Two obscure sports – obstacle course and underwater hockey – will make their debut at the Philippines SEA Games this year. The event will take place in the city of Clark, Philippines from November 30 to December 10, 2019.
Underwater hockey, also known as Octopush, is played at the bottom of a swimming pool with two teams competing to manoeuvre a puck with a hockey stick into the opposing team’s goal.
Underwater Hockey will be included in this edition in the Masculine and Feminine categories in the 6×6 and 4×4 modalities, as reported by the New Zealander Tristan Reynard, World Tournaments Director of the Underwater Hockey Commission of the World Underwater Federation (CMAS).
History of Underwater Hockey
The Sport originated in England in 1954 when Alan Blake, a founder of the newly formed Southsea Sub-Aqua Club, invented the game he called Octopush as a means of keeping the club’s members interested and active over the cold winter months when open-water diving lost its appeal.
Underwater Hockey is now played worldwide, with the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques, abbreviated CMAS, as the world governing body.
The first Underwater Hockey World Championship was held in Canada in 1980 after a false start in 1979 brought about by international politics and apartheid.
Underwater Hockey enjoys popularity in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States, as well as to a lesser extent in other countries such as Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Japan,the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Zimbabwe, and is gaining a foothold in numerous additional countries.