Info for Beginners
Underwater hockey is played on the bottom of a swimming pool by two teams of six. Players wear fins, a mask, snorkel, protective glove and headgear (the same kind as for water polo).
The stick is short, approximately one 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 nine feet wide.
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.
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. And because it's non-contact and underwater, people of different sizes and ages play on an equal field.
Practices are open to anyone age 14+ (we'll look to do something for younger ages as the club develops). Beginners are always welcome (just be sure to let us know you're coming by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org). Include your shoe size (if you'll need fins) and whether you're left or right-handed. Arrive on the pool deck for your first practice by 7:10pm so we can get you fitted with gear and review some initial information.
When you come back for a second practice, we'll consider you a "club member" which requires only that you communicate your ability to attend an upcoming practice via BenchApp. There is no fee and it's pretty informal - attend the practices that you can and participate in tournaments as much (or as little) as you like.
Playing underwater hockey requires good physical stamina and swimming abilities. You can develop these with consistent practice.
Practices usually consist of drills, scrimmage and instructional sessions, so there's something for everyone.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The first time is free. After that you pay $10 per practice.
You'll also need to register annually with the Underwater Society of America (USOA) which costs $40. Beginners can attend a few practices without registering and paying this fee.
WHAT DO I BRING?
We have equipment for you to borrow during your first few practices while you figure out if underwater hockey is for you. If you have snorkeling gear (mask, fins and snorkel) that you'd like to use, feel free to bring it. Just know that underwater hockey gear is minimal so you don't catch someone else if you brush past them with a buckle or something.
All you really need to bring is a swimsuit and your own towel.
Optionally, you may want to bring:
a lock to lock your belongings in one of the available lockers
white clean gym socks for added foot protection when wearing fins
It is best not to eat a large meal less than an hour before practice to avoid possible stomach upset.