Underwater Hockey rise continues

Hugh Farrell

DCU’s underwater hockey team have merged with another Dublin based club The Vikings to make up numbers for competitions.

The DCU/Vikings pairing have only lost one game in two tournaments beating out other teams from Dublin (Dublin Otters and UCD), Cork and Belfast in the process.

Their third tournament took place on Sunday.

However, results from the tournament were unavailable at time of going to print.

DCU Underwater Hockey Club only formed last year, co-founded by Conor Meyler, was himself was only introduced to the sport in January 2018.

“Our success so far has been down to constantly improving our skills and playing constantly on Thursdays as a team.

We learned each others style of play and we together adjusted to make sure we expect each others plays” said Pavel Stratan, a DCU alum who is part of the team, also known as Paul.

The merger became necessary due to an inconsistent number of members being available.

“Over the last while we had roughly 10-12 different DCU students joining us on and off, we are yet to have a constant team every month.

“This is in particularly down to lack of coverage for this sport,” Stratan told The College View.

“As for the Irish League, thus far we have had to join forces with Vikings, another Dublin team struggling with constant numbers and we are now playing under the DCU/Vikings Team.

“We have so far lost only 1 game in two tournaments, and we have two more to go,” Stratan explained.

Underwater hockey sees a combination of diving and hockey where players use a strong plastic stick, around 30cm, to score by shooting a puck into metal trays at the bottom of the pool.

The game itself is non contact but players wear gum-shields and padded gloves as well as diving gear like water polo hats, mask, a snorkel and fins.

In every game of underwater hockey, there are three referees.

Two referees are in the water watching the game while the third is at poolside and rings an underwater gong to stop and start time.

Originally the sport was created as a way for scuba divers to stay active during winter months when it was too cold to dive.

The club do plan to give the sport a further push and attempt to gain more members that would hopefully be more consistent numbers.

“Training is on every Thursday 9pm in the National Aquatic Centre and new players are always welcome.”

Hugh Farrell

Image Credit: Pinterest