University of Chester Underwater Hockey had their first taster session last week and boy oh boy was it tiring!
Underwater hockey is a fast-paced game played on the bottom of the pool. There are up to 10 players in a match (6 playing and 4 subs) and trust me, you want all 10. Players wear fins to help with the speed under water, a glove to protect their hand, water polo hats to protect their ears and a mask and snorkel to help them see under water while they are catching their breath. The aim of the game is simple – get the puck into the oppositions goal using your bat (mini hockey stick). However, this game does not have goal keepers, so it is up to each player to stick to their position to ensure a goal is not scored. Communication is key in this sport and you develop a unique way with your team to help each other out.
With UoC Underwater Hockey being the newest team in the UK, we of course called in some help. We had members who train at Liverpool Uni, Shrewsberry and Manchester Xarifa come along to help train those who had not played before. First thing first was kit, which they very kindly have lent the team, and getting used to swimming wearing fins, mask and snorkel. Then came practising diving to the bottom of the pool and swimming underwater. Once these skills were mastered it was then onto drills and practising with the bat and puck. In the last 30 mins everyone was split into 2 teams and it was time for a match. As this was our first session there was no tactics other than get the puck and swim, with members from UoC managing to score goals and even tackle more experienced members from other clubs.
All in all, the session was successful and tiring! But those who came to the session plan on coming to the next taster session which will be held on Monday December 10th between 19:30 and 21:00 at the university pool. We welcome all who just want to give it a go, so if you are intrigued or it sounds like something you might want to try then come along to the next taster. Give the Facebook page a like and keep updated on training sessions and social events that we have planned - UoCUnderwaterHockey