Air hockey is still gathering acceptance as a competition game, and the players around the world already have someone new to look up to. Colin Cummings, a sixteen year old from Houston, Texas has become the youngest world champion that the sport has ever seen. He proved his worth in the 2015 Air Hockey World Championship which was held on the 28th of July in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Air hockey originated in arcades in the mid 1970s and has generated substantial support for tournament games since. Consisting of a large, low-friction surface, a pair of hand-held mallets and a puck, the fast paced game involves two opponents trying to hit the puck into goals at either ends of the table.
The long journey to the top
Colin Cummings reportedly had taken four years to learn the game well enough to defeat bigger rivals. According to him, anybody can play the game, as it does not require physical strength or intelligence to master the game. His own father, Mike Cummings, is also a world-class player of air hockey. Practicing with him on a weekly basis may have helped improve his game, yet they had to face each other as opponents in the world championship. Colin managed to defeat his father with a score of four to nil.
According to Colin, who is also an exceptional chess player, trying to predict the opponent’s next move is just as important in air hockey as in chess. When he had begun learning the game in 2009, he quickly gathered a reputation for being extremely fast and accurate in his shots, earning him nicknames like “The Flash” and “Phenom”
In 2012, when he was just 12 years old, he had managed to defeat the 18 year old defending champion at the Junior World Championship, which made his family consider investing in professional air hockey tables so that he could improve his game.
Colin hopes to start a club which would help air hockey enthusiasts embrace the game and share their knowledge and experience. Professionally, now that he is at the very top of the game, he would have to try harder to maintain the title of World Champion, now that all the players are going to compete against him.