Bubble hockey is a variation of table hockey which was invented in the 1930s I Toronto in Canada by a man named Donald Munro as a Christmas gift to his family. The game is mechanical and was initially built out of scrap metal and wood. It is also known as rod hockey, stick hockey or board hockey. Bubble hockey is a game of two players that was a derivation of ice hockey. The game consists of a representation of a hockey field, players, and goal posts with a net. The number of players matches exactly the usual number of players in a dome hockey match. To score goals, they hit a small puck into the opponent’s goals.
The players or the figures representing players are controlled by use of rods below the ice. Each rod can be slid forth and back along its narrow space when the players pull the rod in or out. A player can also spin the rod or rotate it. When compared to ice hockey dome hockey is more a simulation of ice hockey as compared to air hockey that is more of an abstract form of bubble hockey. Bubble hockey is very popular in Canada probably because it is the country of origin and it is managed by the dome hockey federation.
How is Bubble Hockey Played?
A bubble hockey game normally has three phases. A game is started by pressing a button written eject/boo. The game ends once the puck is taken back to the net and at the same time the scores at this point should not be a tie. As part of game rules, the national anthem has to be played to completion before players hold their separate rods. After the national anthem has been played, players still have to wait for the announcer to say the word “Brave” before they can grab the rods and play dome hockey, and the game starts immediately.
All teams have to listen to the national anthem at the onset of games only. The following games can simply start when the button eject/ boo has been pressed.
Below is a description of each component of bubble hockey games based on the Canadian Standards. The same components and rules are also applicable in other parts of the world.
About the Players
Each team is made up of two main players and one sub. While the game is progressing, players can only control up to three bubble players that include the goalkeeper.
Every bubble hockey game has a scorekeeper who is responsible for recording points, goals, boo factor and also enforces rules. An official BHL score card is used to keep track of games.
Bubble Hockey Machine
A dome hockey machine that is certified should be used for all the games.
To initiate the game, a black puck is normally ejected from the center ice and the game-play kicks off from here.
Points / Scores.
Each game is awarded points upon conclusion. These points are used to determine league standings. The points are awarded as follows: One point overtime loss’ two points-overtime victory, three points-regulation victory.
Statistics provided should include individual players, games played and the goals.
Teams; will get a win/loss record and points will be given as 1, 2 or 3 and boo factors too. Team records should also show goals for/against.
All the goals scored will add up to the team totals. The goals that came into contact with scoring team members within a couple of touches of entering the goal will be recorded on player statistics. For instance, own goals will not make it to an individual’s team statistics. In case the scoring team strikes a goal and it rebounds off one of the opponent’s players, then it will be accounted for in the individual statistics.
The bubble hockey league has an even number of teams and hence every team has to be present for matches that happen on league nights. If a team is aware that they will not be able to appear for their scheduled match, a makeup match will have to be allocated. All the makeup matches have to take place before the end of a season. If a team cannot at all make for their match, then a substitute team will be selected so as to allow the team present to play.
Home versus Away
At least every team will get the chance to play home and away on the schedule. Teams will therefore be required to play from their allocated sides for the chosen matches.
Tilting: No player is allowed to lift or move the dome hockey machine either vertically or horizontally while the game is in progress.
Players are not allowed to hold the puck intentionally to stop the clock. If such behavior is noted then, the scorekeeper is allowed to count a 5 second countdown. If a five-second breach happens, one goal penalty will be put upon the breaching team as punishment.
Shots can be made from anywhere on the players body as long as they are legal, dome hockey rules allow it. This could be stick and skates.
If the puck has gone into the plane of the net, then the goalkeeper in that particular goal, must move the goalie in a specific timely way so as to avoid getting a stalling breach.
Players are not supposed to intentionally block the ejection point. Three such breaches or rather infractions as recorded by the scorekeeper will lead to a one goal penalty.
If a puck is considered stuck or out of reach, the scorekeeper is allowed to instruct the team near it to tilt the dome hockey machine. If the puck moves away towards the opposing team’s side then it should be given back to the initial team.
The dome hockey is a very interesting game to play. It is high time you try to join the team and enjoy the play moments.