WHAT IS UNDERWATER HOCKEY?
Underwater hockey is a fast-paced and dynamic sport that combines swimming, snorkeling, and teamwork. It is played on the bottom of a pool and requires players to use their speed, agility, and strategic thinking to outmaneuver their opponents and score goals.
To play underwater hockey, players wear specialized gear, including a diving mask, fins, and gloves, and use a short stick to move the puck. The gear is designed to help players move quickly and efficiently through the water, while the stick is used to control the puck and make passes. The puck is a heavy, lead-filled disc that players must move along the bottom of the pool.
Underwater hockey has a unique set of rules that govern gameplay, including the number of players on each team, how goals are scored, and how fouls are called. The game is played with two teams of six players each, with four additional players per team as substitutes. The objective is to score goals by maneuvering the puck into the opposing team's goal using the sticks. The game is divided into two halves, each lasting between 10 and 15 minutes.
At the start of each half, the puck is placed in the middle of the pool, and players from each team race toward it and start moving it in the direction of their opponent's goal. The game is fast-paced and requires a combination of physical skill and strategic thinking.
Players can only hold their breath for a limited time, so quick, strategic plays are essential. Players must also be able to maintain good buoyancy control and move efficiently through the water. Substitutions are allowed throughout the game, and players can switch in and out as needed, similar to ice hockey.
Like any sport, underwater hockey has its own set of fouls that can result in penalties, enforced by three referees in the water and one on the pool deck. These include:
Hitting an opponent with the stick
Holding onto an opponent's gear
Touching the puck with anything other than the stick
Interfering with a player who is not in possession of the puck
Penalties can result in a player being removed from the game for a certain amount of time, giving the opposing team an advantage.