underwater hockey explained rules gear technique 1
underwater hockey explained rules gear technique 1

Ready to dive into the fascinating world of underwater hockey? In this article, we will take you on an underwater adventure as we explore the rules, gear, and techniques behind this exciting sport. Get ready to discover how players strategize, maneuver with precision, and outsmart their opponents in the mesmerizing depths. Whether you’re an avid athlete or simply curious about unique sports, this article will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the incredible blend of skill, athleticism, and teamwork that makes underwater hockey a captivating game unlike any other. So grab your flippers, strap on your snorkel, and let’s dive right in!

Underwater Hockey Explained - Rules, Gear, Technique


Objective of the Game

The objective of underwater hockey is to score goals by maneuvering a puck into the opposing team’s net at the bottom of the pool. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins. It’s a fast-paced and exhilarating sport that requires skill, strategy, and teamwork.

Number of Players

Underwater hockey is typically played with two teams, each consisting of six players. However, variations of the sport can be adapted for smaller teams or even one-on-one games. The game becomes even more exciting with a larger group of players, as it allows for more strategic plays and competitive dynamics.

Duration of the Game

The duration of an underwater hockey game can vary depending on the level of play and the agreement of the participants. However, a typical game consists of two halves, each lasting between 10 to 15 minutes, with a short break in between. The length of the game allows for players to showcase their endurance and adaptability in the water.

Playing Area

Underwater hockey is most commonly played in a swimming pool, although it can also be played in other water bodies that provide adequate space and depth. The playing area should be at least 25 meters long, 15 meters wide, and have a minimum depth of 2 meters. The boundaries should be clearly marked to ensure fair play and to prevent interference with other players or equipment.


Underwater hockey is played with a combination of swimming, maneuvering the puck, and utilizing specialized gear. The players use swim fins to propel themselves through the water swiftly, while wearing a mask and snorkel for clear vision and breath control. To handle the puck, players can use either a glove or a stick, depending on their preference and playing style.

The game begins with a swim-off, where players start at the center of the pool and swim towards the puck placed at the bottom. Once the puck is in play, teams try to gain possession and advance towards the opposing team’s goal. Players must rely on their swimming skills, stick handling techniques, and communication with teammates to navigate the water and create scoring opportunities.

Penalties and Fouls

To maintain fair play, underwater hockey has certain rules and penalties in place. Some common fouls include obstruction (blocking a player’s movement), barging (making contact with another player), and hacking (striking or hooking an opponent’s stick). Penalties for these fouls may result in the offending player being sent to the penalty box for a designated period of time, leaving their team shorthanded.

It is important for players to understand and abide by the rules to ensure not only a fair game but also the safety of all participants. Respecting the rules and playing with good sportsmanship is essential in creating an enjoyable and inclusive environment for everyone involved.


Mask and Snorkel

A high-quality mask that provides a secure fit and clear vision is essential in underwater hockey. The mask should cover the eyes and nose, allowing players to see the puck and their surroundings underwater. A snorkel is also necessary to ensure continuous breathing without the need to lift the head out of the water. A comfortable fit and reliable seal are crucial for both the mask and snorkel.

Swim Fins

Swim fins, also known as flippers, are an integral part of underwater hockey gear. They are designed to enhance the swimmer’s efficiency and speed by providing more propulsion with each kick. The fins should fit snugly and allow for ease of movement in the water. Different types of fins are available, catering to individual preferences and playing styles.

Glove or Stick

Players have the option to choose between wearing a glove or using a stick to handle the puck. A glove allows for more dexterity and control, while a stick provides reach and power. It is important to find a glove or stick that fits comfortably and provides a reliable grip for effective puck handling.

Hockey Puck

The hockey puck used in underwater hockey is similar to its ice hockey counterpart but made of plastic to ensure safe play underwater. It is weighted to sink to the bottom of the pool and designed to glide smoothly across the playing surface. The puck should be durable, easy to grip, and have a low profile to minimize interference with other players.

Ear Guards

Ear guards are recommended in underwater hockey to protect the ears from accidental contact with other players or equipment. These guards are typically made of soft, flexible material and fit snugly over the ears. They help prevent injuries such as ruptured eardrums and ear canal bruises, ensuring players can fully enjoy the game without discomfort or risk.


A mouthguard is an essential piece of gear for underwater hockey, as it helps protect the teeth and jaw from potential impact or collisions during play. It should be molded to fit the individual player’s teeth and provide a comfortable yet secure fit. Wearing a mouthguard not only reduces the risk of dental injuries but also instills confidence and peace of mind while playing.


Swimming Skills

Strong swimming skills are fundamental in underwater hockey. Players must be proficient in various swimming strokes, such as freestyle and breaststroke, to move efficiently through the water. Good body positioning, proper kicking technique, and the ability to change direction quickly are key components of effective swimming in the game.

Breath Control

Breath control is crucial in underwater hockey, as players must periodically surface to breathe while staying engaged in the game. It is important to practice breath holding techniques to maximize the time spent underwater and minimize disruption to the flow of play. Building endurance and improving lung capacity can greatly enhance a player’s performance during extended periods underwater.

Stick Handling

Mastering stick handling skills is essential for effective puck control and maneuverability. Players should practice their ability to pass, flick, and dribble the puck while maintaining control and accuracy. Proper grip, quick hand movements, and wrist flexibility all contribute to successful stick handling in the fast-paced environment of underwater hockey.

Passing and Shooting

Precise passing and shooting skills are key elements of scoring goals in underwater hockey. Players must be able to accurately pass the puck to their teammates while under pressure from defenders. Similarly, developing a strong shooting technique, including wrist power and accuracy, is crucial to successfully propel the puck towards the net and secure goals for the team.

Defensive Tactics

Defensive tactics in underwater hockey involve proactive positioning, anticipation, and teamwork. Players must work together to prevent the opposing team from advancing towards their goal by effectively marking opponents and blocking passing lanes. A combination of quick reactions, agile movement, and strong communication helps in maintaining defensive integrity and minimizing scoring opportunities for the opposing team.


Clear and effective communication is vital in underwater hockey to coordinate plays and react quickly to changing game situations. Players must be able to communicate non-verbally through hand signals and body language, as well as verbally when necessary. Good communication allows for better coordination, teamwork, and overall game understanding, leading to a more cohesive and successful team performance.

Underwater hockey is a thrilling sport that combines elements of swimming, stick handling, and strategy. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the rules, utilizing the right gear, and refining your technique can greatly enhance your enjoyment and performance in this exciting underwater game. So grab your mask, snorkel, swim fins, and gear up for an unforgettable time of underwater hockey!

Diana Hanson
Hi there! I'm Diana Hanson, a SUP enthusiast and paddler with over ten years of experience. I have a deep love for exploring new places and trying out new things on my SUP board. Whether it's gliding across a peaceful lake, navigating a fast-moving river, or riding the exhilarating waves of the ocean, I'm always up for an adventure. As the author of the website SupNoob.com, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others. My goal is to help beginners learn the skills needed to paddle safely and confidently. I understand the challenges that novices face when starting out, and I'm dedicated to providing them with valuable tips and advice. But my passion doesn't stop there. I also strive to assist experienced paddlers in taking their skills to the next level. Through SupNoob.com, I constantly update the site with the latest SUP gear reviews, insider tips, and expert advice. My aim is to ensure that everyone, regardless of their skill level, can get the most out of their paddling experience. I take great pride in my work, and I have been fortunate to receive recognition in the form of prizes and rewards for my contributions to the SUP community. It's an honor to be able to share my passion for this incredible sport with others, and I hope that through SupNoob.com, I can inspire and empower fellow SUP enthusiasts to embark on their own unforgettable journeys. Join me on SupNoob.com, and let's dive into the exciting world of SUP together!