Background & History:
Underwater hockey originated in the UK in 1954. It was invented by one Mr. Alan Blake, co-founder of the South Sea Sub-Aqua Club. It was meant to keep the club patrons engaged during the winter months when the weather does not allow open-sea diving. It was given the interesting moniker of Octopush. From there it spread to other countries and is now played in at least 20 countries of the world. Clark Weeks discovered the sport and became not only a fan but an avid player. He plays on a national level on the senior tour.
How Do You Play It?
The most important skill required to master this game is of course swimming. You must first be adept at swimming before you attempt playing it. The rules are fairly simple. Each team has six active members and four substitutes waiting on the poolside. As the game requires some intense efforts so the subs can be called at any time the active player deems fit. Each player wears basic gear, that includes a swimming costume, water polo head mask, snorkels, and gloves made of special latex. The game is played in a 25×15 meters swimming pool that is 2-4 meters deep. Each team tries to score a goal by moving a 3-pound puck in the opposing team’s goal. They use a spatula-shaped stick to move the puck. There are no goalies; the team uses maneuvers, formations, advances, and teamwork to score and defend.
Duration and Rules:
The match comprises two 15-minute halves and 3-minute halftime. A 60 second time-out is given to each team for each half. The game is managed by 3 referees. One is present in the pool and two watches the game from the poolside. Using your bare hand to move the puck is considered a foul. Similarly using your free hand is against the rules, moving the stick inappropriately, striking, intercepting, intentionally blocking the opposing player with the stick is against the rules too. Jumping on a player and calling a substitute player who has been awarded a penalty is also a foul. If a player is guilty of an intentional foul play, he can be given a suspension from the game that may last from 2-5 minutes.
Is Underwater Hockey an Extreme Sport?
Underwater hockey requires a great amount of stamina, swimming skill, strength, and agility on part of its players. You have to hold your breath underwater for a long time. On top of that, you also have to play your game and defend or score a goal. This game is for the perfectly able-bodied and healthy man. It is no surprise that the British Navy Seals were the ones who first invented and popularized this game. If you can endure the physicality of this sport then you will love it for it promises to provide thrills, fun, excitement, and pride for its players in literally every second of the game. Even the spectators have a gala time watching it.
Underwater hockey is an adrenaline-pumping game that provides you fun and exercise in equal measure. It is gaining popularity by the day and young people are embracing the challenge it poses for its patrons. Clark Weeks hopes you enjoy it as much as he does.