Underwater rugby

Underwater rugby (UWR) is an underwater team sport. During a match two teams try to score a negatively buoyant ball (filled with saltwater) into the opponents’ goal at the bottom of a swimming pool. It originated from within the physical fitness training regime existing in German diving clubs during the early 1960s and has little in common with rugby football except for the name. It was recognised by the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) in 1978 and was first played as a world championship in 1980.

Underwater Rugby
UW-rugby match 1
Underwater rugby match in Norway.
Highest governing bodyCMAS
NicknamesUWR
First played1961, Cologne, Germany
Characteristics
Contactyes
Team members12 (6 in play)
Mixed genderYes, except at elite levels
TypeAquatic
Equipmentdiving mask, snorkel, fins, water polo cap.
VenueSwimming pool
UV rugby spilleområde
Underwater rugby "pitch"

Play

It is played under water in a pool with a depth of 3.5m to 5m and goals (heavy metal buckets with a diameter of about 40 cm) at the bottom of the pool. Two teams (blue and white), each with six players (plus six substitutes), try to score a goal by sending the slightly negatively buoyant ball (filled with saltwater) into the opponents’ goal. It is a fast and exhausting game; therefore, the subs replace their players on the fly.

The ball may be passed in any direction but must not leave the water. It "flies" about 2m or 3m before water resistance stops it. This makes good tactics and good (three-dimensional) positioning essential. The players need all sorts of different abilities: Strength, speed, agility or good teamplay are all similarly important.[1]

History

In 1961 a member of the German Underwater Club (DUC) in Cologne, Ludwig von Bersuda, came up with the idea of an underwater ball game. Air-filled balls are not suitable for underwater games, as they are buoyant and always return to the surface. The first underwater ball was invented when Bersuda filled the ball with saltwater. Since the density of the ball was now greater than that of normal water, it no longer floated to the surface, but slowly sank to the bottom. The sink rate could, within certain limits, be controlled by the concentration of the salt solution. As soccer balls are too large to be practical, waterpolo balls are used.

Ludwig von Bersuda spanned the middle of the pool with a net, as in volleyball, that stopped 1 m above the pool bottom. Two teams played against each other: the offensive team had to carry the ball to the opposing field and put it into a bucket. The idea for the game was ready, and the DUC Cologne used it to warm up before normal training. Other teams saw this and started to use saltwater-filled balls themselves.

The "Cologne Discipline" was demonstrated as a competition sport at the national games in 1963, probably the first official game with an underwater ball. At the time, though, there was not much interest shown.

Dr. Franz Josef Grimmeisen, a member of the German Underwater Club in Duisburg, a city near Cologne, decided to make a competitive sport from this ball game. The German Lifeguard Association (DLRG) of Mülheim (since 1967 TSC Mülheim/Ruhr) had founded a divers' club, and through contact with members of DUC Duisburg learned of the game. With their help, Grimmeisen arranged the first underwater rugby game on Sunday October 4, 1964. It took place between DLRG Mülheim and DUC Duisburg. DUC Duisburg won the game 5-2. The next edition of the Essener Tageblatt carried the story.

Grimmeisen kept promoting the ideas of an underwater rugby tournament to give the sport a character of serious competition. Together with the scuba-diving section of the DUC Mülheim/Ruhr, to which six players of DUC Duisburg came, he organized the first underwater rugby tournament rules, and the "Battle for the Golden Ball" in Hallenbad Sued, in Mülheim/Ruhr. The premiere was on November 5, 1965. Six clubs sent teams to Mülheim: DUC Bochum; DUC Düsseldorf, DUC Duisburg, DUC Essen and TSC Delphin Lüdenscheid. The rules of those days allowed 8-player teams, and DLRG Mülheim, the home team, came away winners, against DUC Duisburg (for whom Dr. Grimmeisen played).

The tournament has been held every year since then, which makes it the oldest tournament in the history of the sport. The Cologne version of the game was only played for a short time thereafter in Cologne, and has been long since forgotten. The Cologne team itself also turned to underwater rugby. To bring this game to the international arena, Grimmeisen turned to the two then most important members of the World Underwater Federation (CMAS), France and the USSR. He offered demonstration games and press coverage. Interest was not forthcoming. Just one French sport magazine, L'Equipe, printed a short article in its April 9, 1965 edition.

The Scandinavian countries showed more interest, and adopted the ideas in relatively short time. A demonstration in Denmark in 1973 and in Finland in 1975 were effective. Games in Belgium in September 1973 and Vienna in 1979 were ineffective in generating interest. In the Eastern Bloc, only Czech teams were interested, and they, according to the politics of the time, played only against teams from other communist countries. The only tournament known to have taken place there is the Underwater Rugby Tournament in Prague, which has taken place every year since 1975 (with the exception of 1979). In later years, Polish teams participated as well, and teams from East Germany, who used the game for conditioning, sent observers.

Since 1972, when the game was recognized as a sport by the Union of German Sport Divers (VDST), official German Championships have taken place. (An unofficial German Championship took place in 1971.) The first German Championship was held in Mülheim, and the first German Champions were TSC Mülheim.

In 1978, underwater rugby was officially recognized by the World Underwater Federation CMAS, and from 28 to 30 April 1978, the first European Championships took place in Malmö, Sweden, and from 15 to 18 May 1980, the first World Championships in Mülheim.

A different version of the current waterpolo became popular in the US, similar to underwater rugby, until US teams conformed to the international waterpolo rules around 1914.[1][2]

The sport has little in common with rugby football except for the name.[3]

Governing body

The governing body is the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) Underwater Rugby Commission.[4] As of June 2013, the following countries and territories have affiliated with the Commission: Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United States of America and Venezuela.[5]

International competition

Major championships have been conducted at continental level within Europe for senior teams since 1978 and for junior teams since 1986. World championships have been conducted since 1980. A number of regional competitions are also conducted - these include the International Underwater Rugby Tournament and the Champions Cup in Europe and the North American Underwater Rugby Tournament in North America.[6][7][8]

UWR tackle in Sydney
Defensive tackle during an underwater rugby match in Sydney, Australia

European Underwater Rugby League

In the 1st season four strongest clubs of Europe take part in the Euroleague: Swedish Malmo, Norwegian Molde, Danish Flipper and Russian Betta. The first winner of the Eurleague, based on the results of three rounds - became the Norwegian Molde.

Creating the European Underwater Rugby League was a breakthrough in the development of underwater rugby. The Euroleague has become the media product, which combines great teams with a rich history, approved and time-tested rules, effective system of refereeing, a complex system of underwater videoing. At the new level Euroleague should become the first professional tournament in underwater rugby and compete with other popular sports.

Domestic competition / Other Teams

  • Underwater rugby in Australia
  • Underwater rugby in Canada
  • Underwater rugby in Colombia
  • Underwater rugby in Czech Republic
  • Underwater rugby in England
  • Underwater rugby in Germany
  • Underwater rugby in Greece
  • Underwater rugby in France
  • Underwater rugby in Italy
  • Underwater rugby in Russia
  • Underwater rugby in Spain
  • Underwater rugby in Singapore
  • Underwater rugby in Sweden
  • Underwater rugby in USA
  • Underwater rugby in Venezuela
  • Underwater rugby in Mexico
  • Underwater rugby in Turkey
  • Underwater rugby in New Zealand
  • Underwater rugby in Norway
  • Underwater rugby in Hungary[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Why is underwater rugby the new generation of water sports, and where should you try it?". Underwater Rugby on Kinja. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  2. ^ "vintage UWRugby". New Zealand Underwater Rugby Association. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  3. ^ "About Underwater Rugby". Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  4. ^ 'Rugby', http://www.cmas.org/underwater-rugby, retrieved 30/08/2012.
  5. ^ "Federations (Underwater rugby)". Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Championships Archive". CMAS. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  7. ^ "3rd. North American Underwater Rugby Tournament Results". USA Underwater Rugby. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  8. ^ "CHAMPIONS CUP". championscup@uwr24.de. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  9. ^ "UWR Tiszavirág SE". UWR Tiszavirág SE - Underwater rugby. Retrieved 27 January 2016.

External links

Australian Underwater Federation

The Australian Underwater Federation (AUF) is the governing body for underwater sports in Australia.

Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques

Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) is an international federation that represents underwater activities in underwater sport and underwater sciences, and oversees an international system of recreational snorkel and scuba diver training and recognition. It is also known by its English name, the World Underwater Federation, and its Spanish name, Confederacion Mundial De Actividades Subacuaticas. Its foundation in Monaco during January 1959 makes it one of the world's oldest underwater diving organisations.

Federación Española de Actividades Subacuáticas

The Federación Española de Actividades Subacuáticas (FEDAS) is the highest authority in the field of Spanish aquatic sports, being the national federation of autonónicas groups across the country. While the federation normally uses the official state language, Castilian or Spanish, it also uses co-official languages common in the Galician, Basque and Catalan regions. It is a voting member of the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) .

Freediving

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.

List of water sports

This is a list of water sports.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling (British and Commonwealth English spelling: snorkelling) is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped breathing tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins. In cooler waters, a wetsuit may also be worn. Use of this equipment allows the snorkeler to observe underwater attractions for extended periods with relatively little effort and to breathe while face-down at the surface.

Snorkeling is a popular recreational activity, particularly at tropical resort locations. The primary appeal is the opportunity to observe underwater life in a natural setting without the complicated equipment and training required for scuba diving. It appeals to all ages because of how little effort there is, and without the exhaled bubbles of scuba-diving equipment. It is the basis of the two surface disciplines of the underwater sport of finswimming.Snorkeling is also used by scuba divers when on the surface, in underwater sports such as underwater hockey and underwater rugby, and as part of water-based searches conducted by search and rescue teams.

South African Underwater Sports Federation

The South African Underwater Sports Federation (SAUSF) is the official CMAS (World Underwater Federation) representative in the Republic of South Africa, and is affiliated to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).Formerly known as the South African Underwater Union (SAUU), the SAUSF has been responsible for the administrative duties of all underwater sports in South Africa. This originally included boating in connection with diving, and scuba training and recreational diving, but these two aspects of underwater sport developed into commercial activities and split from the SAUU to SASCA and CMAS-ISA respectively, whereas the competitive amateur sports like underwater hockey, spearfishing, finswimming and free diving remained with SAUU.

Swimfin

Swimfins, swim fins, fins or flippers are finlike accessories worn on the feet, legs or hands and made from rubber, plastic, carbon fiber or combinations of these materials, to aid movement through the water in water sports activities such as swimming, bodyboarding, bodysurfing, float-tube fishing, kneeboarding, riverboarding, scuba diving, snorkeling, spearfishing, underwater hockey, underwater rugby and various other types of underwater diving.

Swimfins help the wearer to move through water more efficiently, as human feet are too small and inappropriately shaped to provide much thrust, especially when the wearer is carrying equipment that increases hydrodynamic drag. Very long fins and monofins used by freedivers as a means of underwater propulsion do not require high-frequency leg movement. This improves efficiency and helps to minimize oxygen consumption. Short, stiff-bladed fins are effective for short bursts of acceleration and maneuvering, and are useful for bodysurfing.

Turkish Underwater Sports Federation

Turkish Underwater Sports Federation (Turkish: Türkiye Sualtı Sporları Federasyonu, TSSF) is the governing body for both underwater sports and lifesaving in Turkey. Founded in 1982 and based in Ankara, the TSSF is a member of both the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) and the International Life Saving Federation (ILS). Its president is Ahmet İnkılap Obruk, who was also elected in 2009 to CMAS' board of directors for a term of four years.

Underwater Rugby World Championships

The Underwater Rugby World Championships is the peak international event for the underwater sport of underwater rugby. The event is conducted on behalf of the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) by an affiliated national federation. The championships was first held in 1980.

Underwater Society of America

The Underwater Society of America (USOA) is the peak body for underwater sport and recreational diving in the United States of America.

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.

Underwater rugby in Australia

Underwater rugby (UWR) has been played in Australia since 2007 and as of 2016 is played in every State and the Australian Capital Territory.

Underwater rugby in Colombia

Underwater rugby in Colombia is played in a system of three major club events per year, with an inter-leagues tournament at the end of each year. From the preceding year's World Cup or major CMAS underwater rugby event, the country's best players are selected to be part of the national team.

Underwater rugby in the United States

Underwater Rugby started in the United States in 1979.

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.

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.

Şahika Ercümen

Şahika Ercümen (born 16 January 1985) is a Turkish dietitian and world record holder free-diver.Born on January 16, 1985 in Çanakkale, she was educated at the Gazi Primary School, and received a secondary education at the Milli Piyango Anatolian High School in her hometown. For her higher education, she moved to Ankara, and became a dietitian graduating from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Başkent University's Faculty of Health Sciences.Her participation in underwater sports began with scuba diving and underwater rugby. For twelve years, she is interested in various branches of underwater sports, and is a member of four national teams since 2001. She participated with the underwater hockey, underwater rugby, underwater orienteering and free diving national teams in the World and European Championships.

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