Extending timeouts

USAA rules allow one 10-second timeout, by each player, per game. With a little planning, a 10-second timeout can be stretched to 30 seconds or more.

First, what are the main reasons to call a timeout?

  • Gain extra time to rethink strategy and tactics
  • Catch your breath
  • Disrupt the rhythm of an opponent

Normally timeouts are called because a player wants extra time to rethink strategies and tactics, and/or the player is tired. In these scenarios, the longer the timeout, the better. To increase the length of a timeout, take advantage of all of air hockey’s clocks.

Here’s an example of how to turn a 10-second timeout into 30-plus seconds:

  1. When you are scored on by your opponent, you have 10 seconds to take the puck out of your goal. Use all 10 seconds.
  2. Once you take the puck out of your goal and place it on the table, you have seven seconds to take a shot. Use all seven seconds before taking your timeout.
  3. After calling timeout you’re given 10 seconds, plus a grace period by the referee, that is normally around five seconds, to make sure that both players are ready.

All in all, this equals to about 30 seconds of no play. The key to extending timeouts is to not rush and stay composed prior to saying the word, “timeout.”


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