You're probably familiar with sports like scuba diving, water polo and rowing. Likewise, field hockey is a well known team sport. But have you ever heard of underwater hockey? If not, you've found the webpage of the right student sports association! On this page you can find all information you need to get acquainted with underwater hockey. And if you're already familiar with this addictively fun team sport you're on the right path to finding the team for you!

Underwater hockey

Underwater hockey is an intensive and addictively fun team sport that is largely played out on the bottom of the swimming pool. As is in the name, underwater hockey is like field hockey but then underwater. The puck that is used for this game is a whopping 1,5 kg and will stay on the bottom of the swimming pool. The goal of the game is to gain as many points as possible by pushing the puck into the goal of the opposing team. To do this we use fins for extra speed and a glove on the playing hand for protection. The sticks we use are about 25 cm long and are well adapted to playing on the bottom of the swimming pool and move the puck around. Underwater hockey is essentially a non-contact sport. However, underwater this is not always the case as the game can be quite chaotic. The puck can also be somewhat dangerous when played higher up. Therefore, we wear water polo caps to protect our ears as well as mouth guards to protect our mouth and teeth.

Underwater hockey is also quite a tactical game! Communication underwater is difficult and opponents can approach you from all sides: the front, the sides, under or from above. Most action is on the bottom of the swimming pool and thus requires you to hold your breath. Besides timing, stamina is then also an important attribute. Therefore, there is a lot of attention to these attributes during our practice hours. At the beginning it may be quite challenging for everyone to stay underwater for a long time. But, the more you participate and practice, the more you notice your stamina and your bottom time increasing.


Are you enthusiastic, looking for a challenging new sport, or does it just seem fun to try this breathtaking sport? Contact us! It is always possible to join for one of our practice hours. If necessary we'll first show you the ropes of snorkeling before throwing you into the depths of a practice match. The equipment you need can always be borrowed from us. Just bring your swimming gear and you will be good to go! 

Together with the ACLO we also regularly organise 5-week clinics. As an ACLO-member you can sign up for these clinics too. Check the ACLO-website for the schedule.

Rules and tactics:

Underwater hockey is, just as regular field hockey and football, a team sport with rules, team formations and technique. Underwater hockey is a non-contact sport, which means you cannot drown one another, nor are you allowed to pull, scratch, bite, slap or maim each other. You are only allowed to use the one hand with which you hold your stick to move the puck around.

AOW tactics

A team consists of maximum 10 players. Of these 10 players 4 players are substitutes that can be switched out unlimitedly during the match. In short, there are 6 players playing per team at a time. One of these players has the position of the last man (6). This player defends the goal, but this is not like goalkeepers in soccer or field hockey. The last man will remain behind the rest of their team but will move up and down with the tides of the match. Additionally, there are two other defenders (4,5) that take up position on either side of the last man. The defenders defend their respective sides of the swimming pool during an attack. They try to get the puck to go towards the opposing team's goal as soon as possible. The defenders can of course also help during an attack if this seems to be favourable in order to score a point. The third man (3) rotates together with the attackers and will take switch out with the attacker when they go up to breath. Likewise, the third man is a target man for the offensive players. The offensive players (1,2) try to be the first ones to reach the puck at the beginning of the game. The offensive players remain in their position; if the puck gets lost they will try their best to retrieve it and bring it back to the opposing team's goal. The team formation can differ per match and is normally dependent on the number of players that are present. 


In addition to the regular training hour on Thursday, some of our players also form a team that competes in the national competition. This is not mandatory to join, but it is of course a fun experience and a good way to improve your skills. Competition matches are played once a month in the city of Zeist on Sundays. The competitive team of Calamari competes in the second class of the national competition. 
Curious about our competition schedule? Click here to find out more.


G.B.D. Calamari Competitive team

Underwater hockey is normally played in a mixed team. However, there is also a female competition in which only female teams compete.

Matches during the competition do not have two 45-minute halves as with football. This is fortunate for us, as we would otherwise need to have incredibly well-trained lungs! Rather, matches played on match day have two halves that last 15-minutes each, and during the 3 minute break in-between we switch sides. During a match day we generally play two matches in total. 

In addition to the national competition, several underwater hockey associations organise small tournaments for which we are also eligible. These tournaments are organised in order to have friendly and fun matches between associations. Of course together with some bites and drinks afterwards.

For the members of our competitive team, and for any who may find it interesting, we organise a referee course every year. This is in order to clarify the rules of the game, but also because each competitive team is required to referee one match per match day. 

Curious about all the different rules of underwater hockey? Click here to learn more. 


Calamari also has its own underwater hockey committee which organises everything around the training hours, competition and clinics. The committee organises clinics with, and for, secondary school students; makes sure there is proper training equipment; oversees the atmosphere during practice and makes sure we have an adequate trainer during training hours. Last but not least, they also organise an annual underwater hockey weekend that is centered around underwater hockey but also having fun and getting to know each other.