University of Limerick Sub Aqua Club

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What is Underwater Hockey

  • Underwater Hockey is a 3 dimensional team sport
  • It is played below the surface of the water in a swimming pool by two teams of 10 players, 6 in the water and 4 substitutes
  • Each player is wearing basic underwater equipment, i.e. fins, mask, cap with ear protection and snorkel
  • The object of the game is to push or pass a weighted puck along the bottom of the pool by using an underwater hockey stick, into the opposing teams goal

A Sport Less Ordinary

The duration of the game is 30 minutes divided into two periods of 15 minutes, with a 3 minute break at half time, where the teams change ends. 2 in Water Referees and one out of water Referee control the match. The game first appeared in the late 1950's and was invented by the British Navy to help train their Navy Divers. At present many national and international tournaments are carried out up to World Championships for men-, women-, Masters and youth teams.

Who plays and who is the best?

The World Championships generally has about 40 countries wanting to compete. These are paired down to play in the main tournament of 16 teams. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France and Holland are generally considered to be the top teams in the world. New Zealand won the elite Men's and Holland won the elite Women's in the world championships for the first time in 2004. These teams train everyday of the week during the run up to major championships and their countries sports association are willing to support these athletes with significant resources to accomplish their goals.

How did Underwater Hockey make it to Ireland

Underwater Hockey was first introduced to Ireland in the early Eighty's by Aquatec Sub Aqua Club. The activity soon spread around a number of diving clubs like Viking, Irish, Currah, Ennis, Limerick and the Garda SAC. This unfortunately did not develop into much as a heavy-handed approach was taken to the early game that resulted in to a fair few damaged index fingers! As a result only two teams (Aquatec & Viking) battled it out for a number of years until in 1993 when a team was sent to the European Championship in Sheffield, UK. This turned out to be quiet an experience for the boys as they only scored one goal in the whole tournament and conceded many more. Since this date the two clubs have joined forces and are now known as the Dublin Underwater Hockey Team. Fortunately this experience forced us to change the way the game was played in Ireland and greater success has followed

Underwater Hockey Gear

While the club does have gear you can borrow to play with, over time you may wish to purchase your own. Here are some suggestions

Several items of a matter of personal choice and it would probably be better to buy you own as you go along and get more confident in the sport.

https://berlinuwh.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/uwh-gear-guide/

A personal fit item. Ensure to get full foot cover pool fins. A good investment as you will be able to use while snorkelling/diving also

Venom Fins£85Pro: Great beginner fins
Cons: Can be damaged easily

From GB UWH

Mares Avanti Quattro€65Longer than most fins.
Great is a straight line

Slower to turn.

Mares Avanti TRE€55

Great overall fin

Very popular

Could probably pick up at any local dive store.

Breier Fins+€250

Top of the line fins, Very fast, very comfortable.

Can cause early leg cramps for beginners

Fin Retainer £5From GBUWH 
Fin Retainer £10From CoreUWHGear
    
  • A very personal fit item, important to try on many different pairs prior to purchase. Ask your friends
  • Snorkel must be made of soft flexible plastic for tournaments. I have examples Additionally the club has a few examples of masks for sale
Stealth Mask £18 Pro: Good fit, double sealed. From GB UWH
Hawkeye £18    

Each player needs Black and White colours to match with the team colour. Lots of options here. Best try out a few club sticks and then pick you own.

Dorsal Elite £35

Pro: Great beginner stick

From GB UWH

Axe 278£28

Pro: Great beginner stick

From CoreUWHGear

Scalpel£35Very precise tool.
Customisable options on order for hard and soft

 

From GB UWH

Newbreed£34

My first UWH stick. Nice compromise on all aspects. Still use it today.

 

From GB UWH

Typically, we make our own gloves, DIY style. It is a great team bonding exercise. See this video here.

Tank Trainer

£40

From GB UWH

Slovenian Glove

£30

From CoreUWHGear

Typically, provided by the club. Personal choice is not as important here.

Polo Hat

£15 (Pair)

From GB UWH

Team set @ £170

Each player needs Black and White colours to match with the sticks

MouthGuard

£4

Original standard Mouth guard. Very popular

 

Cut out the bars not required and mount onto existing snorkel

Mouth Guard

£10

Personally, never used them. Typically use the cheaper version.

UWH Pucks

£50

Standard issue puck from GBUWH

Baby shampoo or anti mist spray is great to help prevent your mask from fogging up during a match.

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