Our kids go to a small private school and one of the requirements of this school is to have a parent volunteer. My wife chose to teach a small woodshop class on how to build a DIY Pucket Game. We prepared and pre-cut all the plywood pieces, bungee cords, and pucks. The kids needed to assemble the pieces using a hammer and finish nails. Then tie the knots on the bungee cord and sand the pucks to make them smooth.
The kids enjoyed building the Pucket Game as well as playing it after class with their peers. Now, my wife is one of their favorite volunteers, and kids can’t wait for the next project.
Pucket, or the tabletop puck game, is a classic game that has been around for a very long time, and with good reason! It’s fun, fast-paced, and anyone can play it. The tabletop puck game is a game of strategy, dexterity, and speed, and other variations of the game can make it even more challenging. Keep reading for more about the history and rules of this game, and how to make one of your very own, or to give as a gift.
History of Pucket Table Hockey
The table puck game, or pucket, is based on an old, traditional French game. The original version was made of wood, just like this version, but instead of bungee cords, the original creators of this game used catgut, which would then have to be moistened regularly so it wouldn’t end up limp. Bungee cord is much easier! In fact, the original name for what we know as the table puck game was table à l’élastique. It is still played in France but has made its way all over the world, to be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels.
Pucket Game Rules
The table puck game is meant to be played by two players, each seated at opposite sides of the game board. In the center of the board, there’s a barrier with a small slot cut into the center of it; this is where each player will aim their puck, trying to shoot it through to the opponent’s side of the board.
Each player begins with eight small disks or pucks. One of them says “go” (with or without a countdown before it — that part is up to you!) and then you begin using the bungee cord on your side of the board to aim your pucks toward the center hole, which is also called the gate. The objective of the game is to clear your side, meaning getting your own pucks to the opponent’s side, as well as returning any of your opponent’s pucks should they get them through. The first player to completely clear their side wins.
There are a few other rules. For example, players aren’t allowed to push the pucks through the gate with their fingertips or pick them up unless they end up off of the board. If a puck flies off of the board, the person who flicked it off of the board has to go get it. Players can slide pucks out of the way on their own side of the board, but can’t touch any of the pucks on their opponent’s side.
Time to Complete
- 16 1/2″ x 20″ – 1/4″ Plywood (x1)
- 1x2x8′ (x1)
- 1 1/4″ Wood Dowel Rod
- Bungee Cord
- 1 1/2″ Finish Nails
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Cut Two Side Boards
First, take 3/4″ plywood and cut two 1 1/2″ x 20″ pieces for the sides of the DIY Pucket Game. Then measure and mark 2 3/4″ from the end and 1/2″ from the bottom of the board. Drill a 1/4″ hole in the center of the mark. Do this on all sides as shown in the picture.
Step 2 – Cut Middle Board and Two Backboards
Then take 3/4″ plywood and cut three 1 1/2″ x 15″ pieces. Two of the pieces will be for the backboards and the third piece will go in the middle. The middle piece will have an opening for the pucks to slide through. The opening is 2 1/4″ wide and 3/4″ deep. Measure 6 3/8″ from the edge of the middle piece and draw a 2 1/4″ x 3/4″ box for the opening to cut out. Now, using a table saw, raise the blade 3/4″ high and slide the middle board over the blade to cut out the notch for the opening.
Step 3 – Cut Bottom Plywood
Now take 1/4″ plywood and cut 20″ x 16 1/2″ piece. I used white laminate top plywood because it has a very smooth surface for the pucks to slide on.
Step 4 – Nail All Boards Together
Arrange all the pieces on the flat surface (as shown on the picture) and nail the 1/4″ plywood to these boards using 1 1/2″ finish nails. Then nail one nail on each side of the long pieces.
Step 5 – Cut 1/2″ Wide Pucks
Take 1 1/4″ wooden dowel rod (typically used in the closets for hanging clothes) and cut sixteen 1/2″ wide pucks.
Step 6 – Install Bungee Cords
Take a bungee cord and cut it to 19″ in length. Then using a torch, burn the ends of the bungee cord to prevent loose threads. Then feed it through the holes of the side pieces and tie a knot on each end. Make sure the bungee cord is stretched enough to fling the pucks.
Below are pictures of pre-cut plywood pieces for our kid’s school.