What is underwater rugby?
Underwater rugby is a contact sport typically played in the diving well of a swimming pool. Two teams of six players try to place a negatively buoyant ball into baskets on the bottom of the pool. The best players have are good swimmers and have excellent endurance, strength, spatial awareness and teamwork skills. The following video has a great overview of the game and rules:
International competition has being happening since the 1970's. The sport was founded in Europe and has a strong following among European nations. There are also clubs in Asia, Australia, as well as North and South America. Our club participates in the North American League. The national governing body for our sport is the Underwater Society of America, the international governing body, as recognized by the International Olympic Committee, is World Underwater Federation (aka CMAS). The official rules, can be found on WUF/CMAS's UWR website.
Is it dangerous?
The rules of the game are designed to prevent drowning and don't permit excessive force. Though this is a contact sport, water absorbs a lot of impact. Our most common injuries are scrapes and bruises.
Is it hard?
Strong swimmers, fin-swimmers and free-divers have a starting advantage. Learning to free dive with a snorkel and use fins with proper technique are the largest obstacles for competent swimmers. Playing a sport in three dimensions can be disorienting for some people. We find it takes a couple months on average to overcome these initial hurdles. Beyond the basics there are many skills required to perform at a high level; speed, strength, downtime, ball handling, teamwork and strategy. As with many pursuits, mastery can take a lifetime.
I'm not a great swimmer, can I still play?
New players should be able to swim 250 yards (10 laps of a standard length pool) unassisted, before joining us. Being comfortable in the water is important to excel at the sport.
Is it competitive?
We have a wide range of skill and interests levels in our club. Some players train and compete at the local, national and international level, others just play for fun.
I'm a new player, how do I get started?
Fill out our signup form, and then show up to practice with a towel and swimsuit, we'll help you with the rest.
How much does practice cost?
New players play for free for their first few practices. Regular players are asked to pay dues on a per practice or quarterly (3 month) schedule. The cost varies depending on our current pool and insurance rates among other factors. Expect to pay somewhere between $10-$20 per practice.
What equipment do I need?
We have a limited set of spare gear for new players. Eventually you will need at least the following: A set of water polo caps (black / white colors), fins, a mask and a snorkel. See our equipment page for details.
Do I have to wear a tight swimsuit (Speedo)?
No, but it will make you faster if you do!
How many people show up to practice?
We try maintain and tend to fluctuate between 12 and 24 players at a practice.
I can't make it to the pool easily, can I get a ride?
Many of our members carpool, ask around, or mention this on the new player signup form.
Will we eat Pho and drink beer after practice?
My magic 8-ball says: "Outlook good".