Underwater sports

Underwater sports include a range of sports, mostly involving the use of fins and often including some element of breath-hold, snorkelling or scuba. The governance of these sports involves some controversies.

Some sports here are related to some events in sports lifesaving.

Underwater sports

Underwater sports are typically considered to include:

*Sub-aqua diving (also known as Scuba)
*Underwater hockey (more commonly known as Octopush)
*Underwater rugby
*Underwater orienteering
*Underwater target shooting
*Underwater photography
*Underwater ice hockey
*Underwater football (here the football refers to American Football not Association Football or any other variant)


The first nine sports listed above are governed by the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS). Freediving is also governed by AIDA International. Sub-aqua diving has various other international agencies controlling it, including the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and the British Sub-Aqua Club, amongst others.

Finswimming is the only sport in this group included within the family of sports regulated by the International Olympic Committee.


Several controversies have arisen with regard to underwater sports.

There is a debate over whether scuba and underwater photography can be considered as sports. Additionally, several of these sports have alternative world governing bodies. Freediving is also governed by [AIDA International] . There was an attempt to form a breakaway group in Underwater Hockey, which resulted in nearly all of the significant teams not being present at the 2007 World Aquatic Games, in Barri, Italy.

The European Commission has, allegedly, asked the European Parliament to consider banning commercial spearfishing Fact|date=August 2008. Spearfishing has invoked controversy on several occasions, including a ban by the British Sub-Aqua Club when Fact|date=August 2008.

There has always been a debate on funding. In the English speaking world, the only sport that has a significant following (other than Scuba) is Underwater Hockey. However, the more widely spread and more popular sport of finswimming is the only sport that is an International Olympic Committee sport. This has led to issues in funding and governance relationships in some National Governing Bodies.

In the United Kingdom, the original governing body for underwater sports was the British Sub-Aqua Club. However, in 1997, the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques expelled the British Sub-Aqua Club for several reasons [Busuttili, M (1998). So long, CMAS, it's sad to say goodbye. "Diver", May 1998.] . This expulsion led to British underwater sports-people not being able to compete on an international stage. As a result the British Underwater Sports Association was formed to allow for international participation, which is registered with the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques. However, UK Sport (the governmental sports agency in the United Kingdom) has not accepted this change in governance. This has caused some issues with regards to funding and governance control within the United Kingdom.


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