Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Downunder Downunder ... #376

The face of under water hockey ... I was down at Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre on Sunday morning to pick up my daughter Anna (she used to play for Wellington Girls College)who was watching the Regional UWH Championship The players become very very enthusiastic and passionate about this somewhat unusual sport. Six players in each team in the pool tyring to get a leaden puck along the pool bottom into the goal at the other end. They use small sticks to push the puck. Now being on the bottom of the pool they must dive down under water to move the puck .. hence the snorkels, mouthguards, goggles, flippers etc. Watching the game from above the pool is a bit like watching trout feed ... however some of our pools have glass viewing windows below the water surface and you are able to see what happens underwater. For most of the major tournaments it is usual to have an underwater camerman and the action is relayed to a large video screen for the crowds of supporters to follow the action. See some action here

What is UWH - The Game
All you need to play this game is a mask, snorkel, flippers, protective glove, a small stick and a puck (a lead disc). Equipped with these six objects, you're ready for action! The stick is used to push or flick the puck along the bottom of the pool. At each end of the pool is a goal. The object of the game is to flick the puck into the opposition team's goal. Sounds easy, doesn't it? The pool is 1.5 - 2.5 metres deep, and the court area itself is 20-25 by 10-15 metres, so there's lots of room to swim about in. There are twelve players in the pool at any one time (six players per team) with four subs each waiting at the side. A game is 30 minutes long with 3 minutes at half time for a breather

History of UWH - History
Although Underwater Hockey is a relatively new sport, it is actually older than you think. It started in Britain, and independently started in South Africa. The first mention in New Zealand was in 1963. As Brian Stewart tells, it gained popularity in the 1970s. There are currently about 750 registered players in New Zealand, with a similar number of unregistered players. Approximately 25% of players are of school age. The younger players are evenly split by sex, but the older players have a higher proportion of males. The sport is a self-managing branch of the New Zealand Underwater Association (NZU). Through NZU it has ties to mini-dippers (a kiwisport) for young players, and to approximately 20000 adult divers


Nathalie said...

How do you watch this sport?
Can you see anything from a distance even if it's underwater?

Jeremy said...

thanks for the comment .. go back and have a look at the narative and the links .. especially the http://www.oceanbug.com/video/uwhTassie6.avi, which will show you an underwater video .. ciao , jeremy