UNDERWATER HOCKEY - A FUN GLOBAL SPORT with TEAMWORK
Two teams of up to ten players compete, with six players on each team in play at once. The remaining four players are continually substituted into play from a substitution area, which may be on deck or in the water outside the playing area, depending on tournament rules.
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. At the start-of-play signal (usually a buzzer or a gong), in-play members of both teams are free to swim anywhere in the play area and try to score by manoeuvring the puck into the opponents' goal. Players hold their breath as they dive to the bottom of the pool (a form of dynamic apnoea, as in free-diving). 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 signalled by a referee (whether due to a foul, a time-out, or the end of the period of play).
Games consist of two halves, typically ten to fifteen minutes (depending on tournament rules; 15 minutes at world championship tournaments) and a short half-time interval. At half time the two teams switch ends.
A typical playing formation is the 3-3 (three offensive players or forwards, and three defensive players or backs). Other options include 2-3-1 (i.e., two forwards, three midfielders, and a back), 1-3-2, or 2-2-2. As important to tournament teams' formation strategy is the substitution strategy - substitution errors might result in a foul (too many players in the play area) or a tactical blunder (too few defenders in on a play).
There are a number of penalties described in the official underwater hockey rules, ranging from the use of the stick against something (or someone) other than the puck, playing or stopping the puck with something other than the stick, and "blocking" (interposing one's self between a team-mate who possesses the puck and an opponent; one is allowed to play the puck, but not merely block opponents with one's body). If the penalty is minor, referees award an advantage puck - the team that committed the foul is pushed back 3 metres from the puck, while the other team gets free possession. For major penalties, such as a dangerous pass (e.g. at or near an opponent's head) or intentional or repeated fouls, the referees may eject players for a specified period of time or the remainder of the game. A defender committing a serious foul sufficiently close to his own goal may be penalized by the award of a penalty shot, or a penalty goal to the fouled player's team.
Check out this video from the 2011 World Championships http://hockeygods.com/forums/8/topics/327
Check out this video from the Coast Gaurd Academy http://hockeygods.com/forums/8/topics/328
Check out this Promotional Video http://hockeygods.com/forums/8/topics/329
Wikipedia Information on Underwater Hockey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_hockey
More information on Underwater Hockey at http://PuckU.org