Bubble hockey is intended to be fun. It can be extremely competitive or personally entertaining. Hours of practice can go by without notice. It can become slightly addictive, because it is fun to play and practice. Dome hockey is an activity that is hard to set aside.
The more you practice at dome hockey, the better you'll become. Practicing moves, passes, and shots off the wall, can be especially helpful. Stiga, the leading table hockey manufacturer, also suggests some great moves on its website.
The best players use more than their sticks. In other words, they learn to use the wall. Defenders can’t reach or won't think to defend returns off the wall. In addition, they use players’ feet. If the puck is at your feet, a quick spin will release the puck in a surprise direction; and you might score an easy goal.
Don't just keep the puck at your feet, however; be active and avoid an overly defensive strategy. Not only is the game more fun when it's active, but you're also far more likely to score from a close shot. In dome hockey, it is almost always the forwards who score the goals. Besides these tips, you need to know some rules, too.
Basically, you need to learn to think like a hockey player before beginning the game of bubble hockey. The more you think like a hockey player, the easier it will be to win dome hockey. Learning to finesse the puck and pass it to other players is as much of the strategy as power hitting the puck at the net. Learn finesse first, then work on power in dome hockey.
With bubble hockey, you can take those skills mastered during casual play and turn them into something more competitive. The International Table Hockey Federation or ITHF standardized the rules for tournaments so everyone can compete on equal grounds.
In competitions, the dome hockey match should last either five minutes or nine minutes. Some of the tables actually have timers built in to make sure the game stays on track. When the scores are tied and the time runs out, both players go into sudden death to determine who will win the match.
You may occasionally deal with a face-off during a game of bubble hockey. These can occur any of three different times during game play: once a player scores a goal, if there is a mechanical problem with the game, or if the puck ends up in a spot unreachable by either player. If this happens, the puck must be dropped either at the spot where someone had contact with it last or in the center of the game surface.
Although you might get a friend to count it as a goal in a game of dome hockey for fun, if the puck goes into the goal but bounces back out off the net then you are not supposed to count that as a winning point. The game should just keep going as if nothing happened.
Above all else, table hockey is intended to be played with respect for the other players.
That means you shouldn't shake the table, scream obscenities at the other player, or damage the bubble hockey table if things don't go your way. Remember it's just a game, even if you are playing a bubble hockey tournament match.