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Air Pool

Unfortunately not an idea for a swimming pool filled with warm updraughts instead of water.
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Remember Air Hockey? Basically it’s a big table with lips around the side, the surface of which is covered in lots of tiny holes. Air is blown up through the holes, and a small puck is levitated off the tabletop. Players get a circular paddle each, and batter hell out of said puck as it ricochets around the table like a mad thing, in the vain hope of it somehow landing in the opponent’s goal. Requires lightning-like reactions and a fair amount of luck, but it’s good, frenetic fun.

But what if you made the table a bit bigger, and instead of just having one goal at either end you have six – one in each corner and one halfway down the longest sides? Add a few more pucks - some red, some yellow, and one black one – and I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this already. The reduced friction on the table would allow for some truly amazing (or perhaps just completely haphazard) shots – the level of foresight required to anticipate how the many pucks will bounce off each other (given that they will travel for so much longer) would stump even the greatest chess Grandmaster.

It could be played with the same rules as normal, sphere-based pool, as illustrated above, but I would kind of prefer something more in keeping with the frantic nature of the original air hockey game. Why not have a couple of “cue pucks” on the table – you could either make them player specific (one each, both slightly different shades of white), or just make either fair game for any player’s paddle. And, unlike pool, you don’t wait for all the balls to settle or for the other player to have his turn before you make your next shot. Just make the whole thing a continuous puck-clacking free-for-all. Not much room for skill or judgement (as if there ever was in the original game); but as you run round the table to smash a cue puck before your opponent does, you’re going to have a pucking good time.

lostdog, May 13 2003

Levitating pool http://www.halfbake...a/Levitating_20pool
With magnets. [phoenix, Oct 05 2004]

3D Billiards/Pool http://www.halfbake..._20Billiards_2fPool
With vacuum. [phoenix, Oct 05 2004]

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       //not much room for skill or judgement// is my only problem with this idea.
Worldgineer, May 13 2003
  

       I very nearly reposted my "cube pool" idea recently. The idea was for an air cushion table pool game with cubes instead of balls, played with a regular cue. The point of the concept was that the cubes colliding with each other would behave very differently than spheres, changing the game considerably.   

       Ya got's my plus.
waugsqueke, May 13 2003
  

       As in the original air hockey, fast reactions make up for any lack of skill or judgement you might have. I don't imagine it being an Olympic sport; more a fun way to waste ten or fifteen minutes.
lostdog, May 13 2003
  

       <brrrrr>Ice cube pool</brrrrr> Not hopping into my swim trunks for that one.
Worldgineer, May 13 2003
  

       I like this.
my face your, May 13 2003
  

       I think if you had to wait for everything to settle this would make a pretty fun game. When I was young my friends and I played a million games with an air hockey set, the best of which was like this but you were allowed two pucks and could hit them out of a certain area, one at a time. But then you could keep going if you could knock the other puck back into your shooting area. So the object was to keep control of your turn while simultaneously knocking stuff over or whatever the goal of the game was.
calculust, May 13 2003
  

       If you like this game, you might also like the old game of "Carroms" which is a combination of billiards, marbles and air hockey played on an extremely smooth powdered plywood board fitted with four or six pockets. It is generally played with 2 players, or 4 players in teams of 2.
jurist, May 14 2003
  

       There's skydiving simulators that use a cushion of air. Perhaps we could expand the game to full size. The players could float about in a 3D version of handball.
FloridaManatee, May 14 2003
  

       Yeah, jurist! I had that game, likely still stowed away in pristine condition at folks place.
thumbwax, May 14 2003
  

       Excellent idea, but I thought this was going to be the "swimming pool filled with warm updraughts instead of water" idea, which would allow you to play "Air Polo" among other things.
hippo, May 14 2003
  

       Apparently small discs are used for pool, billiards or snooker on board ships, obviously this is a bit more frantic so I'm not too sure about the scoring system.   

       'Air Polo' now that's the way to go! You'd just need to make sure the ball has roughly the same terminal velocity as a person, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
scubadooper, May 14 2003
  

       I like this, gets my vote.
saker, May 14 2003
  

       Because the pucks are flat discs floating on air then the concept of top and back spin are eliminated.(maxima versions of which are extreme follow through and deep screw !?)   

       The game sounds fun - but I was always more of a fan of pool than air hockey.
Jinbish, May 14 2003
  

       It's always fun till someone pucks an eye out!
k_sra, May 14 2003
  

       Raise the air pressure a bit and use billiard balls. Call it Bernoulliards.
bristolz, May 14 2003
  

       Hah! That's worth a post in it's own right! What a title.
egbert, May 14 2003
  

       Now Bernoulliards sounds cool. I can imagine the 3-d nature of it. Balls all floating about 4" above the table, you hit the cue ball downward, under the 8. It strikes the 4 which hops over the 9 and into a pocket. Yay!
Worldgineer, May 14 2003
  

       Playing a game of 3D pool could be very intesresting indeed...but I would suggest to replace the air system with magnetic levitation instead (just like the japanese train: Maglev). This would result in a very quiet (but extremely expensive...) table of Bernouillards. The rails of the table could have a reverse magnetic field so that the balls wouldn't fall off too easily...
coeptis, May 14 2003
  

       I think it would be very hard to play, though. Think how tough it would be to use the cue without being able to perch your hand on the table surface.
bristolz, May 15 2003
  

       Well then you'd need a small piece of table surface that's adjustible in 3 dimensions. I'd post a HB idea, but that might be taking things too far.
Worldgineer, May 15 2003
  

       Sweet (+) I was just going to post almost this exact idea.   

       I have only one tweak to add.
If the pool balls were hemispherical and if the table top was mirrored then the balls would appear to be fully spherical and floating in mid air.
  

       How I missed Bernoulliards all these years I'll never know.   

       So left/right spin would work more or less as normal, but top/bottom spin would be impossible?   

       That could make for an interesting game, until you got used to it.
Wrongfellow, Jan 25 2018
  

       Oh.   

       Well, I guess given the category choice my expectations were excessive.   

       I was hoping this would be a combination of air guitar and billiards. Anybody can pretend they just made a great shot, but convincingly simulating accidentally sinking the incorrect ball requires talent.
normzone, Jan 25 2018
  


 

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