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If you thought that all forms of hockey had been developed, you were very wrong. In our dedicated page about this winter sport, you can learn a lot about Hockey.
Welcome to the world of Underwater Hockey
Underwater Hockey is a competitive sport in countries such as Australia, South Africa, France, USA and England, with national championships and, every two years, world championships. It is played in 27 countries.
Sub Hockey has been played in Argentina for more than fifteen years and is currently played in several provinces. A league of players has been formed and inter-provincial tournaments are held, approximately five per year. In the months of September and October a tournament will be held in Buenos Aires, Santa Fe and Rosario.
Underwater Hockey is a sport played in apnoea at the bottom of a swimming pool, between two teams of 6 players. Each player is equipped with a pair of fins, a mask and a snorkel.
The object of the game is to carry or pass a shuffleboard across the bottom of the pool, using the wooden Hockey Sub stick, in order to convert goals into the opposing team’s goal.
History of Underwater hockey
Underwater Hockey is a relatively new sport in Argentina. Quite the opposite is true in Europe, where it was born in the 1960s and subsequently expanded.
This sport was born in England in 1956 by the hand of Alan Blake, who devised this sport as a simple hook for those divers who abandoned their club. Nowadays it is played in countries such as Australia, USA, Canada, UK, France, Holland, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Colombia, Belgium and others.
In these countries hockey has become an important sport and as a consequence has led to the creation of national and world competitions. In Australia hockey is a real craze, not only is it taught in schools like any other sport, but even swimming pools with transparent walls are built for the enjoyment of spectators.
In France, the great practice of Sub Hockey has resulted in the creation of 3 regional divisions for men and 2 for women, as well as the creation of a very powerful French national team.
What started out as a game or a way of keeping in shape for divers or swimmers who for whatever reason stopped their activity, gradually became a competitive sport where one trains without even realising it. The basic skills of this sport are easy to learn and you can quickly get into the game. There are no prerequisites, you just have to like it. At the beginning it can be difficult to adapt to freediving, but over time the skill is acquired.
It is a fast, dynamic game, with explosive movements, which means that the dives are short.
The particularity of Underwater Hockey lies in the fact that it is the only underwater team sport. It requires considerable effort. Players spend around 8 to 15 seconds underwater and then come up to recover and get into position to continue playing.
It is an alternating aerobic-anaerobic sport. About 60 % of the game is played underwater, while the remaining 40 % is spent swimming on the surface to recover.
It is therefore an energetic and highly competitive sport where people can enjoy whatever their level.
Teamwork, anticipation and speed are fundamental and this is what allows the shuffleboard to move around the opponents to achieve the desired goal: the goal. The game is played by carrying the shuffleboard along the bottom of the pool, which can be thrown up to 4 metres and lifted from the bottom up to approximately 1 m depending on the skill of the player.
Equipment used in hochey
For the practice of Sub Hockey, no heavy equipment is necessary as is required for scuba diving, but only a swimming costume, a water polo cap to differentiate the two teams, a visor, a snorkel, fins, a glove to protect from rubbing against the floor of the pool, a small wooden stick and a 1.3 kg plastic coated lead and tin puck.
The fins, mask and snorkel are of the player’s choice. On the other hand, the swimming costume and cap must be the same for all team members. Light-coloured swimming costumes shall be used when the team uses white sticks and dark-coloured swimming costumes shall be used when using black sticks. The caps are usually the same as the water polo caps, each numbered, and no two players on the same team with the same numbers may be the same.
The shuffleboard must weigh 1.3 kg, have a diameter of 80 mm and a width of 30 mm.
The stick is made of wood and must float horizontally. All sticks are pre-tested at the competition. They have a total length of 210-340mm and a thickness of 15-20mm. The colour of the stick will be white or black to facilitate the identification of the two teams. A string can be attached to the end of the handle to secure the stick in case of loss.
Another element to take into account is the pool, which should be between 12-15 metres wide and 20-25 metres long. The bottom of the pool should be flat, horizontal and with a maximum slope of 5%. Ideally, it should have a uniform depth between 2 and 4 metres, but the reality is that you play in the pool you have at hand.