We invite you to try Underwater Hockey! Underwater Hockey is a fun and competitive sport for people of all ages and genders.
Practices are open to men and women of all ages. Beginners are always welcome. No experience is required.
Underwater hockey is a fast moving game that is played on the bottom of a 6-8 feet swimming pool by two teams of six. Players wear fins, mask, snorkel, a protective glove and headgear (the same kind as for water polo). The stick is short, approximately 1 foot long and made of wood or plastic polymer. The puck is heavy, around 3 lb. and coated with a protective layer of hard plastic. The goals are 3 meters (9’) long. Play and strategy is similar to soccer or ice hockey except that the playing surface is at the bottom of a pool. The rules are "non-contact" and players generally cover zones around the puck. Success (scoring) ultimately depends on teamwork, since no single person can hold their breath forever. On average, each player is underwater about 10 seconds at a time, and almost never more than 20 seconds. Success -- putting the puck in the goal trough at the bottom of each end wall -- ultimately depends on teamwork, not how long you can hold your breath. Play is fast and exciting - you go at it hard while holding your breath. The sport offers great cross-training for scuba divers, runners, swimmers, and bikers. Plus, because it's non-contact and underwater, people of different sizes and genders play on an equal field. There is no checking and certainly no fighting, unlike ice hockey. There is a goal about 10 feet wide at each end of the pool. However, since no one can hold their breath forever, there is no goalie. Instead we have forwards and backs and play various formations.
WHAT DO I BRING?
If you have snorkelling gear (mask, fins and snorkel) that you'd like to use, feel free to bring it, but we have equipment for you to borrow at the pool.
All you really need is a
- a towel
Optionally you may want to bring:
- a lock to lock your belongings in one of the available lockers
- gym socks for added foot protection when wearing the fins
Check out this great introductory video from usauwh.com
We've been able to reserve the neighborhood pool in my sister's neighborhood on Saturday, June 26 in Tucson (~90 minutes from Tempe)! It's not an ideal hockey pool (~3 feet on one end, sloping down to 9 feet in the deep end, rectangular) but it is free and available so that makes it good enough!
All the details will be figured out after we get a headcount, but the general plan is to meet at the pool at 1:00 to set-up and review how to snorkel and the rules for anyone who may have forgotten in the past 16 months and to start playing at 1:30. We'll mix it up with various teams of 3 vs 3 or 4 vs 4 with time for breaks, etc. We'll plan to play hockey until ~5:00 and then start grilling or order pizza.
We have the pool area reserved until 8:00 and then it will be time to head home, or, if you want to stay the night, there are plenty of cheap nearby hotels and we can go hiking in the morning.
If interested, sign up by 5:00 on Saturday, June 19. We need a minimum of 9 people to make this event happen, so RSVP early please!