Underwater Hockey is played by two teams of six players each. To start the game, the puck is centered on the bottom of the pool. In practice, a player will yell “Sticks up, GO!” and the game begins.
The game is non-contact so their 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.
An official game is composed of two 15 minute halves, and we change sides at half-time. In practice, we play continuously, and we’ll often switch sides after 30 minutes. If we have extra players then each team will have subs. During a tournament game, a team can have up to ten players, so you can have a maximum of four subs.
Because the game is underwater there is very little stress on the joints, so the common injuries associated with sports aren't a problem with underwater hockey.The water is also a great equalizer in that it allows men and women, small and large players to compete on the same level.
We also travel to tournaments throughout the year, but participation is optional. You can decide to travel as much or as little as you would like. Underwater Hockey is a small community so by traveling to a few tournaments you will make friends with people from all across the country.
Underwater Hockey sticks are approximately one foot long. They are painted either black or white which is used to determine a player’s team. You can only use one hand to hold the stick. They come in many designs and are usually made out of wood or plastic.
Gloves come in many shapes and sizes. The purpose of the glove is to protect your hand from scraping against the bottom and to provide padding in case you get hit by the puck. Players can either make their own glove or purchase a manufactured glove.
Underwater Hockey pucks are approximately the same shape and size as ice hockey pucks. However, these pucks weigh three pounds, so they’re a bit heavier than your standard ice hockey puck. They are made out of lead covered with textured plastic to provide grip for control.
We use a mask, snorkel, ear guards, and mouth guard. The mask gives us more vision of play than traditional goggles, and the snorkel allows us to breathe while still watching the game below. The ear guards and mouth guard are for protection.
Since you use your hand to hold onto the stick, we wear fins in order to move through the water. There are many different designs of fins and they come in all different sizes. The most important thing to know is that we do not use fins with buckles or clips.
There's nothing duct tape can't do. Used for pretty much anything you can think of, duct tape usually wins the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young award at every underwater hockey tournament. Electrical tape usually finishes in second place.