Water Sports

You think you know sports? Well, think again, because underwater sports have taken sports to a whole new level. You won’t believe the sports that you can play underwater. Did you know that there is underwater rugby? Yes, you read that right. You can also play underwater hockey and wrestling! There are so many different sports you can play in the water. I don’t know about you, but I am intrigued to find out how someone is able to do these sports underwater.

First let’s talk about underwater rugby. Each team has 12 players, but only 6 of the players are allowed to play. Each team starts on opposite sides of the pool. The ball is filled with saltwater instead of air, so it won’t float up to the surface. The ball is in the bottom middle of the pool. The equipment needed is masks, snorkeling gear, fins and caps. Some of the rules of underwater rugby include no elbowing, holding back masks or fins, pulling on swimsuits and crazy enough strangling is not permitted. My question is, why do they feel the need to put in the rules that you’re not allowed to strangle people? Isn’t that a given? I guess not… Anyway, let’s move along. There are two halves of the game; each half runs 15 minutes long. Each team gets one 60 second break per game. There is a 5 minute half-time break. The main objective is to score in the other team’s basket. One thing to think about is that this is played underwater. Hence the name underwater rugby. Now, you may be thinking “How is this possible? How do they breathe?” That is a valid question. The snorkel and mask can only do so much, so each goalkeeper, defender and forward have subs ready to substitute for them every 15-20 seconds. Now you can relax a little, knowing that they have subs and that they aren’t drowning. Other than being underwater, what is the difference between underwater rugby and regular rugby? Here are a couple of differences between the two. In regular rugby, men and women can’t play together. In underwater rugby, men and women can play together. That’s something you don’t see all the time. It’s pretty rare for men and women to play together and compete with each other in sports. There is also a difference in the number of players. In regular rugby, there are 15 players on the field, and 8 substitutes. I’m sure there are many other differences between the two sports, but that’s all that I’m going to talk about.

Now, let’s talk about underwater wrestling. Underwater wrestling is pretty simple. There are three rounds, and each one lasts around 30 seconds long. If there is a tie, then there is a fourth round to break it. The players wear fins, masks, ankle bands and ribbons. Whoever removes their opponent’s ribbon first, wins. The rules of underwater wrestling are no hitting, punching etc. above the neck. No pulling hair, taking off masks/goggles, eye gouging and choking. Again with the choking, but this time I can understand having this in the rules. Underwater wrestling isn’t a whole lot different from regular wrestling. Underwater wrestling is obviously underwater. Regular wrestling involves you pinning your opponent to win. In underwater wrestling, you untie the ribbon from your opponent’s ankles and bring it up to the surface of the water to win. There’s also the factor of going back to the surface for a breath of air. I would say that’s a pretty big difference.

Lastly, I’m going to talk about underwater hockey. Each team has 10 players, and 4 of them play. This is a non-contact sport. Players are not allowed to interfere with the opponent with their free hand. Shepherding and obstruction isn’t allowed but there isn’t a no-offside rule. You aren’t allowed to make eye contact with your opponents unless they have possession of the puck. The players wear swimsuits, masks, fins, caps and gloves. If players need to, they can go to the surface for air after passing the puck. Some differences are that the hockey stick is way smaller than the regular hockey stick. Another difference is that the halves are longer than regular hockey by 5 minutes. Also, the halftime break in hockey is 15 minutes and 30 seconds long. In underwater hockey, the halftime break lasts for 3 minutes.

I never would have thought that you could play rugby, wrestling and hockey underwater. There are a lot more sports that can be played in the water. These were the ones that caught my eye. If you find any of these sports intriguing, and you feel like you need more information, I encourage you to do some research on it. Maybe in the future you might want to consider playing one of these sports. Do you think you can do it? Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are.

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