Underwater Hockey

Thursday nights 8:00pm-9:30pm at Mt. Lebanon High School

We practice and occasionally some of the team will go to tournaments around the country but those are completely optional and on your own. Anyone who is comfortable swimming in the pool and going underwater who wants to try something fun and different is welcome to come try it out. We have some extra equipment to share.

Underwater hockey will tentatively resume in September TBA

 

$150 for the year $75 per session or $5 drop in

For questions please email coachmikek@mlacswimming.com

Underwater Hockey (UWH), also known as Octopush (mainly in the United Kingdom) is a globally played limited-contact sport in which two teams compete to manoeuvre a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool into the opposing team's goal by propelling it with a hockey stick (bat). It originated in England in 1954 when Alice Cleverley, the founder of the newly formed Southsea Sub-Aqua Club, invented the game she called Octopush as a means of keeping the club's members interested and active over the cold winter months when open-water diving lost its appeal.[1] Underwater Hockey is now played worldwide, with the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques, abbreviated CMAS, as the world governing body.[2] The first Underwater Hockey World Championship was held in Canada in 1980 after a false start in 1979 brought about by international politics and apartheid.

Two teams of up to ten players compete, with six players in each team in play at any one time.[3] The remaining four players are continually substituted into play from a substitution area, which may be on deck or in the water outside the playing area, depending on tournament rules.

Before the start of play the puck is placed in the middle of the pool, and the players wait in the water whilst touching the wall above the goal they are defending. At the start-of-play signal (usually a buzzer or a gong) in-play members of both teams are free to swim anywhere in the play area and try to score by maneuvring the puck into the opponents' goal. Players hold their breath[4][5] as they dive to the bottom of the pool (a form of dynamic apnoea, as in free-diving). Play continues until either a goal is scored, when players return to their wall to start a new point, or a break in play is signalled by a referee (whether due to a foul, a time-out, or the end of the period of play).

Games consist of two halves of typically ten to fifteen minutes (depending on tournament rules; 20 minutes at World Championship tournaments) and a short half-time interval of usually three minutes. At half time the two teams switch ends


Equipment

Annotated Player

1. snorkel and mouthguard 2. hat with earguards 3. mask 4. fins 5. stick 6. puck 7. glove

Players wear a diving masksnorkel and fins, and carry in one (either) hand a short stick for playing the puck. A full list of equipment is given below:

Swimwear

There are usually no restrictions on swimwear, however baggy style trunks or shorts are not recommended as they reduce speed and increase drag in the water. Typical swimwear is swim briefs for male players and one-piece swimsuits for female players.[citation needed]

Mask

diving mask is used for several reasons:

  • Players can equalise their ears (using the Valsalva manoeuvre) as the nose is covered

  • Unlike swim goggles a mask sits outside the eye's orbit, reducing the effects of any impact on the mask

  • Improved underwater visibility

Worlds Competition Grade Equipment

A low-volume mask with minimal protrusion from the face reduces the likelihood of the mask being knocked, causing it to leak or flood and temporarily blind the player. The rules require masks to have two lenses to reduce the risk and extent of possible injury due to puck impact with a lens.[citation needed] A variety of webbing strap designs are available to replace the original head strap with a non-elastic strap that reduces the chances of the player being unmasked.

Snorkel

A snorkel enables players to watch the progress of the game without having to lift their head from the water to breathe. This allows them to keep their position on the surface, ready to resume play once they have recovered. In order to maximise the efficiency of breathing and reduce drag underwater snorkels are often short with a wide bore, and may include a drain valve. They must not be rigid or have any unnecessarily acute edges or points.[citation needed]

The snorkel may accommodate an external mouthguard which may be worn in conjunction with, or instead of, an internal mouthguard.[citation needed]

Fins

Fins allow the player to swim faster through the water. A wide range of fins are used in the sport but large plastic/rubber composite fins or smaller, stiffer fiberglass or carbon fibre fins are commonplace at competitions. The fins must have no sharp edges, corners, or buckles.[citation needed]

Stick

The stick (also referred to as a 'bat' or 'pusher') is relatively short (according to recent rules, not more than 350 mm (14 in) including the handle)[citation needed] and is coloured white or black to indicate the player's team. The stick may only be held in one hand, which is usually determined by the player's handedness, although players may swap hands during play. The shape of the stick may affect playing style and is often a very personal choice. A wide variety of stick designs are allowed within the constraints of the rules of the game, the principal rules being that the stick must fit into a box of 100 mm × 50 mm × 350 mm (3.9 in × 2.0 in × 13.8 in) and that the stick must not be capable of surrounding the puck or any part of the hand.[citation needed] A rule concerning the minimum radius of edges tries to address the risk of injury. Construction materials may be of wood or plastics and current rules now supersede those that previously required sticks to be homogeneous, although they almost always are anyway.[citation needed] Many players of UWH manufacture their own sticks to their preferred shape and style, although there are increasingly more mass-produced designs to suit the majority (such as Bentfish, Britbat, CanAm, Dorsal, Stingray etc.).[citation needed]

Puck

The puck is approximately the size of an ice hockey puck but is made of lead or similar material (Adult size weighs 1.3–1.5 kg (2.9–3.3 lb), Junior 800–850 g (1.76–1.87 lb)) and is encapsulated or surrounded by a plastic covering which is usually matched to the pool bottom[clarification needed] to facilitate good grip on the stick face while preventing excessive friction on the pool bottom. The puck's weight brings it to rest on the pool bottom, though it can be lofted during passes.

Stick pushing puck

Caps

Safety gear includes ear protection, usually in the form of a water polo cap[7] and as a secondary indicator of the player's team (coloured black/blue/dark or white/pale as appropriate). Water referees should wear red hats.

Glove

glove should be worn on the playing hand to protect against pool-bottom abrasion and, in some designs, for protection against puck impact on knuckles and other vulnerable areas; however, no rigid protection is permitted. Players may choose to wear a protective glove on both hands, either as additional protection from the pool bottom or, for ambidextrous players, to switch the stick between hands mid-play. A glove used in competition must be a contrasting colour to the wearer's stick, but not orange which is reserved for referees' gloves.[citation needed]

Goal

The goals (or 'gulleys') are three metres wide and are sited at opposite ends of the playing area on the pool bottom. They consist of a shallow slope leading up to a trough into which the puck may be pushed or flicked. Goals are commonly constructed from aluminiumgalvanised steel or stainless steel. This makes them negatively buoyant and durable in the chlorinated water of swimming pools.