Underwater Hockey Team Hits the Airwaves

March 16, 2010 - In the News

The University of Guelph's underwater hockey team is scheduled to be on the Discovery Channel's popular science news show, Daily Planet, tonight. Hosted by Jay Ingram and Ziya Tong, Daily Planet airs at 7 and 11 p.m.

The segment will feature the U of G club, which started at Guelph more than 25 years ago. Underwater hockey was first invented in England in the 1950s as a training method for underwater divers to improve fitness and lung capacity. The game spread rapidly and is now played in more than 25 countries around the globe.

The sport was introduced at U of G back in the early 1980s, and the club has evolved into one of the better clubs in the country. The highlight of the year is the annual College Royal Underwater Hockey Tournament. This year’s tournament runs Saturday until 7 p.m. in the Mitchell Athletic Centre’s Gold Pool. The event is open to the public.

Underwater hockey involves two teams with six players per side. A brass puck is placed at the centre of the pool bottom, with a gong signalling the faceoff. Carrying foot-long sticks, players race to gain possession of the puck and try to shoot it into a three-metre-long trough to score goals. Matches consist of two halves totalling 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the club and event. Official games have referees - both in and out of the pool - who communicate calls through hand signals. Timing is an important part of the game because players have to break the surface regularly to grab some air.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1