Underwater football

Underwater football is a two-team sport that shares common elements of Underwater hockey and Underwater rugby. As with both of those games, it is played in a swimming pool with snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, and fins).

The goal of the game is to maneuver (by carrying and passing) a slightly negatively buoyant ball from one side of a pool to the other by players who are completely submerged underwater. Scoring is achieved by placing the ball (under control) in the gutter on the side of the pool.


Underwater football developed in the 1960s by a Manitoba scuba instructor who was teaching in the University of Manitoba's Frank Kennedy Centre. The game developed from a "keep-away" training exercise that used a pool brick to develop the students snorkelling skills. It is still played there today.

A similar game may have also been developed around the same time in England by Benjamin Olsen. Olsen was a fan of American football. He started to develop it with his friends during summer, and it became an attraction to them. It caught the attention of more people and it began to become popular.


Several ball types have been used throughout the game's history. These include a 10 pound pool brick, a junior sized NFL style football, and a junior sized basketball. The common denominator amongst them being that they are negatively buoyant. Pneumatic balls (such as the football or basketball) can be made negatively buoyant by filling them with a liquid that is denser (heavier) than water instead of air: e.g., a strong saline solution or corn syrup.

The sport is similar to Water polo, but it is played most of the time underwater. Each player can go up to the surface to take air as many times needed, except when he has the football in his hand.

Like the traditional football, one players from each team manoeuvre the ball past their opponents to get to the ball to goal. Each team has 13 players, but only five players are on the court at one time. The player with the ball can swim with it or pass the ball to his team players. Meanwhile, the opponents will try to take the ball from the other player or intercept a pass.

The court is 10 meters wide (32 ft), 15 meters long (49.2 ft),and 4 meters deep (13 ft).

A match has two 20 minute rounds, and a half-time of 5 minutes.

See also

* Underwater hockey
* Underwater rugby

External links

* [http://www.underwaterfootball.com/main.html Underwater football site]

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