underwater rugby guide rules technique strategy
underwater rugby guide rules technique strategy

Are you ready to dive into the exhilarating world of underwater rugby? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the rules, techniques, and strategies of this unique sport that combines elements of water polo, rugby, and scuba diving. Discover the exciting challenges that await you underwater, the key skills you need to master, and the clever strategies that will give you an edge in the game. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, this article is your ultimate companion to navigate the depths of underwater rugby. So gear up and get ready to make a splash!



The objective of underwater rugby is to score goals by putting the ball into the opponent’s goal, which is located on the bottom of the pool. The team with the most goals at the end of the game is declared the winner. It’s a thrilling and dynamic sport that requires a combination of swimming skills, teamwork, and strategy.

Team and Equipment

Underwater rugby is played with two teams, consisting of six players each. Each team is equipped with fins, a diving mask, and a snorkel. The players also wear a diving suit, gloves, and a protective cap. The equipment is designed to enhance the players’ mobility and allow them to effectively maneuver and score goals underwater.

Playing Area

Underwater rugby is played in a pool that is at least 5 meters deep. The playing area is divided into two halves by a halfway line. Each half of the pool is further divided into three zones: the surface, the middle, and the bottom. The goals are located on the bottom of the pool, with a metal basket attached to the pool wall.

Game Format

A game of underwater rugby typically consists of two halves, each lasting 15 minutes, with a short break in between. The teams switch sides at halftime. During the game, the players aim to score goals by passing, diving, tackling, and shooting. The play can be fast-paced and intense, with teams constantly strategizing and adjusting their tactics in real-time.

Basic Rules

Underwater rugby follows a set of basic rules to ensure fair play and player safety. The players are not allowed to use their hands to touch the ball, excluding the goalkeeper who can use their hands within the goal area. The players must also surface for air at regular intervals to ensure their safety. Fouls, such as intentional rough play or obstruction, can result in penalties, including temporary expulsion from the game.


Swimming Skills

Strong swimming skills are crucial in underwater rugby. The players must be able to move swiftly and efficiently through the water, both on the surface and underwater. Techniques such as dolphin kicks and frog kicks are commonly used to propel the players forward, while maintaining balance and agility.


Passing in underwater rugby requires precision and timing. The players must quickly assess the situation and decide whether to make a short, quick pass or a longer pass to a teammate. Communication is key, with players using hand signals and non-verbal cues to indicate their intent. Passing can be done using flicks of the wrist or taps of the ball with the palm.


Diving is an essential skill in underwater rugby, as it allows players to quickly reach the bottom of the pool where the goals are located. The players must master the technique of diving headfirst, while maintaining control and stability underwater. The objective is to efficiently navigate towards the opponent’s goal and position oneself for a scoring opportunity.


Tackling in underwater rugby involves dispossessing the opponent of the ball. It requires a combination of agility, timing, and physical strength. Players aim to disrupt the opposition’s attack by impeding their progress and intercepting passes. Tackling must be done within the rules and should not involve dangerous or aggressive behavior.


Shooting in underwater rugby is the act of attempting to score a goal. It requires a combination of power and accuracy. Players must be able to generate enough force to propel the ball towards the goal, while also aiming for the target. Shooting techniques vary, with some players opting for quick wrist flicks, while others prefer more powerful shots using the palm or the forearm.


Offensive Tactics

In underwater rugby, offensive tactics revolve around creating goal-scoring opportunities and outmaneuvering the opposing team’s defense. Players often employ strategies such as creating passing triangles, moving in sync with their teammates, and exploiting gaps in the defense. Communication and spatial awareness are vital, as players need to coordinate their movements and make split-second decisions.

Defensive Tactics

Defensive tactics in underwater rugby aim to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. Players work together to form a solid defense, with each player assigned a specific role or zone to cover. Tactics such as zone defense or man-to-man marking can be employed, depending on the team’s strategy and the situation. Quick reactions, anticipation, and effective communication are key to shutting down the opposition’s attack.


Positioning is crucial in underwater rugby, both in offense and defense. Players need to be aware of their surroundings and strategically position themselves to maximize their impact on the game. Offensively, players must position themselves to create passing lanes and be in the right place to receive the ball. Defensively, players need to anticipate the opponent’s movements and position themselves to intercept passes and block shots.


Effective communication is essential in underwater rugby. Since verbal communication is limited due to the use of snorkels, players rely on hand signals and non-verbal cues to convey messages to their teammates. Clear and concise communication helps players coordinate their movements, react quickly to changing situations, and execute their strategies effectively. Communication is especially critical during set plays and transitions between offense and defense.

Transition Play

Transition play refers to the swift switching between offense and defense in underwater rugby. When possession of the ball changes hands, teams need to quickly transition from attacking to defending, or vice versa. Transition play requires players to react quickly, maintain situational awareness, and adjust their positioning accordingly. Smooth transition play can catch the opposing team off guard and lead to scoring opportunities or prevent goals.

As you can see, underwater rugby is a captivating and challenging sport that combines swimming, teamwork, and strategic thinking. Understanding the rules, mastering the techniques, and implementing effective strategies are key to succeeding in this dynamic and unique underwater sport. Whether you’re a player or a spectator, underwater rugby offers an exhilarating experience that is sure to captivate all who participate. So grab your fins, don your diving gear, and dive into the exciting world of underwater rugby!

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!