Learn and practice the basic skills of underwater hockey in a structured five session course. This course is offered once a year.
Students must be comfortable swimming on the surface and underwater. We'll discuss gear the first week. You need a swimsuit and towel. We provide mask, snorkel, fins, stick, glove and ear guards though you may bring your own if you please. While the course is intended for total beginners you will likely learn a lot if you've played less than 6 months.
Monday evenings 7:00 - 8:45pm starting September 9 (a week after Labor Day) and ending October 7. Arrive at 7 so you have a few minutes to get changed. Each week we'll start with instruction on the deck, then in the water and end with a scrimmage from 8:00-8:45
King Pool, 5701 3rd St (At Carroll Ave, near Candlestick Park). The front door is normally closed, go to the door on the north side of the building, on the path to the playground.
Register closed. The fee will be applied towards subsequent hockey practices if you attend at least four of the classes.
We're going to move things around a little but this is what we'll cover and the general order.
||Skills & Technique
||Rules & Strategy
|Equipment: mask, snorkel, fins, stick, glove and ear guards
Kicking fins and clearing the snorkel
Pushing the puck forward
Basic rules & etiquette
|Enjoy your first game safely and comfortably.
||History of UWH
|Basic game strategy
The 3-3 formation
|Hold your own as a team member.
||Cencal, USA UWH
| Stick maneuvers: tic-tac, 8, V
Moving the puck in slalom course
Scoring and defending: 2 on 1
|Develop awareness of the game.
|Basic stick maneuvers review
Toolbox: the "6"
|Advantage and equal pucks
Formations other than 3-3
|Understand and leverage game dynamics.
Toolbox: the half-moon (aka the "9")
Containing on the wall and opening with an end-around
|Become a player to watch out for.
Week 1, Sept 9
Goal: Enjoy your first game safely and comfortably.
following the Safety Guidelines you signed
most common injuries are bruises and cuts
your face near somebody’s fins == kicks in the face
keep your face up and flicks away from heads
mask: keep it on your face, defog with dish soap
snorkel: must have mouth guard, valve optional
fins: the simpler the better, finkeepers, socks
glove: either right or left
stick: white or black, single-handed use only (it ain’t a bat)
ear guards: put them on, attach your snorkel to one side
clear a snorkel
big blast of air: keep your air while under, release it all in one “explosion” at the surface
drain through mouthpiece
mention clearing while surfacing, but details for next week
pushing puck forward
Duck dive: bend body in half at the waist, reach towards the bottom, keep hands straight and together, put feet up in the air
Week 2, Sept 16
Goal: Hold your own as a team member.
Week 3, Sept 23
Goal: Develop awareness of the game. Increase skills.
Advantage puck, when one team commits a foul, takes puck out
- puck is placed at point of foul, at least 2m from side and 3m from end
- Fouling team stays back 3 meters (a bit more than 1 swim lane) from puck
- Team with advantage have forwards and strong back among other team, center back with puck, weak back behind puck towards goal
- As soon as puck is moved fouling team can move forward and game resumes
- Equal puck, when ref isn't sure. We often use this for out-of-bounds
- everyone stays on surface with snorkel out of water, in area of pool behind the puck
- center forward of each team is just behind the puck
- someone shouts "ready, go!"
- center forwards kelp dive quickly and push the puck back to their team
- Next we tried a team drill, which in hindsight was way to complicated for this course: Carolyn's team Zdrill 3-3.
Set up: Start
on the 5 and 2 on right side. Line up in the 3-3 “7” formation.
Rtfwd (on wall 7M), Cfwd (2M line),Lffwd (5M off the wall), --in
Rtback (has puck on 5 and 2), Cback (off his/her hip to left),
LFback (diagonal to them to goal 3M back).
Walk through this
on deck first, then in the water.
Rtback has puck, passes forward to Rtfwd (who is on the
wall), Cfwd swims near wall (about on what would be the 1M line) 45 in front of Rtfwd to accept a
pass and turns (using a move to
protect puck from defender) to left perpendicular to wall and passes to
the Lffwd in a 45 back pass, Lffwd turns and passes back to Cback who is facing 45
degrees to left from the start. Cback swims directly toward left wall and passes to back Lfback,
who then passes forward (or a bit to the left and forward) to the Lffwd who has taken one
breath and re-positions. The passing is reversed now with Cfwd swimming in front
of Lffwd and turning in to right to pass to Rtfwd in a bit of a back pass to Cback
who then passes to Rtback who then passes to Rtfwd to repeat from the start. This
cycle continues until Center Forward can score a goal with 2
kicks or less. If that happens, Left Forward and Right Forward seal
goals, strong side back moves up on their side of center forward and
center back takes the other side. Last man back covers for defense.
ALL PASSES MUST BE
GIVEN AFTER 2 kicks and only 2 kick
s: If the pass is not given at the correct
time the team goes back to the start. If
the receiver is not in the right place, they go back to start. All passes must
land on the stick of the receiver, if that doesn’t occur, the team goes back to
Aim for teammates to practice passing to each other. Back
passes must land on the stick of the person behind you. Start slow and then
speed up the drill. Goals of drill is for teammates to learn body language of TIMING. Aim for really good
passes, turns and speed.
If the team will talk about it, they can give pointers as to
how a pass would work better, positioning. This is not a play one
would actually do in a game, but the ideas are there for parts of what will
help score a goal in the end.
In the water: We tried the team Z drill. It was tough but get you passing the puck around the teams a lot
Week 4, Sept 30
On deck: got gear and got into the water, no faffing around!
In the water: 3 stations
- Clearing snorkel, BOGDATs (breath once, go down and touch)
- When clearing snorkel look up at the surface, exhale starting about 2 feet from surface and turn head down when mask is at surface. Et voilà, your snorkel is clear.
- Kick from the hips, legs straight, knees almost locked.
2 v 1
- Tool box of puck handling moves
Week 5, Oct 7
On the deck:
- Making gear: gloves and sticks are made by us for the perfect fit and the fun of making stuff with friends.
- Worlds: Brigit told us a bit about world level competition. She and Amy just returned from a world competition in Hungary. The USA Women team was selected in early 2013 after the candidates met for some weekends of womens hockey. Criteria include puck handling, team play and fitness. Going to Worlds is pretty expensive, much self-financed with some money from the USA UWH organization. The Olympic committee recognizes UWH as a sport but there needs to be a national competition in at least 30(?) countries before they'll consider it, and they have to remove a sport to add a new one.
- Subbing: make a hand-signal underwater when you are swimming out and an identical response and eye contact from the fresh player in the box. Normally we use terms far (open hand), middle/center (two fingers) and near (fist) rather than left and right. See also subbing out.
- In the water: split into three teams, each with a mix of newer and older players, and take turns playing scrimmages and practicing skills.