Taking the hard hitting sport of field rugby underwater has not changed the dynamics, competitiveness and challenges of the game and it provides participants a safe arena to test their skills.
Two teams of six battle it out but injuries are more often from the pool than each other.
“During game play it certainly is competitive and when you are in a tournament you’re probably going to get hurt a little bit,” Eric Budovitch told The Bulletin. “The only time you’re ever really injured is when you are at the bottom of the pool. I think all of the players have become something of a connoisseur of pool bottoms and which ones will scrape us up and which ones won’t.”
Along with the usual health benefits of playing competitive underwater rugby, the sport is excellent for people who have joint issues.
“The best thing about underwater rugby is it’s a 3D sport,” commented the Queen Street West resident. “You play using the entire space of the pool and there’s no gravity. You fly. Because there is no gravity, it’s great for your joints because you’re maneuvering in water and it’s one of those sports you really can play into your senior years.”
Underwater rugby is a coed sport with players averaging in age from 18 to 80.
The fighting spirit is left at the pool, when after a game, many of the players head to a nearby pub for drinks.
“There are so few rugby players around that when we do get together for a tournament afterwards we all go drinking,” reflected the defence player. “It’s very friendly especially when it’s your own team. We don’t refer to it as a game we refer to it as practices. My favorite thing about rugby is that I have no idea what the score is at the end of the day. Sometimes it’s unquestionable who’s won, but it’s not a competitive sport after you get out of the water.”
For more information about becoming a player go to meetup.com/Toronto-Underwater-Rugby-Club or underwaterrugby.ca.