is a ball bearing, so they slip like ice skate runners over the board. Moving a drama figure is performed using a short, unique knock against the figure with a little rod as in billiards. The play courses take place alternating, there are ‘attack courses’, with which the puck may be played by a play figure, and ‘position courses’ (defense courses in addition to offside release classes), with which a play figure only may change position without touching the puck. Do-To-Ho was developed in Germany and published in 1994.
Air hockey is a game where 2 players play against each other on a low-friction table. Air hockey demands an air-hockey table, two player-held strikers, and a puck.

An air hockey table in Currier House
A typical air hockey table is made up of the big smooth playing surface, a surrounding rail to stop the puck and paddles from leaving the table, and slots in the rail at the end of the table that serve as targets. On the ends of the table behind and below the goals, there’s usually a puck return. Additionally, tables will typically have some sort of machinery that produces a cushion of air on the playing surface through tiny holes, with the objective of reducing friction and increasing play speed. In some tables, the machinery is eschewed in favor of a slick table surface, usually plastic, in the interest of saving money in both manufacturing and maintenance costs. Note that these tables are technically not air hockey tables because no air is involved, however, they are still generally understood to function as such on account of the basic similarity of gameplay. There also exist pucks which use a battery and fan to make their own air cushion, but as they are prone to breakage, they are commonly marketed only as toys.

Air hockey striker
The only tables which are approved for play and sanctioned by the USAA (The United States Air Hockey Association) and the AHPA (Air Hockey Players Association) for tournament play are 8-foot tables. Approved tables include all Gold Standard Games 8-foot tables; a few 8-foot tables from Dynamo; and the original 8-foot commercial Brunswick tables. Other full-length novelty-type tables with flashing lights on the field of drama, painted rails, and/or smaller pucks are not approved for tournament play but can be used to learn the game.
A striker (sometimes known as a goalie, paddle or mallet ) consists of a simple handle attached to a flat surface that will usually lie flush with the surface of the table. The most common paddles, known as “high-tops”, resemble small plastic sombreros, but other paddles, “flat-tops”, are used with a shorter nub.

A group of five air hockey pucks
Air Hockey pucks are discs made from Lexan polycarbonate resin. Standard USAA and AHPA-approved pucks are yellow, red, and green. In competitive play, a layer of thin white tape is put on the face-up side.
Four-player tables also exist, but they aren’t sanctioned for aggressive play.
Aggressive (tournament) drama is usually distinguished by the following:
The striker is gripped behind the knob using one’s fingertips, not on top of it. This allows more wrist action and helps the player to move the striker around the table faster.
For fundamental defense, the striker is kept centered at least 8 inches out from the target. In this place, very slight movements to the right and left will prevent virtually all straight shots. To block bank shots, one pulls back quickly to the corners of the target. This is called the “triangle defense”.
Shots are often hit out of “drifts”, where the puck travels in place patterns designed to throw off the opponent’s timing and expectations. The most popular drifts are the “center”, “diamond”, “diagonal”, and “L”.
Shots are often organized into meaning groups of shots that are hit with the exact apparent delivery but opposite directions, caused by hitting the puck at slightly different locations on the striker. As an example, a transverse motion of the right arm may cause a “cut shot” to the left corner of the opponent’s goal or a “right wall under” (bank of the ideal wall, in the right corner of the opponent’s goal).
Air hockey was invented by a group of Brunswick Billiards employees from 1969 to 1972. In 1969, a trio of Brunswick engineers – Phil Crossman, Bob Kenrick, and Brad Baldwin – began work on creating a game using a frictionless surface. The project stagnated for many years until it was revived by Bob Lemieux, who then focused on implementing an abstracted version of ice hockey, with a thin disc, two strikers and slit-like targets equipped with photodetectors. It was then determined that the game might appeal to a larger market and air hockey was marketed and sold to the general public. The first patents reference Crossman, Kendrick, and Lemieux. [1][2] It must also be noted that the air table proper had already been patented before Brunswick’s job, though for unrelated purposes.
In any event, the game was an immediate financial success and by the mid-1970s there appeared substantial interest in tournament play. As early as 1973, players in Houston had formed the Houston Air Hockey Association, and shortly afterward, the Texas Air-Hockey Players Association, codifying rules and encouraging the game through local tournaments in Houston pubs Carnabys, Damian, and the University of Houston. To guarantee uniform play standards of the greatest competitive quality, the United States Air-Table-Hockey Association (USAA) was formed in 1975 by J. Phillip “Phil” Arnold, largely as an official sanctioning body. In this manner, non-player friendly rules[which?] Produced by Brunswick Corporation were rendered void, and the game of air hockey was secured under the hands of players since that time. Since its inception, the USAA has sanctioned a minimum of one national-level or World championship annually, crowning 12 different champions over 30 years. In March 2015, the Air Hockey Players Association (AHPA) was announced and is supplying air hockey players with an additional organization also overseeing the sport of hockey. [4] The two organizations run independently but abide with a similar set of rules and share a number of the very same players. In July 2015, the AHPA crowned not only its first world champion but also the youngest in the history of this game in Colin Cummings of Beaumont, TX. From the late 1980s, Caracas, Venezuela served as a hotbed of action; three-time World Champion Jose Mora and other finalists originated out there. By 1999 most of the Venezuelan action had disappeared.

By | 2017-06-24T12:29:55+00:00 24. 6. 2017|Games|0 Comments

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