The history of the game of air hockey
The air hockey tabletop game you know and love today was invented in 1969 by a group of Brunswick engineers from the Brunswick Billiards. It was initially written for commercial release, but was shelved. Many years after the development of the initial concept, engineers designed the first air hockey game, which included mallets and pucks.
The game was originally played on a table, using a puck and square decks. The game is now played using round decks. The table is intended to be a table that provides a smooth surface that generates zero friction. Generally, the surface of the game is dotted with hundreds of small holes, through which a constant supply of soft air is pumped. The puck is then slid onto an air cushion just above the table surface. Some surfaces are simply smooth surfaces with no holes, and the air is generated by a battery-operated air hockey puck that generates its own air cushion. It should be noted that these are not regulated or approved for use in events, games, or tournaments approved by the United States Air Hockey Association.
The game of air hockey became popular in the 1970s, as an arcade toy sensation, a staple in a college residence hall recreation room, and as an amateur sport with tournament games. Tournament play began in the early 1980s in Houston, Texas, with the formation of the first professional league, the Houston Air Hockey Association. After the establishment of the Houston group, a statewide Texas Air Hockey Players Association formed and developed formal rules and regulations for the game, calling it more of a sport. USAA approved tables will be suitable for two player games only, although there are four player game tables for recreational and beginner use.
The current rules for the sport are now determined by the USAA and include the following rules:
1) At the beginning of the game, a coin toss or a head to head determines the player who will start the game with the first possession of the disc in play.
2) The first player to score seven points wins the game.
3) Once the puck crosses a player’s table area by crossing the center line, that player has up to 7 seconds to return the puck to the opposing player’s area, or else he has committed a foul.
4) Other fouls include holding down the puck with the mallet, touching a puck with any part of a player’s body, or the puck leaving the table entirely.
Competitive play and tournaments are still played internationally today, and professional tournaments are played throughout Europe and the United States. The USAA is the only known governing body on the sport, in any country or continent, and therefore the USAA rules apply to all tournaments played around the world. Despite this level of success, the game of air hockey is still considered a non-recreational sport among most players, who associate it with arcades and bar games. It is still seen in many arcades and arcades, but is often overshadowed by the presence of video game systems.