THORNTON — It's safe to assume many or even most Coloradans have watched a few hockey games during their time in the Centennial State, but have you ever watched the sport be played underwater? If you haven't, you're missing out on one of the most fascinating sports to be played beneath the churning (albeit small) waves of a swimming pool.
The game is played with six individuals on either team who are decked out with snorkel gear and one-handed hockey sticks which are used to push a weighted puck across the bottom of the pool to one goal or another. Players report typically breaking for air about every 15 or so seconds, keeping the surface of the pool in a nearly perpetual state of motion as people dive in and return.
If you're looking for a group to join up with and experience this wildly water-centric sport for yourself, look no farther than the Denver Area Underwater Hockey Club; the club not only provides an entry point into the sport for newcomers but also offers avenues to go from casual play to a range of more serious competitions.
According to the club, those looking/aiming for more a serious play style hold practices and workout sessions five days a week and attend events throughout the year; currently members of the club are preparing to duke it out with teams from all over the world as a part of the World Championship being held in Australia this July.
Far from being just a club that travels for competition, the club also hosts The Battle At Altitude, an annual tournament that's been running for 17 years, is attended by teams from across the country, and has turned into one of the premier underwater hockey tournaments in the nation.
Now, you might be thinking,"How am I going to watch this sport that takes place almost exclusively underwater?" Don't worry, we've got those answers as well!
Eric Straily, a Colorado local with a serious passion for the sport and a member of the Denver Area Underwater Hockey Club, helped to found the non-profit known as Atlantis Sports which is dedicated solely to the purpose of recording and promoting underwater hockey.