By : Alexandra Picard / Photo : Juan Diego Rivera
Underwater Rugby - A sport rethought
Combine swimming, rugby and freediving and you get a challenging team sport played entirely underwater where players experience 360 degrees of action.
Where does underwater rugby come from?
It was in Germany in 1961 that underwater rugby was created. Its design was intended to make the training of diving clubs more stimulating. Over the years, some have decided to make it a local competition. This is how a craze was created and several followers spread their passion for this sport on the international scene. A world championship is also held every 4 years.
In Canada, rugby appeared in 2008 in Toronto. In Montreal, a team was created in 2011 within the CAMO club.
How do we play?
Underwater rugby is played with a snorkel, mask and flippers. The game takes place across the width of the deep part of the pool, i.e. at a depth that varies between 3.8m and 5m. Two baskets are installed at the bottom of the water, at each end of the playing area. The ball used can be held in one hand and is filled with saline water which causes it to have a density greater than that ambient water and sink slowly to the bottom.
The games are played six against six and have a duration of 30 minutes, i.e. two periods of 15 minutes with a half-time of five minutes between them. Each team consists of two goalkeepers, two defenders and two forwards. Physical contact is only allowed towards the player with the ball, so players who do not have it cannot grab other players.
Although it is a contact sport, it is governed by very strict rules that minimize the risk of injury and allow participants to play safely. No excessive force, violence or roughness is allowed during the games.
During practices, special attention is given to new players in order to integrate them gradually according to their comfort.
A fascinating sport, but for whom?
Underwater rugby requires a certain amount of cardiovascular capacity. However, the numerous swimming and freediving practices that the players on a team participate in allow everyone to improve and achieve their personal fitness goals. Speed, technique and endurance become the pillars of their success. Team spirit is the foundation of rugby where non-verbal communication and listening are paramount to outplaying the opponent.
For amateurs with a sense of competition, the possibility of participating in numerous local and foreign tournaments allows them to put their skills to the test.
How to participate ?
You can contact the CAMO underwater rugby club by email or on the Facebook page. As far as equipment is concerned, they provide everything that is required for the first practices.
Rugby Subaquatique CAMO
8200 rue Rousselot, Montréal
FB et IG : uwr.camo