What Are The Air Hockey Rules?

Jule Malet 0


I love a good game of air hockey. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and perfect for the whole family. But, despite my love for the game, I wasn’t sure of the official rules. After doing some research, here are some of the most important rules. Obeying them is optional.

Starting The Game

To start the game, you’ll need to do a coin toss. The winner of the first coin toss will decide which side of the table they want to start on. Once you’ve taken your sides, place the puck in the middle of the table. Then, you’ll need to position your mallet. You can have it anywhere. The only rule is that it needs to be at least an inch away from the puck.

When both players are ready the faceoff can begin. If you’re playing with one other person, you might want to do a countdown from three. If someone else is around, you can have them act as the referee. Then, they can call “Player Ready” then “Go!” Who wins the face-off will determine the flow of the rest of the game. Whoever wins this first round will start with the puck in round 3,5 and 7. Whoever concedes the first goal will start with the puck in round 2,4 and 6. At the end of each round, you’ll need to swap sides of the table.

Hitting The Puck

Once the game begins, you’ll need to make sure that you’re hitting the puck properly. During play, you’ll only be able to hit the puck when it’s on your side of the center line. You’ll also be only allowed to stand on your side of the center line. If the puck is touching the center line, both players will be able to hit it.

Also, you’ll only be able to hit the puck with the mallet. You can’t use your hands. Another common trick to avoid is dropping the mallet on top of the puck, slowing it down. If you do this, it constitutes a foul. Once the puck passes your side of the center line, you have seven seconds to return it. This ensures that you won’t be able to spend the entire game lining up your shot. Though it should go without saying, you’ll only be able to use one puck.

Scoring A Goal

The goal of the game is to get the puck into the opposition’s goal. However, it needs to stay there. If it bounces in, then bounces out again, it doesn’t count as a goal. Also, it doesn’t matter whose mallet sent the puck into the goal. If you accidentally bat it backward and score an own goal, it still counts. After a goal has been scored, the person who conceded the point will have ten seconds to restart the game.

Time Outs

Playing air hockey can be taxing. It’s common for people to want to have a break during the game. You can get a time-out, as long as you follow a few rules. First, you need to clearly say that you are taking a time-out. Also, the break will need to last less than 10 seconds. You’ll only be able to take a time-out if the player is holding the puck after a goal has been scored.


There are a few offenses that will give you a foul. This could be breaches of the rules, like taking too long to return the puck. It might also be touching the puck with your hands. When one player commits a foul, the puck will be given to the other player. From there, the game will restart.

Puck Out Of Bounds

You’ll only be able to play the puck when it’s on the table. If it flies off, it is considered out of bounds. Also, if it touches anything that isn’t the table surface, it’s considered out of bounds. For example, if it bounces off a lamp and lands back on the table, it’s out of bounds. What happens next will depend on the way that the puck went off the table. For example, imagine Player 1 put too much pressure behind the shot, causing it to fly off the table. In this case, possession will go to Player 2 when the game begins again. If during the course of the game, a defensive player blocks the shot and the puck goes off the table, they aren’t at fault. In this case, they would get possession of the puck when the game resumes.


If you have a referee, they will be responsible for enforcing interference rules. Anything that interferes with the game might be considered a foul. For example, in tournaments, excessive shouting would be considered a foul. Anyone attempting to hold onto a player or distract them might also be considered a foul. This is the most objective rule on this list. It’s up to the referee, not the player, what constitutes interference. As you can imagine, this can sometimes cause some arguments.

Winning The Game

To win the game, you’ll need to be the first player to score seven points. If you are playing with a larger group, it can be a lot of fun to play tournament rules. In this case, you’ll need to win four games to win the tournament in a best-of-seven format. If you want to improve your chances of winning, you’ll need to focus on improving your technique. This video gives you a few tips that you can use to give yourself the best possible chances of winning:


Air hockey can be a lot of fun. One of the biggest appeals is that it doesn’t take long to learn all the rules. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the most important rules, so you’ll be prepared for tournaments. Though these are the official rules, they should only be considered guidelines. So, play around with your friends and family and come up with your own set of “house rules”.

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