Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



Octopush, or underwater hockey, is a sport in which two teams compete to move a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool into goals. It has actually become popular in countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Great Britian, and World Championships are held every two years.

Octopush Player. From Wikipedia.

Players wear a snorkel (1), hat with ear guards (2), diving mask (3), swim fins (4), and protective glove (7) during game play. The stick (5) is short, less than 13 inches in length, and the puck (6) is about the same size as a hockey puck. In tournament play, the color of the stick and cap are randomly assigned to each team before every game. The goals are 9.8 feet in width and are placed at opposite ends of the playing area at the bottom of the pool.

Octopush game from Bangor University in Wales. From Wikipedia.

Teams play 6 on 6, with 4 players on each side available for substitution. In World Championship events halves are 15 minutes long, and teams switch ends at halftime. Before the start of play the puck is placed in the middle of the pool, and the players wait in the water, touching the wall above the goals they are defending. When the buzzer sounds, members of both teams are free to swim anywhere in the play area and try to score by maneuvering the puck into the opponents’ goal. Play continues until either a goal is scored, and players return to their wall to start a new point, or a break in play is signaled by a referee (whether due to a foul, a time-out, or the end of the period of play).

Want to see Octopush live? The World Championships are taking place through August 15 in Medellin, Colombia, and games can be streamed online. To learn more about Octopush, visit the British Octopush Association. For more random sports, get your tickets to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company in The Complete World of Sports (abridged) at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, September 9 – October 3.

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