Underwater hockey team swaps skates for snorkels

Underwater hockey is a demanding sport where a changeup between players can happen in as little as 15 seconds due to exhaustion.

“Underwater it is a surprisingly fast game,” Emmanuel Caisse told The Bulletin. “When you can shoot that puck over 3 meters, in a 25 meter pool, it goes very quickly. It’s a pretty exhausting sport and you need to work hard for a minute or two and then you need a breath and a break.”

After driving to Brampton and Hamilton for the sport, Caisse decided he was tired of the traffic and traveling time and started underwater hockey at Trinity Bellwoods.

“I was a regular swimmer at Trinity Bellwoods and I started originally by convincing a lot of my fellow length swimmers to come in and try the sport,” reflected the King and Bathurst resident. “I had a lot of takers that would come once or twice but at first it was really difficult to recruit members. Most of the games had only half the players we needed for the first four or five months.”

The club has co-op teams ranging in age from 20’s to late 30’s, but with the sport having no impact, it is open to many ages. Participants play 6 on 6 with four subs, playing in a mask, snorkel, fins, using a foot long stick and a weighted puck.

The Toronto Underwater Hockey Club takes in players all year at all levels of swimming ability.

“It’s helpful to be someone who is used to swimming so you’re able to get your head underwater,” recommended Caisse. “Definitely someone who has snorkelled or scuba dives have an advantage just because they seem more comfortable in the water. But I’ve had players that have never really snorkelled, or even players who are not really comfortable in regular swimming, who put on that mask and fins and fall in love with the sport.”

For details visit meetup.com/Toronto-Underwater-Hockey-Club

Posted On: October 01, 2015