It may be snowing outside, but among the spectators the excitement is generating warmth. The music and bright colored lights are creating a heated atmosphere. The players are gliding across the white rink, twisting and turning with the agility of athletes. The crowd roars its encouragement, urging on the players as the action begins on the stick hockey table.
The venue for the encounter is not the local arena but a suburban living room. While some people try to recreate the atmosphere of a real stadium through endless video games or television sports channels, others have discovered a different type of home entertainment. The players stand ready for action.
The quiet gathering at home or the dinner party with neighbors will never be the same again. When the visitors are tongue tied and the conversation is dull, the hockey table provides a chance to break the ice. The chosen teams line up ready for action while the spectators sit or stand around sipping their drinks. The small talk disappears as everyone focuses on the encounter.
Also known as rod hockey tables, the games come in shapes and sizes to suit all tastes and budgets. The rink has realistic markings and the length may be chosen according to the space available. The players are operated by control rods, sliding back and forward or rotating to strike the puck.
Many of the familiar sights and sounds of the stadium may be experienced on a smaller scale in the living room. An electronic scoreboard keeps the players and spectators informed about the score and the periods of play can also be measured accurately. The games may be equipped with colored lights, music and sounds of the crowd. An automatic roar goes up each time the puck enters the net.
For the protection of the game and players each table is covered by a resistant plastic dome. The games are often referred to as dome or bubble hockey tables owing to this characteristic. The table may be on legs or a pedestal designed robustly to ensure a level playing surface during the play. Most tables are capable of withstanding normal wear and tear from over-excited teenagers or adults.
The stick hockey table allows the participants to reach a level of camaraderie never achieved at the office party. By the end of a game shyness and reserve are forgotten. The breathless players may share a drink of victory or commiseration. The evening is a success.
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