Start Your Own Air Hockey League – Here’s How

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I recently participated in my first Air Hockey tournament! But I had to drive 2 hours in order to get there and play. There is no Air Hockey League where I live and the only one I could find is an 2 hour drive. I wanted to find a local league, but there isn't one. So, I decided into looking to start my own. After speaking to even organizer and doing some follow up research of my own it's actually straight forward. 

So, how do you start your own air hockey league? 

1. Find a location with at least one air hockey table that is available to customers or the public. This is where your league can gather and have tournaments. Try to find a full size table as this is better unit to practice on and play on per USAA rules. 

2. Create a local post looking for air hockey players in your area on a local Facebook group or do paper postings where there are public air hockey tables around town. Make sure to check campuses as well as community centers. Make sure to get permission to post a flyer in these public areas.  In these post make sure to have people send you an email or private message.

3. Read up on USAA rules. Figure out how to run a tournament air hockey. This will help you figure out how to run a tournament so then you can play in a national tournament. There are specific rules that you need to be aware of and play by that way you can play in other tournaments (Such as it is illegal to stop the puck with the bottom of your mallet). 

4. Start a tournament! Set up a date a couple weeks in advance. Send this out to your collected emails.

  • If you get consistent turn outs then you can consider any establishments that have a hockey table and have them offer some prize money with a regularly scheduled tournament. This is beneficial for everyone since they can get customers and you have an event location with prize money. 
  • Choose a date and time that works well for your community. Generally evening around 6:30-7:30 works really well. During this time students are finished with classes and had a chance to eat. 
  • Create a sign that promotes the event. Post it next to Air Hockey Tables offering prizes, prestige, and glory.

5. Collect contact information for tournament attendees. This can be done either through a facebook group or email. This way you have the information contact individuals for next events.

6. Starting a league is similar to tournaments. Leagues run over a period of 4 to 8 weeks (depending on the number of players and air hockey tables). A league consists of practice nights and Preliminary Weeding Tournament.   

League runners would need to to understand the rules and do a lot of organization. Planning this ahead of time is the best way to go about this.

Now what are some US Air hockey Association (USAA) rules that you need to keep in mind? 

How many matches are in an Air Hockey game? 

A match consists of 7 games. The first to get to 7 points will win the game. 

How do we decide who starts in an air hockey game? 

Before a match, there is a coin toss that determines starting sides. The winner chooses any side they want to start with. 

Can I put my mallet on top of the air hockey puck? 

No, you cannot hold the puck on top to slow or stop it while it on the table. It cannot be done anytime. This is a foul. 

What is a palming foul in air hockey? 

Palming foul is what happens when any part of a player's hand, arm, body, clothes, basically anything that is not the mallet touches the puck. A player may only touch the puck only after it has entered the goal. 

When do we swap sides on the air hockey table? 

Players should swap sides of the air hockey table after each game. 

What's regulation air hockey mallets? 

The mallets must weigh 6 oz or less. The diameter must be less than 4-1/16". The color of the mallet must be a different color than the game surface table. No mallet can be altered by sloping the paying surface and must consist of the same material. 

What counts as an air hockey score? 

  • If the air hockey puck has tilted but not gone all the way in the goal then a score has occurred. If there is no tilt then the player may hand the puck to the other player or try work the puck out of the goal using legal play methods. Which means you need to move it out of the goal without putting the mallet on top of the puck. 
  • If the air hockey puck bounces out of the goal mouth, then a goal does not count. But if it bounces out of the goal's mouth and hits the defenders mallet and goes it, it does count. So, yes you can score on yourself. 
  • If the air hockey puck hits a player's hand when going to the goal, the point counts if the puck would have gone in without the contact. 
  • If a player commits a foul and then is scored on, then the goal counts and the penalty is nullified. Meaning that if you foul and then your opponent get the puck in your goal, then the score counts. 

Related Questions: 

Can you cross the middle line in an air hockey table?

No, you cannot cross the middle of table on the line. Players can stand anywhere around the table as long as they are on their respective sides. 

How do you start an air hockey table game? 

Either a referee or coin toss decides when player serves first. After the first serves whichever player makes the last score gets to begin the serve. 

How do you clean an air hockey table? 

  1.  In order not the block the air holes when wiping the table, you should have the fan on the air hockey table before cleaning. 
  2.  Use a vacuum hose to clean the surface of the table. Do this without having the vacuum hose touching the surface of the table. 
  3. Use a cloth to wipe the surface. 
  4. Use an alcohol with a cloth. Make sure to have it dry out. Avoid using furniture polish. 
  5. Use canned air with a straw to clean out the air holes. Avoid using anything to put in the holes that may make the holes larger. 

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