Fancy trying something new? Well what about Underwater Hockey ? Underwater Hockey is played below the surface of the water in a swimming pool by two teams. It’s fun, exciting and a great way to keep fit.
What is Underwater Hockey?
Underwater hockey originated in the UK in the 1950’s as a means of keeping divers active during the winter months when they were not out diving. Originally called Octopush the sport quickly gained popularity among Sub Aqua Clubs. Since then the sport has evolved and is now referred to as Underwater Hockey. At present many national and international tournaments are carried out up to World Championship level for men-, women-, Masters and youth teams.
Underwater Hockey is a 3 dimensional team sport. It is played below the surface of the water in a swimming pool by two teams of 10 players, 6 in the water and 4 substitutes. Each player is wearing basic underwater equipment, i.e. fins, mask, cap with ear protection and snorkel.
The object of the game is to push or pass a weighted puck along the bottom of the pool by using an underwater hockey stick, into the opposing teams goal.
A Sport Less Ordinary…
The duration of the game is 30 minutes divided into two periods of 15 minutes, with a 3 minute break at half time, where the teams change ends. 2 in Water Referees and one out of water Referee control the match.
Who plays and who is the best?
The World Championships generally has about 40 countries wanting to compete. These are paired down to play in the main tournament of 16 teams. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France and Holland are generally considered to be the top teams in the world. New Zealand won the elite Men’s and Holland won the elite Women’s in the world championships for the first time in 2004. These teams train everyday of the week during the run up to major championships and their countries sports association are willing to support these athletes with significant resources to accomplish their goals.
How did Underwater Hockey make it to Ireland
Underwater Hockey was first introduced to Ireland in the early Eighty’s by Aquatec Sub Aqua Club. The activity soon spread around a number of diving clubs like Viking, Irish, Currah, Ennis, Limerick and the Garda SAC. This unfortunately did not develop into much as a heavy-handed approach was taken to the early game that resulted in to a fair few damaged index fingers! As a result only two teams (Aquatec & Viking) battled it out for a number of years until in 1993 when a team was sent to the European Championship in Sheffield, UK. This turned out to be quiet an experience for the boys as they only scored one goal in the whole tournament and conceded many more. Since this date the two clubs have joined forces and are now known as the Dublin Underwater Hockey Team. Fortunately this experience forced us to change the way the game was played in Ireland and greater success has followed. Cork also has an Underwater Hockey team.
Interested in Trying it Out?
If you facy trying the sport out why not contact your local team. Beginners are always welcome and you can try it out with no obligation to join. So go on, you have nothing to loose and lots to gain!!!
Pool Times and Training Days
BELFAST – MONDAYS & TUESDAYS We train on Mondays and Tuesdays nights 8-9:30pm in the Queens Sport PEC pool Sept-July and 8-9 pm on Mondays and 8-9.30 pm on Thursdays during the summer Queens University Belfast (Location Map) Contact via Facebook page and check us out at https://vimeo.com/140014993
LIMERICK Contact via Facebook page to find out latest information.