Underwater hockey is one of the most unique and fascinating sports today. It is a game of two teams playing underwater with sticks, pucks, hand gloves, etc. This article discusses underwater hockey and its equipment.
Underwater hockey, also called Octopush, is a restricted-contact sport. Two teams try to maneuver a vulcanized rubber disk known as a puck across the bottom of a pool right into the opposing team’s post using a hockey stick. It originated in the United Kingdom.
The major challenge in this game is that the player must hold their breath while they play, as no breathing device is allowed.
The equipment used in this sport are as follows:
●Puck: This is almost the same size as ice hockey. It is composed of lead material and covered by a plastic coating that has to be performance-matched to the pool bottom. This serves to prevent friction between the puck and the pool bottom.
●Glove: A glove is worn on the playing hand to reduce the impact of the puck on the hand. However, no severe protection is allowed. The glove worn by players should not be the same color as their sticks. Orange gloves are not allowed as they are for referees only.
●Hockey stick or pusher: The stick, known as the pusher, is relatively short and is usually colored black or white to distinguish the different teams. The stick is held in one hand while the play is on. Though players can swap hands, they are not allowed to hold the stick with two hands while playing. There are different designs and styles of sticks that can affect playing styles.
●Diving mask: The diving mask is used for better vision underwater. It is a means to protect the eyes while playing to prevent injuries from the puck or any other equipment during the game. It also helps reduce any form of impact on the eyes.
●Fins: Fins enable the player to swim faster through the water. Various types of fins are used in the game, but carbon fiber or plastic composite fins are the most commonly used. Players are mandated to avoid wearing fins with sharp edges to prevent injuries.
●Snorkel: Snorkel allows the player to watch the game’s progress without lifting their head from the water.
●Water polo cap: The water polo caps serve as ear protection to prevent water from getting into the ears. It is also an indicator of the player’s team. Players use colors like black and white, while the referees use red-colored caps.
●Goal: The goal, called gulley, is 3 meters wide and placed at the pool’s bottom. There are usually two, one for each team. Each team has a gulley in which the opposing team looks to score. They are made from stainless steel or aluminum.
Underwater hockey is a super amazing sport to try. But ensure that all the right equipment is in place to keep safe and avoid injuries.