Air Hockey Facts & Trivia

The idea behind the invention of air hockey table was to provide a surface that does not have friction. So a team of three engineers named Crossman, Kendrick and Baldwin of Brunswick started working on this idea in order to create a frictionless surface and increases playing speed.

Even after working hard for many years on the idea, they failed to generate interest in their idea. Then, in 1972, Bob Lemieux, a dedicated person who himself had played air hockey with a puck and mallets, took the idea from the original engineers and picked up where they had left off. Lemieux finally succeeded in creating the first hockey table that was without friction because of its low flowing air vents.

Air Hockey was an immediate success. It is became so popular among people that it became the first choice of every bar, club and arcade. The game quickly led to tournament play and in 1973 the Houston Air Hockey Association formed the air hockey team. Two years later, the Air Table Hockey Association established the official rules for the game. Following that time, annual championships and tournaments have been held. In fact, twelve players have won the title of World Air Hockey Champion.

No one had ever imagined that a game like hockey would become such a popular pastime. In the 1970s when football and pool was very popular, no one thought there could be innovative techniques (Zero friction) for table games. Who should get the credit for air hockey table – Bob Lemieux or the three Brunswick engineers – is still a question. But at the end of the day, what really matters is the results.

As with most games, the present hockey rules and prototypes are different from the original because players have developed new and different stances and grips over the years. The drifts have become more complex. The shots are often hit out of “drifts,” where the puck travels in set patterns designed to throw off the opponent’s expectations and timing. Sometimes the drifts are grouped into sets such that the player can hit the puck in a particular manner to send it back and hit it number of times in succession to confuse the opponent. For more confusion to the opponent, one can play the puck in a way to make it look like a specific drift shot in a particular direction, but the puck flies in some other way and direction due to spin or quick movement.

Whether you want to get into the technical play mechanics described above or just have some fun in your basement or game room, definitely delivers.