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Who knew that hockey, a fast-moving game that is normally categorized as a winter sport, could be played in a swimsuit? Get on board with celebrating this niche sport because it’s time for Underwater Hockey World Day! 

History of Underwater Hockey World Day

While many people may not have heard of it, underwater hockey got its start more than 70 years ago when it was founded in the United Kingdom by Alan Blake. Originally called Octopush, this limited-contact sport involves two teams who face each other to push a hockey puck across the floor of the swimming pool with a small stick known as a “pusher”. An important factor of the game is that underwater breathing devices are not allowed, which means players must hold their breath during play.

Over the next few decades, underwater hockey grew as a sport and first came to North America through Canada in 1962. The inaugural Underwater Hockey World Championship took place in Canada in 1980. The governing body of the underwater hockey sport throughout the world is called the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS). 

Underwater Hockey World Day was first celebrated in 2019 when it was founded by a small group of players. It is scheduled to be observed each year on November 18 as that seems to be the date on which it was first played in the 1950s.

How to Celebrate Underwater Hockey World Day

Hold your breath, dive to the bottom of the pool and start pushing around a hockey puck, because it’s time to celebrate Underwater Hockey World Day with some of these ideas:

Join an Underwater Hockey Club

One perfect way to get involved with Underwater Hockey World Day might be to pick up a pusher and puck and start playing! Those who have a group of friends who are interested might just grab some gear and join together at a local pool for the fun of it. Athletes and swimmers who are more serious about the game might be interested in joining a club. There are several located in the UK and Canada, as well as those in the US, which are sponsored by the Underwater Society of America (USOA). 

Plan to Visit the World Underwater Hockey Championships

Those who are super into the sport might want to make plans to visit – or even compete – in this top level competition of this sport, the World Underwater Hockey Championships. This bi-annual, peak international event is sponsored by the CMAS and takes place in different locations around the world, including places like Canada, South Africa, Malaysia and Australia. Taking place over a two week period, the events typically begin around the middle of July. Four different grades are contested at the tournament, including Elite Men’s, Elite Women’s, Men’s Masters and Women’s Masters. It’s an excellent way to show support for the sport and also visit some exciting places all over the globe!

Check out the official CMAS website for more information about the next underwater hockey tournament. 

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