Underwater Hockey Rules
Underwater Hockey (sometimes called Octopus) was invented in the 1950s by the British Navy in order to keep their divers in shape and to improve their efficiency under water. It then became popularised in Australia before expanding across the world. The sport intertwines disciplines from both ice hockey and swimming in creating a competitive and fairly physical battle.
Object of the Game
The object of underwater hockey is to successfully hit the puck into your opponent’s goal. The team that scores the most goals in the allotted time is then the winner. Obviously the game is played totally underwater and players must remain underwater until a goal is scored. Only when a break in play for a goal or a foul is called by the referee may players then resurface.
Players & Equipment
Each team consist of 10 players. There will only ever be 6 players submerged in the water at any one time with the reaming 4 players acting as rolling substitutes – similar to Ice Hockey. The players then remain on the swimming pool floor where the 3lb puck will be situated. Players are allowed to pass the puck along the floor to team mates using a stick that is attached to their glove of roughly one foot in length.
On top of the stick players are allowed to wear a mask, snorkel, ear protectors, fins, swimsuit and gloves. Whilst the sport is essentially a non-contact sport, the game can turn quite rough and become physical in the same way basketball can. It takes players many years to hone their skills in underwater hockey none more so than the ability to hold their breath for extended periods of time.
The pool is usually around 25m in length, 12 m wide and 2m deep. Ropes or lead weights can be used as a goal.
A goal is scored when a team manages to hit the puck into their opponent’s goal using their stick. No other instrument or body part can be used in the game and any goals deemed to come off a players body will result in a foul in their opponents favour.
Winning the Game
The game is won when the allotted time has surpassed and the team with the most goals is the winner. If the game is a tie after the allotted time then an extra 15 minutes is played until a winner is found.
Rules of Underwater Hockey
- Teams consist of 10 players with 6 players in the pool at all time. The remaining 4 act as rolling substitutes.
- Games take place for two 15 minute halves with a 5 minute rest period in between halves.
- Players generally cover zones rather than having positions but formations do come into play.
- Teams can also be split into attack and defence. Variations of midfield players have also been noted before.
- Players can only score using the stick in their hands and cannot use any body parts to assist moving the puck. Players are prohibited from making contact with players unless they are in possession of the puck.