A table hockey game, also called rod hockey game, stick hockey, bubble hockey, and board hockey, is a game for two players, derived from ice hockey.
The game consists of representing a hockey rink; the players score goals by hitting a small puck into the opposing "net" with cutout figures representing hockey players. The figures are manipulated by rods below the "ice": each one slides forward and back along with its own narrow slot when the player pushes or pulls on the rod or rotates (about a vertical axis) to shoot or stickhandle the puck when the player spins the rod.
Though similar in concept to air hockey (commonly known as "glide hockey"), table hockey games are more of a simulation of ice hockey sport while air hockey is more abstract.
The game of table hockey was invented in 1932 by the Canadian Donald H. Munro Sr., in Toronto. Like so many Canadians in the depths of the depression, Don was short of cash for Christmas presents. He had a wife and three young children.
That year, the family all pitched in and made the first table hockey game. This mechanical game was built out of scrap wood and metal and included used coat hanger wire, butcher's twine, clock springs, and lumber from the coal bin. Unlike current games, the game looked more like an early pinball game, with one key difference: a two-player game.
The playing surface had a peak in the middle and sloped down toward each end. The players controlled levers for the goalie and flippers for the players. The story goes that a traveling salesman noticed the game and encouraged Don to take the game down to the local Eaton's department store. Don did just that. The first game went in on a consignment deal. By the time Mr. Munro got home, the game was sold, and more orders were placed.
Countries with at least one table hockey player in ITHF World ranking. In red are Top 8 countries.