Wacky Sports – Underwater Hockey

Underwater hockey is an unusual sport that combines swimming, diving and the basic game objectives of hockey. This game is completely played while submerged in a pool and if you can hold your breath for long periods of time, chances are that you’ll enjoy it far more than other water games such as Marco Polo or retrieving keys and earrings at the bottom of the pool!

What are the basics of the game?

This game is not nearly as rough as what you see in professional hockey games so you can relax on that scale. When you play hockey underwater there are rules for no contact and it’s mostly an endurance sport that incorporates all of the skills of swimming, diving, snorkelling and scoring goals as in the game of hockey. The game consists of two teams that try to move the puck along the bottom of the pool to get them into the net. Players are equipped with fins and protective gloves, a mask and a snorkel in order to make the play safe and easy. The sticks are much shorter and blunter than a hockey stick and measure under 2 feet in length. The puck is somewhat different than hockey as well. The aim is to try to get the puck into the opposing team’s net that measure at about 9 feet in length.

If you can believe it, while it has not been well publicized, the sport has existed for many hundreds of years, founded by a man named Alan Blake in England, in 1059. The former title for it was Octopush and the teams were made up of 8 players with sticks called pushers and a puck called a squid. Now the sport is recognized in countries all over the world with an international world championship being held to determine the best players of the sport. Associations exist in England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and Japan.

How do you play?

Every game lasts about half an hour with two halves and a short break in between. Generally 10 players are allowed to play in a game although a team may have more players. Only six players will be underwater at one time on each team. There is no goalie in place so the other players are responsible for stopping the puck from going into the net with a defense of three people creating a protective formation.

Players are not allowed to use their stick for anything except for pushing the puck and the puck cannot be handled with anything but the stick. Players are not permitted to use physical contact in any way against another player to engage in the play.

Why play?

The sport is a fantastic form of physical fitness and one can stay in excellent shape if they are playing regularly. The swimming will enhance your cardio and your stamina and you will be able to strengthen your core muscles as well. The game is also a great deal of fun and quite different than other sports so you’ll be entertained and have a great social time while playing, too. If you want to find out where you can play in your area, contact your local pool or find the local underwater hockey association in your area to find out more information.

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