Dome Hockey Tables - Then and Now
Dome Hockey was first introduced in the early 1980’s by Integrated Concepts in Entertainment (ICE) with the Chexx Dome Hockey game. In 1982, near the end of the cold war, the fate of the world still hinged on the arms race between the capitalist Yanks and the communist Russkies. A tension had settled over the globe, but people in the United States flocked to the video arcades with pockets jingling to release their tension in Chexx Dome Hockey. The Original dome hockey game, pitted Cold War adversaries USA and Russia against each other.
The coin operated ICE Super Chexx was originally only available in arcades and commercial game rooms across the country and can be played with 2-4 players. The game has now been brought into many homes, businesses, and institutions for hours of multi-player fun. It is an extension of foosball with players’ puppeteering the hockey men inside the dome trying to score on each other. The ICE Super Chexx currently has a control computer that you can set the unit on “Free Play” or for the unit to take coins or dollars. The unit has interactive sounds, automatic puck eject, and electronic scoreboard and timers. This is the original unit by the original manufacturer and is priced like it.
Shelti Inc. came out with their own version of Dome Hockey in the mid 1990’s. Shelti is considered a premium product because of the durability and weight of their units. Shelti units are heavier than even the Super Chexx units so hold up nicely in church game rooms and recreational institutions. The Shelti Thunderdome is the closest to the look, quality, and playability to the Super Chexx. This is Shelti’s best unit and contains the automatic puck ejector, interactive sounds, electronic scoreboard and pedestal base. The Shelti Slapshot is basically the same unit in appearance and mechanically as the Thunderdome but it does not contain the automatic puck ejector or the interactive sounds. The Slapshot and all the rest of the home units you simply drop the puck from the top of the dome into the playing area. The Shelti Breakout is an economical way to have a Shelti quality dome hockey table without all the bells and whistles. The unit is held up with four legs instead of the traditional pedestal and has basic electronic scoring. The great thing about this table is the quality mechanical workings of a Shelti table are just as good in the Breakout as the other top brands.
The Carrom Company also manufactures a quality bubble hockey table. These tables sell great for home game rooms all over the country. Although these units are not quite as heavy or durable as Shelti units, they provide years of quality play for families. The Carrom Signature Series Ultimate Dome Hockey table is their best unit. This is a pedestal based with electronic sounds and scoring. The unit comes in either Red or Blue. The Carrom Signature Arena Dome Hockey table is also available in Red or Blue and is the same mechanically as the Ultimate, but is supported by legs instead of a pedestal base. The very popular Carrom Elite Dome Hockey table has a sleek modern look. The dome is flatter providing a better view of the entire playing area. The electronic scoreboard is on the side so it does not block the view of play. Another great trait of the Carrom Elite is the “puck in play” feature. Instead of dropping the puck from the top of the dome after a goal like other units, there is a mechanism that pops the puck out of the goal after scoring. This keeps the puck inside the unit continually and eliminates the problem of lost pucks. Finally the Carrom Superstick is an economical way to try out Dome Hockey without breaking the bank. This unit is in Black laminate with 4 legs and is battery operated to eliminate the need for plugs. Dome Hockey tables have continued in popularity for the last 25 years and there are many options to choose from.