By | February 29, 2012
For a frustrated ice hockey player like Bob Lemieux, inventing another game closely resembling the sport he loved so much can help channel his frustrations. He designed air hockey tables in 1972 for the manufacturing company Brunswick. It easily became a huge hit and easily became popular among carnivals and game rooms in the United States. A $5000 worth Best Air Hockey Player in The World trophy was hosted by Brunswick in 1974. New York City was the chosen venue for the regional championships. “The Spiderman” and “Barnett” were the final contenders. Barnett is a college student, while The Spiderman is a 24 year old professional. The student won the much coveted title, leaving the Spiderman with blisters because of playing the game.
During the era of video games and arcade in 1980s, air hockey nearly took its toll. Asking for old air hockey game table in every household, the deemed hero of air hockey Mark Robbins placed a magazine ad. To convince the U.S. Billiards to manufacture tables, he collected these tables. This was seen as a move to revive air hockey game. To produce tables for tournaments, he made negotiations with Dynamo Corp.
This event marked the rebirth of the game. Robbins was able to build a company which sold at least a thousand hockey tables a year through the renovation of simple tables. How do you play air hockey? You will need a table, square mallets, disk, and puck. Smooth and without friction are the characteristics of a air hockey table. A typical table has dots which emit warm air. To slide the disk on the table’s surface, air cushion is used.
Rails surround the multi game tables to prevent the mallets from leaving the tables. There are two slots at each end which serve as the goal. The United States Air Table Hockey Association only approves Dynamo-manufactured, tournament sized hockey tables. Blue Top, Photon, Brown Top, Pro-Style, Black Top, and Purple Top are examples of these tables.
How do you play air hockey? Two players are required to play the game. Through a toss coin at the beginning of the game, puck possession is determined. The goal of each player is to shoot the puck inside the opponent’s goal. For the player to win the game, he must be first to score 7 points. When the mallet is placed on top of the puck, foul is committed. This act is also called “topping”. The opponent will gain the possession in this case. Anytime during the duration of the game, the players are not allowed to touch the puck. Once the puck leaves the table, the opponent will have possession of the puck, and an offensive foul is called upon the player responsible. Air hockey is classic game room furniture.
A hockey table may be the best option, along with other classics such as billiards tables, chess board games, and foosball tables, if you’re thinking of the perfect game room furniture for your game room.
Air hockey started in 1970s, patterned after the popular sport ice hockey. Hockey enthusiast Bob Lemieux designed air hockey game tables for manufacturing company Brunswick. The game table was soon reinvented by Mark Robbins, who made the game room furniture popular again.
- Tom Stevens
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