All you need to play the game is a mask, snorkel, fins, protective gloves, and a small stick. Equipped with these five objects, you're ready for action!
The stick is used to push or flick the puck (a lead disk) along the bottom of the pool. At each end of the pool is a goal area. The object of the game is to flick the puck into your team's goal. Sounds easy, doesn't it?
The pool is 1,5-2,5 meters deep and the playing area itself is 20/25 by 10/15 meter. So there is lots of room to swim about in.
An international game is 30 minutes long with two minutes at half-time for a breather.
Learning to Play
If you are comfortable in the water then you could easily learn to play underwater hockey.
Come to Electrodive and find out how to play! We should have some gear for you to borrow and will teach you how to snorkel and how to play the game. All you need is your costume and lots of enthusiasm.
You do not have to be particularly fit to play, nor do you have to be able to hold your breath abnormally long. Like any sport, skills and fitness are learned and developed as you play the game.
Important skills you will learn include:
- Duck diving
- Swimming flat on the bottom of the pool
- Turning on the bottom of the pool
- Passing the puck
- How to be in the right place at the right time
- How to stay under the water
- At the start of play and after a goal has been scored, both teams line up at their goal and the puck is placed in the middle of the playing field.
- The referee (who is also in the water) hits a gong to start play
- All players can move freely throughout the court. There are no offsides, goalkeepers etc.
- If the puck goes out of the field of play, or a foul is committed then play is stopped and restarted with either an advantage puck are equal puck (depending on the type of offense).
- The stick is held in one hand and is the only thing allowed to touch the puck
- A point is scored when the puck enters the goal.
- There are junior teams for girls and boys, senior competitions, and are also a Masters division (for over 35-year-olds). So no matter what age and sex you are there's a group for you to join! If you become skilled enough there is the opportunity to represent your club, province or Even South Africa at competitions. (The South African Senior Women's, Master Women's, Master Men's, U18 Girl's Teams were the World Champions in 1999)
The sport is played in the following countries:
Argentina - Belgium - Columbia - France - Holland - Italy - New Zealand - Zimbabwe - Australia - Canada - England - Germany - France - Japan - USA
Under Water Hockey Fact
Underwater hockey has been active in Mossel bay since May 2001 and has been growing steadily in numbers and achievements with Point High School having a boy and a girls team playing since early 2002.
As there were no other schools in the South Western Districts playing underwater hockey, they had to wait until the Southern SA Interschool Tournament held in October 2002 in Strand, before they could compete. At this tournament, there were 10 teams representing seven schools with Point High winning the tournament. A preliminary set of Springbok trials was held at this tournament to choose a squad for the 2003 Trans Tasman Team to go to Australia and three of Points children were chosen.
SWD came second at the SA Nationals, held in February this year in Vanderbijlpark. Seven of Points children were part of the SWD team. At this tournament, the final set of Springbok trials was held and Ivan Taljaard and Danielle Walmsley of Point were selected to represent SA. These achievements are outstanding and even more so because of the short time space in which they have all taken place.