These are the basic game rules for air hockey as given by the USAA for professional or home air hockey play.
- Player position
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.
A “palming” foul is called If any part of a player’s hand, arm, body, or clothes touches the puck.
- Striking the Puck
You may strike the puck with any part of the mallet but the bottom surface.
You may not “top”. That is to say, lifting the mallet and placing it on the top of the puck is not allowed. In other words, you can’t do it to slow or stop the puck while it is on the table. A player cannot do this 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. In this case, it doesn’t matter which side or edge of the puck you contact.
- Single puck
You can have only one puck in play at a given moment.
- Single mallet
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 air hockey mallet.
- One point per goal
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.
- 7-second rule
A player has seven (7) seconds to execute a shot that crosses the centerline of the air hockey table. 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.
- Puck on the centerline
Air Hockey Game Rules state when the puck is in contact with the centerline, either player may strike the puck.
The player scored upon receives possession of the puck for the next serve.