Few team sports can stir up more sheer excitement than hockey, from the aggressive playing style to the flying puck. You may have wished you could experience that high-octane action in your own home. While you can’t necessarily build an indoor hockey rink in your game room, you can enjoy the next best thing: a bubble hockey table.
If you’ve played foosball and other fast-paced table games but never encountered bubble hockey, you owe it to yourself to learn about this crowd pleaser, from the basic setup and rules to popular bubble hockey table makes and models. Hit the ice by studying the following frequently asked bubble hockey questions.
What Does Bubble Hockey Involve?
Although both bubble hockey and air hockey aim to replicate the look and feel of a hockey game, bubble hockey actually bears a closer resemblance to foosball, the table soccer game.
Each player mobilizes a team of hockey players by activating control rods outside the playing area. Players don’t just focus on sending the puck into the opposing team’s net; they also manipulate a goalie to prevent the opposing team from scoring points against them, just like the actual sport.
Why Do People Call It Bubble Hockey?
Unlike other table games that replicate field sports, bubble hockey features a large transparent dome that covers the entire virtual rink. This plastic bubble gives bubble hockey its name. (You may also hear it referred to as dome hockey).
The dome plays a necessary role in maintaining game play. The tiny puck used in bubble hockey can go flying at high speeds. The bubble keeps the puck from flying completely off the table and striking someone or getting lost. Instead, the puck hits the dome and falls back down onto the rink for uninterrupted, high-impact action.
How Do You Play Bubble Hockey?
Bubble hockey has relatively simple rules, with minor variations permitted from one pair of players to the next. An initial coin toss determines which player claims which side of the table. The table then launches the puck to start play. A typical bubble hockey game consists of three timed periods, with each period lasting 90 seconds.
Certain actions count as violations. Punishments for bubble hockey violations can range from a penalty goal to warning or even complete disqualification. Examples of bubble hockey violations include stalling (holding the puck without playing it), tilting or lifting the table, and making excessive, distracting spinning or lateral moves.
How Did Bubble Hockey Get Started?
Bubble hockey has a longer history than many people realize, making its debut in 1932. However, modern bubble hockey as we know it today first appeared in 1982 as the creation of a company called Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (ICE). ICE launched this updated table under the Chexx brand.
Chexx’s first bubble hockey table commemorated the historic victory of the U.S. team over the U.S.S.R. team in the 1980 Winter Olympics. In the 1990s Chexx introduced the modern version of the domed enclosure in its Super Chexx table. Other manufacturers later produced bubble hockey tables of their own.
When you shop for a bubble hockey table, you should know what features (and what bugs) to look for. For instance, a space-efficient table will give your game room inhabitants a more enjoyable experience than one that eats up all the square footage. You may also want realistic crowd sounds and an electronic LED scoreboard.
If you’d love to experience the fast-paced thrills of bubble hockey in your own game room, Maine Home Recreation can make it happen. We offer a wide range of high-quality game tables, from bubble hockey tables to more conventional options such as pool tables. Contact us today to learn more or place an order.