The Importance of Sports touches every culture on a global scale. Everyone is involved in sports whether playing or as a spectator etc. Sport teaches positive qualities such as teamwork, discipline, healthy competitiveness & respect to name a few.
But the past few decades have seen a notable move onto the weird & wonderful sporting ventures whilst retaining the traditional beloved games of old. As I was browsing through the Dooyoo site, coming across 'Other Events', I thought of a challenging sport, but 'not as we know it Jim'!
Did any Dooyooers know that Underwater Rugby is an actual and very popular sport in Europe? Because I didn't!
As in the traditional game of rugby, there are fifteen players on a team; this is equaled out to six in the water, five substitute players and four reserves. Although the reserve players are not permitted to play in a game already started with the eleven players.
The players adorn the usual under water paraphernalia of snorkels, mask, fins, and ear protectors and even numbered water polo caps.
The teams must have matching swim suits; white/dark white or dark blue/black. With the home team wearing the dark colours.
~The Playing area~
The playing area is between 3.5 and 5 meters deep, 12-18 meters long and 8 to 12 meters wide.
The open wire basket goals are 40-45 cm in diameter and placed at the bottom of the pool at either end.
The ball is filled with salt water to retain negatively buoyancy, approximately 52 cm in circumference and is black and white or red.
> Three referees monitor the game, two in the water and one on the deck.
> The game is two 15 minute halves with a brief four minute half time.
> Penalties incur two minutes out of the water leaving their team a player short.
> Fouls can be for removal of an opponent's equipment etc.
> The game begins by a referee placing the ball on the bottom of the pool at the center of play. With each team lining up at their end of the pool along the edge, at the sound of the whistle, all head for the ball. The one in goal defends but may not hold onto or put their body into the basket to prevent a goal being scored.
Apparently, it was as far back as 1961 that Ludwig von Bersuda, a member of the German Underwater Club in Cologne, came up with the idea of an underwater ball game.
I feel that for entertainment value alone, apart from the fun competitors obtain from playing, these alternative games have a place in the sporting world!