Air Hockey Rules
Air Hockey Tables are an investment in entertainment. They are a perfect way to guarantee hours of fun for years to come. Whether you play as a hobby, during social events, or for competition, knowing the official United States Air Hockey Association rules will add to the enjoyment of your air hockey table. House Rules - feel free to establish your own "house rules," since the main purpose of playing is to have fun. If "house rules" will be used on your table, be sure both players agree to them before facing off.
Basic USAA Rules
Below we have provided a basic list of rules. For the complete list of rules, please consult the USAA's website.
- A player may stand anywhere around the air hockey table on his/her side of the centerline. He/she may not stand past that line.
- If any part of a player's hand, arm, body, or clothes touches the puck, a "palming" foul shall be called.
- The puck may be struck with any part of the mallet but the bottom surface.
- The puck cannot be "topped" by lifting the mallet or pusher and placing it on the top of the puck to slow or stop it while the puck is on the table. This cannot be done at any time, whether before a serve or during play. Violation constitutes a foul. However, using the mallet to bring an airborne puck to the table or toward the opponent's goal is not a topping violation no matter which side or edge of the puck is contacted.
- Only one puck shall be in play at a given moment.
- A player may play with only one air hockey mallet on the playing surface at one time. Violation results in a foul. Players may choose to hold only one mallet.
- When the puck enters a player's goal, the puck must drop and remain in the goal for the goal to count. The player's opponent receives one point for a goal scored, unless the offensive player committed a foul during or just prior to making the shot.
- A player has seven (7) seconds to execute a shot that crosses the centerline. The seven (7) seconds begin as soon as the puck enters and remains on that player's side of the centerline. Violation of this rule is a foul.
- When the puck is in contact with any part of the centerline, either player may strike the puck.
- The player scored upon receives possession of the puck for the next serve.
- When a player is scored upon, he/she has 10 seconds to remove the puck from the goal and place it in play. The 10 seconds start as soon as the puck has fallen completely through the goal and is available for the player to place into play. This rule is suspended during the course of a time-out.
- A player may hand-serve the puck (use his/her hand to set the puck in front of his/her mallet) only after he/she has been scored upon.
- Each player may take one time-out per game. The time-out may be no longer than 10 seconds.
- A player may exercise his/her time-out only when the puck is in his/her possession or not in play.
- A player must make a clear indication of a time-out so that the opponent understands the player's intention.
- The first player to score seven (7) goals is the winner.
- After each game, players change side of the air hockey table.