Underwater Rugby

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    [size=150:2r7bmdia]2r7bmdia]Underwater Rugby 2r7bmdia][/size:2r7bmdia]
    From: activerespite@shaw.ca (Don McDonald & Frank Byl)

    – Pool area such as across the shallow end of a standard 25 metre pool.
    – Water filled rubber ball (about the size of a basketball. This can be made using a cheap pump that is held under water to fill the ball. It is important to insure all the air is out of the ball.)
    – Some kind of goal is required at opposite ends.We use street hockey nets with weights on the net to keep them submerged. But a goal line could be used or touching the oppositions wall could serve as a goal.
    – Goggles are needed and it is helpful but not nessesary to use marking tape on the wrists to identify teams.

    Teams of 10 play shifts of roughly 5 minutes. Like hockey lines (5 players in and the rest off, are rotated in as players tire orwant play time). To start play the teams have to be touching their wall or net. The ball is thrown in the middle and teams race to get it. Players try to get the ball in the opponents net but can only move the ball while swimming under water. And only as long as they can hold their breath. A player can not surface for air in possesion of the ball. So players try to pass or push the ball toward the net before going up for air. The result is a fast paced scramble for a ball, that every few seconds becomes free for the grabbing. Penalties are given for surfacing with the ball (the other team is given the ball and the offending team must step back 10 feet. This game is especially fun for over weight and out of shape kids because everyone is somewhat neutralized under water. As well, the game isn’t dependent on good swimming ability. The ball moves slowly so that the fast pace comes from the constant changing of possesion as players run out of breath and must give up the ball. We also play the game with no holding of the body as it is to easy to just stand up in shallow water and grab a player who is about to score. We just play the ball. If a player holds another player a 2 minute penalty is levied and the team plays short handed for the 2 minutes. One other rule is if a wrestling match develops for the ball. It is restricted to the two players only. It is soon sorted out as one player runs out of breath and must let go. Otherwise too many players in a wrestle for the ball just stalls the game.

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