How do you play Underwater Hockey?
Underwater hockey is played on the bottom of a swimming pool with a 12 inch long stick and a 2 kg puck that sits on bottom of the pool. You can find some videos on Youtube!
Who can play underwater hockey?
Anyone who a) feels comfortable in and under water; b) can swim for at least 25 metres in the swimming pool; and c) is open to new experiences such as drinking some pool water during the first few weeks, getting really lost and really out of breath.
What gear is needed for UWH?
We have some spare gear, so for your first few sessions, you can rent from us! We do have some recommendations if you want to get your own gear though:
- CanAm offers a beginner’s set for UWH players with all the gear you need
Your mask needs to have two lenses, no single-lense masks!
Small volume free diving masks are best, but any diving mask will work fine. Swimming goggles are not recommended. A mask doubles as a nose plug and face shield and doesn’t fog as much as goggles.
Here are some links to masks we recommend:
You want to be able to breathe while scanning the bottom of the pool for the puck and your next position. Snorkels with a large bore (to get air quickly) and a streamlined design are the best. Valves will slow you down, so choose a simple design without any valves. For competitions, the snorkel has to be slightly bendable to avoid injury.
- Taobao cheap snorkel
In UWH you need to maneuver quickly and also be fast. So you need to find a balance between long soft free diving fins (quick maneuvering) and short hard diving fins (speed). Check out this detailed fin comparision.
Points to note:
- Choose relatively stiff fins for better maneuverability, that are also relatively long, like the Aqualungs or Mares fins
- Too big is better than too small! You can wear finkeepers or even socks if they’re too big, but if they’re too small, your feet will hurt before practice is over.
- Full-foot finis without any holes are best.
It’s not too easy to find dive shops in China, but you can always shop online:
- Special UWH equipment
Sticks, gloves and pucks are customised for UWH, so you can’t get them in normal sport shops. There are some online shops that provide UWH gear, check out their websites:
- Sticks: UWH sticks are about 30 cm long, made of wood or plastic and painted black or white to distinguish the teams. They are dog bone shaped at one end with one straight side. We recommend Stingray or Dorsal Elite
- Gloves: The gloves protect your knuckles from abrasion against the pool bottom. They also pad your hand when someone hits your hand instead of the puck. It is common practice to make homemade gloves: simply buy a heavyweight gardening glove and cover it with silicone rubber caulking, but this is best done with at least one other person. There are several videos on Youtube that show you how to make a glove for UWH, for example this one. You can also buy them from UWH suppliers (see links above) and at large tournaments.
- Ear protectors: At competition, you have to wear ear protectors. Getting hit on the ear with a fin may pop your eardrum if done right. Water polo caps work well, or you can buy separate ear protectors without a cap.
- Mouth Guards: An exterior or interior mouth guard is now required at all sanctioned tournaments.
- Swimsuit: optional : ), but recommended.
For girls, we strongly recommend a one-piece swim suit that’s fuss free. There’s a lot of action in the water that a string bikini or a bandeau may not be able to handle.
For guys, we recommend swimsuits instead of board shorts to keep it as streamline as possible.
What do you do at each session?
Our trainings are usually divided into 3 parts:
- Warming up (swimming with or without fins to stretch and to start getting some speed and improve swimming style).
- Drills (getting used to the gear, learning basic puck-handling and positioning skills)
- Playing games (to put in practice all we have learned)
How much does it cost to play Underwater Hockey?
We are not asking you to pay us for the practise sessions, we are currently renting the lanes and costs will be split to all who shows up and averages around 150-200HKD.
Do you play all year round?
Currently, we practice on Wednesdays. Practice sessions might get cancelled when the pool is closed (for holidays or maintenance) or when less than four people are expected. In these cases, we will inform the regulars on Facebook and Whatsapp.
Which languages are used during the practise sessions?
We usually use English as our main language, but we have players who speak Cantonese and Mandarin as well who can translate the practices.
What are the detailed rules of Underwater Hockey?
there are too many rules to fit into this FAQ but you can read about the rules here, and if you have more specific questions, we can answer them again.
I love what I’m reading about underwater hockey, when can I start?
Contact us TODAY to learn when our next practice is!
*Source: Thanks to San Francisco Sea Lions and Shanghai Azures for compilation of above FAQs.