Have you ever heard of Nok Hockey—sometimes spelled “knock hockey”?
It’s a fun, alternative version of the game of hockey that you can play right on a tabletop!
In this article, we’ll show exactly what Nok Hockey is and how you play the fun game. Plus, we’ll even show you exactly how to build your own Nok Hockey game and where you can buy it if you’re not the handy type!
Let’s dive in.
Here’s What Knock (Nok) Hockey Is:
Nok Hockey (knock hockey) is a tabletop game similar to air hockey. Two players face off against each other on a wood table and hit a wooden puck with a micro hockey stick in order to get the puck in the other player’s goal.
What Is Nok Hockey?
Nok hockey is a fun, alternate version of ice hockey that you can play at home on your table. It’s a wooden tabletop game which is similar to air hockey.
Players face off at center by tapping their hockey sticks together 3 times. Once they tap their sticks together on the third time, the first person to hit the puck gains possession of the puck.
Then, players take turns hitting the puck with their micro hockey sticks in order to get the puck into their opponent’s goal.
Whoever scores the most goals on their opponent wins the game.
How Do You Play Knock Hockey (Nok Hockey)?
Wondering how exactly you play Nok Hockey?
Rather than tell you how it’s played, just watch this video below of Nok Hockey in action!
What Are the Knock Hockey (Nok Hockey) Rules?
So, how exactly do you play knock hockey?
It’s very simple! Here are the basic rules of the tabletop game:
Purpose of the Game:
The goal of the game is to score a goal by hitting the wooden puck into the opponent’s goal using your hockey stick.
You can score a goal by a direct shot into the goal (a small slot that the puck fits through). Or, you can make a bank shot off the side boards and in. Another way to score is by hitting a double bank shot off the corner blocks then the goal block before going in.
How The Game Starts:
The game starts with both players facing off against each other at center—just like ice hockey. Except, instead of standing on the ice, you simply hold your micro hockey stick so it’s hovering above the tabletop game.
The puck is placed at center ice. Then, both players knock their sticks together three times. After this, whoever hits the puck next gets possession of the puck.
Players can only hit the puck when it is in their own defensive zone. This is the area between the player’s goal and the black line. They can also hit it in the free center area (neutral zone).
Players also can’t hit the puck when it’s in the opponent’s defense area.
If a puck gets knocked out of the tabletop arena, the player who hit the puck out has to place the puck in his defensive zone to start the game again.
How You Score:
When you hit the puck into your opponent’s net (or slot), you score, gaining one point.
How the Game Ends:
You decide what you want the winning score total to be. Whoever scores the total amount of points decided ahead of time wins the game.
Here’s a video of NHL players Nico Hischier and Damon Severson of the New Jersey Devils playing a little Nok Hockey in the Devil’s dressing room:
How Do You Make a Nok Hockey Table?
If you’re interested in playing Nok Hockey but you don’t want to buy your own game, you can simply make your own!
Mind you, this is pretty straightforward and easy to build, even if you’re not the handy type. While it will require you to head to the store to pick up a few items (and will require some woodworking skills), it can be made in a day so you can be ready to play at home whenever you like!
What are the Nok Hockey dimensions?
The typical dimensions of a Nok Hockey table are: 46.5″ long and 24″ wide.
- 2 pieces of 1”x3”x8” Pine wood
- 2’x4’ Hardboard
- 1/2“ thick hardwood (for sticks and pucks)
- Nails (you can also use glue or screws)
- Table saw or circular saw
Step-By-Step Instructions on Building a Nok Hockey Table:
1. Cut The Base of the Table
The first thing you’re going to want to do is cut your hardboard to 2’ x 4’ (two by four feet).
You can cut it with either a circular saw or table saw. You’ll want to cut it as square as you can.
Step 2: Cut the Sides of the Arena
Next up are the sides of the arena—comprised of two long sides and two short sides.
The long sides are 1”x3” pine boards. You should cut them about 46.5” with your saw.
Step 3: Cut the Ends of the Arena
Next, you’ll want to cut the short ends of the arena. They’ll also be cut out of the 1”x3” pine wood.
For the short sides, cut them 24” long with your saw.
Step 4: Cut a Goal Slot
After this, you’ll need to cut out a slot for the goal.
First, find the very center of the board (short sides).
Draw an arch that is about 4 inches wide.
You should use a jigsaw to cut this out.
To save time for the other end, simply use the cut out piece of wood as a template for the other side so they’re even.
Step 5: Cut Out Corners & Goalies
The final cutting stage is to cut out the goalies and corners.
The corners allow the puck to smoothly ride along the boards to keep the game flowing. The “goalies” provide a little bit of defense to stop your opponent from making a shot straight-on goal.
Using your 1”x3” wood, cut the corners approximately 2.5” long.
You can cut out goalies by making them 2.5” square.
Step 6: Assemble the Arena
Now that you’ve cut all the individual pieces of the board up, it’s time to assemble your Nok Hockey arena.
1. Begin by attaching your short ends pieces to the base of the arena. You can either nail them together, screw them, or use glue.
If you choose to glue the pieces together, I highly recommend picking up some Gorilla Glue. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to clamp the pieces together right after you glue them.
Remember to make sure the smooth side faces up on your hardboard. Otherwise, the puck won’t move easily along the bottom while playing the game.
2. Next, attach the long sides the same way.
3. Then, fasten your end piece to your side piece.
4. After this, attach the corner pieces. Again, you can use either nails, screws, or glue.
5. Next, attach the goalie pieces approximately 6” from each goal opening.
Step 7: Create the Sticks & Pucks
Grab some small pieces of hardwood for your sticks and pucks. Yes, I said pucks with an “S”. You’ll want to make about half a dozen or more of these pucks since they somehow find their way of going missing (especially since they tend to fly off the board often).
A great wood to use is poplar. You can get a 24”x4” piece.
On the wood, sketch out a hockey stick—about 12” long with a 3-4” blade.
Next, use your jigsaw to cut out the sketch. Use the first stick as a pattern for your second one.
For pucks, it’s best to use a 2.5” hole saw on your drill to make it circular. This leaves a small hole in the center but it doesn’t affect the puck.
Bonus: You can also decorate your rink with lines and any other designs as you see fit.
And… that’s it! You’re ready to play Nok Hockey!
When Was Knock Hockey (Nok Hockey) Invented?
Wondering when Nok Hockey was invented?
Well, Carrom (the founder of Nok Hockey) has been inventing tabletop games since 1889.
But, it wasn’t until 1942 when they introduced the first official Nok Hockey game.
Before the internet, video games, and computers, many companies attempted to turn live-action sports into board games.
Nok Hockey was one of the many attempts at turning ice hockey into a tabletop game.
And… 80 years later… and Nok Hockey is still around! It’s a classic hockey game that has stood the test of time as a great way to hang out with friends and family whether you’re old or young.
Where Can You Buy Nok Hockey?
If you’re wanting to pick up your own Nok Hockey game to play at home or on the road, take a look at our top recommendations:
Official Carrom Nok Hockey Game
Budget Nok Hockey Game
Want to check out some more alternate versions of the game of ice hockey? Don’t forget to check out our popular articles on Street Hockey and Knee Hockey!