Underwater football

Underwater football is a two-team underwater sport that shares common elements with underwater hockey and underwater rugby. As with both of those games, it is played in a swimming pool with snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, and fins).

The goal of the game is to manoeuvre (by carrying and passing) a slightly negatively buoyant ball from one side of a pool to the other by players who are completely submerged underwater. Scoring is achieved by placing the ball (under control) in the gutter on the side of the pool. Variations include using a toy rubber torpedo as the ball, and weighing down buckets to rest on the bottom and serve as goals.

It is played in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.[1]

Underwater Football
US Navy 110603-N-AD372-308 Students at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center play underwater football to cool down after physical training
Underwater football match involving USN personnel in Panama City, Florida on June 3, 2011
Highest governing bodyManitoba Underwater Council
First played1967, University of Manitoba, Canada
Team members13 (5 in play)
Equipmentdiving mask, snorkel, fins & water polo cap.
VenueSwimming pool


Underwater football was developed in the 1960s by Dave Murdoch, a scuba diving instructor who was teaching in the Manitoba's Frank Kennedy Centre. The game developed from a "keep-away" training exercise that used a pool brick to develop the students snorkelling skills. It is still played there today.


Several ball types have been used throughout the game's history. These include a 10-pound pool brick, a junior sized NFL-style football, and a junior sized basketball, all with negative buoyancy. Pneumatic balls (such as the football or basketball) can be made negatively buoyant by filling them with a liquid that is denser (heavier) than water instead of air, e.g. a strong saline solution or corn syrup.

The sport is similar to water polo, but it is played most of the time underwater. Each player can go up to the surface to take air as many times needed, except when he has the football in his hand.

Like the traditional football, one player from each team manoeuvre the ball past their opponents to get to the ball to goal. Each team has 13 players, but only five players are on the court at same time. The player with the ball can swim with it or pass the ball to his team players. Meanwhile, the opponents will try to take the ball from the other player or intercept a pass.And at last the team which has the maximum scores will win.

The court is 10 metres wide (32 ft), 15 metres (49 feet) long, and 4 metres (13 feet) deep.

A match has two 20-minute rounds, and a half-time of 5 minutes.

Governing body

The governing body is the Manitoba Underwater Council (MUC). The MUC also supports competition by providing insurance required for the hire of swimming pools as well as sponsoring the cost of hire.[2][3]

The 93rd CST Is officially known as the Pacific Champions of the Underwater Football League.

See also

  • Football – Group of related team sports


  1. ^ "Where is it Played". underwaterfootball.com. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  2. ^ "UNDERWATER FOOTBALL RULES AND REGULATIONS". Sean Ennis. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  3. ^ "About the Manitoba Underwater Council". Manitoba Underwater Council. Retrieved 13 December 2013.

External links

Aharon Solomons

Aharon Solomons (né Ernest Henry Child Simpson; born 27 September 1939) is an Anglo-Israeli former Army officer, and sportsman who no longer holds the Israeli national record for freediving.

Alessia Zecchini

Alessia Zecchini (born 30 June 1992, Rome, Italy) is an Italian freediver who set world and Italian records in free diving.

Danai Varveri

Danai Varveri (Greek: Δανάη Βαρβέρη; Δανάης Βαρβέρη) is a Greek freediver, mostly known for her world record dive in 1999 to 40 meters (132 feet) without a mask, fins or suit, in the (later established) discipline of constant weight without fins, in 71 seconds. The dive also marked the inauguration of the Big Blue Games, a free diving competition to be held annually in Spetses, Greece, with the cooperation of the Mayor of Spetses and with the participation of free diving champions from all over the world. This specific dive and some of its circumstances has been the basis of the movie The Freediver.

Dave Mullins (freediver)

Dave Mullins is a New Zealand freediver and world record-holder.

On 21 September 2007 Dave set a new world record in Dynamic apnea breaking the old record by 1 m, creating a new world record of 226 m in a time of 3:38. The old record of 225 m was held by Stig Severinsen. On 23 September 2007 Dave broke his own record by 18 m setting a new world record of 244 m in a time of 4:02.

In August 2008 Dave equalled the world record for Dynamic No Fins, which he hold until September 2010 jointly with Tom Sietas of Germany at 213m. Then, on Monday 27 September 2010 Mullins executed a clean DNF swim of 218 meters on a single breath to stake his claim as the sole world record holder. Dave's record-setting 218m DNF dive took 4 minutes and 11 seconds. Dave also holds the New Zealand national record in this discipline at 232m (it's his personal best, though not registered as a world record).

On 10 September 2008 during the Sharm 2008 Freediving World championships, Dave once again broke his own Dynamic world record and set the new WR at 248m. This has since been surpassed by Alexey Molchanov of Russia, who held the record at 250m. Mullins surpassed this with a 265-meter swim while holding his breath for 4:01 on 25 September 2010.Dave has also set the New Zealand record in the Constant Weight discipline, diving to 108m in April 2008 at the Vertical Blue Invitational, Long Island, Bahamas.

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Dynamic apnea

Dynamic apnea covers two of the eight competitive freediving categories recognised by the AIDA International (International Association for Development of Apnea): dynamic with fins (DYN) and dynamic without fins (DNF). Both disciplines require breath held dives where the diver travels in a horizontal position under water under their own power without aid/physical contact of a static surface, with the exception of the pool wall when done indoors. The records can only be recognized in pools of 25m or greater.

When diving in the dynamic without fins category, divers will usually prefer the shorter 25m pools, so they can take advantage of the wall-kick. However, when diving in the dynamic with fins category, divers will usually prefer the longer 50m pools, so the wall-turn will not slow them down.

The other categories recognized are: static apnea, no limit, variable weight, free immersion, constant weight, constant weight without fins,

Enzo Maiorca

Enzo Maiorca (21 June 1931 – 13 November 2016) was an Italian free diver who held several world records.


Freediving, free-diving, free diving, breath-hold diving, or skin diving is a form of underwater diving that relies on breath-holding until resurfacing rather than the use of breathing apparatus such as scuba gear.

Besides the limits of breath-hold, immersion in water and exposure to high ambient pressure also have physiological effects that limit the depths and duration possible in freediving.

Examples of freediving activities are: traditional fishing techniques, competitive and non-competitive freediving, competitive and non-competitive spearfishing and freediving photography, synchronized swimming, underwater football, underwater rugby, underwater hockey, underwater target shooting and snorkeling. There are also a range of "competitive apnea" disciplines; in which competitors attempt to attain great depths, times, or distances on a single breath.

Historically, the term free diving was also used to refer to scuba diving, due to the freedom of movement compared with surface supplied diving.

Herbert Nitsch

Herbert Nitsch (born 20 April 1970) is an Austrian freediver who has held world records in all of the eight freediving disciplines recognised by AIDA International. He is the current freediving world record champion and “the deepest man on earth”. This title was given to him when he set a world record in the "No Limits" discipline at the depth of 214 meters (702 feet). To date, he has achieved 33 official World Records across all freediving disciplines, and one world record in the traditional Greek discipline of Skandalopetra 107 m (351 ft). He surpassed his own No Limits depth with a dive in June 2012 to 253.2 meters (831 feet), suffering injury in the process.

Kate Middleton (free-diver)

Kate Middleton (born Kathryne Ashleigh Middleton; December 23, 1987, in Canada) is the current New Zealand record holder in the free immersion discipline (FIM) and constant weight with fins (CWT). She is the 3rd deepest woman in the world and Vice World Champion Freediver. She owns a Yoga and Freediving resort in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia where she trains and teaches.


Kī-o-rahi is a ball sport played in New Zealand with a small round ball called a 'kī'. It is a fast-paced game incorporating skills similar to rugby union, netball and touch. Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones, and score points by touching the 'pou' (boundary markers) and hitting a central 'tupu' or target. The game is played with varying rules (e.g. number of people, size of field, tag ripping rules etc.) depending on the geographic area it is played in. A process called Tatu, before the game, determines which rules the two teams will use.

In 2005 kī-o-rahi was chosen to represent New Zealand by global fast-food chain McDonald's as part of its 'Passport to Play' programme to teach physical play activities in 31,000 American schools.

The programme will give instruction in 15 ethnic games to seven million primary school children.The New Zealand kī-o-rahi representative organisation, Kī-o-Rahi Akotanga Iho, formed with men's and women's national teams, completed a 14 match tour of Europe in September and October 2010. The men's team included 22-test All Black veteran Wayne Shelford who led the team to a 57–10 test win against Kī-o-Rahi Dieppe Organisation, the French Kī-o-Rahi federation.

Shelford's kī-o-rahi test jersey made him the first kī-o-rahi/rugby double international for NZ. The women's team coached by Andrea Cameron (Head of PE at Tikipunga High School) also won by 33–0. These were the first historic test matches between NZ and France.

List of ball games

This is a list of ball games which are popular games or sports involving some type of ball or similar object. Ball sports are not sports in the true sense, but are instead considered to be games. These ball games can be grouped by the general objective of the game, sometimes indicating a common origin either of a game itself or of its basic idea:

Bat-and-ball games, such as cricket and baseball.

Racquet and ball games, such as tennis, squash, racquetball and ball badminton.

Hand and ball-striking games, such as various handball codes, rebound handball and 4 square.

Goal games, such as forms of hockey (except ice hockey which uses a hockey puck), basketball and all forms of football or lacrosse.

Net games, such as volleyball and sepak.

List of sports

The following is a list of sports/games, divided by category.

According to the World Sports Encyclopedia (2003), there are 8,000 indigenous sports and sporting games.

List of water sports

This is a list of water sports.

Skandalopetra diving

Skandalopetra diving dates from ancient Greece, when it was used by sponge fishermen, and has been re-discovered in recent years as a freediving discipline. It was in this discipline that the first world record in freediving was registered, when the Greek sponge fisherman Stathis Chantzis dived to a depth of 83 m. It consists of a variable ballast dive using a skandalopetra tied to a rope. A companion on a boat recovers the diver by pulling the rope up after the descent, and keeps a watch on the diver from the surface.

Static apnea

Static apnea (STA) is a discipline in which a person holds their breath (apnea) underwater for as long as possible, and need not swim any distance. Static apnea is defined by the International Association for Development of Apnea (AIDA International) and is distinguished from the Guinness World Record for breath holding underwater, which allows the use of oxygen in preparation. It requires that the respiratory tract be immersed, with the body either in the water or at the surface, and may be performed in a pool or open water (sea, lake, river, etc.). Static apnea is the only AIDA International discipline measuring duration, and one of the three disciplines considered for the international competitions by team, with constant weight and dynamic with fins.

Beta blockers (doping in sport of freediving; prolong every type of apnea by reducing heart rate, blood pressure and cardiac output) can prolong static apnea for up to 20%.

Underwater sports

Underwater sports is a group of competitive sports using one or a combination of the following underwater diving techniques - breath-hold, snorkelling or scuba including the use of equipment such as diving masks and fins. These sports are conducted in the natural environment at sites such as open water and sheltered or confined water such as lakes and in artificial aquatic environments such as swimming pools. Underwater sports include the following - aquathlon (i.e. underwater wrestling), finswimming, freediving, spearfishing, sport diving, underwater football, underwater hockey, underwater ice hockey, underwater orienteering, underwater photography, underwater rugby, underwater target shooting and underwater video.

Vertical Blue

Vertical Blue is a freediving competition which has been held annually in The Bahamas at Dean's Blue Hole since April 2008 by freediving world record holder William Trubridge. It is an AIDA International judged competition and has been the venue for multiple world and national records for athletes coming from countries all over the world.

On November 17, 2013, American freediver Nicholas Mevoli died after attempting to set an American record during a Vertical Blue competition at Dean's Blue Hole.Vertical Blue is also the name of the freediving school operated by William Trubridge at Dean's Blue Hole.

Water polo cap

A water polo cap is a piece of headgear used in water polo and a number of underwater sports. The caps are used to identify both the player and their team, and to protect their ears from injury possibly caused by a water polo ball hitting the head.

Surface snorkeling
Open Circuit Scuba
Basket sports
Football codes
Bat-and-ball games
Stick and ball sports
Net sports
Other sports

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