Published Monday, June 4, 2012 5:03PM EDT
MONTREAL - If it has the word hockey in it, you know in Canada, we'll be trying it.
There's field hockey, ball hockey, road hockey – and now, there's underwater hockey.
On the surface, it may be the most boring-looking sport on earth, but there's a lot going on underwater.
"I guess you just have to try it... I've tried soccer, hockey and once you've tried underwater hockey you feel it is different. I just fell in love with the sport," said Joseph Ravoahangy of the CAMO Swimming Club, part of the Claude-Robillard Sports Centre.
Players dive to the bottom of the pool to push a heavy puck with a small modified hockey stick. A glove, caps in team colours (also used for ear protection), fins, snorkels, and of course a bathing suit, are all part of the equipment.
The game isn't exclusive to hockey-loving Canucks, apparently.
"Actually it's quite big in New Zealand. They play underwater hockey in the high school system," said Jordan Fryers, who plays for the Vancouver Thunderducks. "Lots of kids play it. In New Zealand, they had 40,000 kids playing in their junior system there."
The greatest skill required for underwater hockey is top-notch athleticism, otherwise holding your breath, swimming underwater, and attacking a puck is not easy.
"It's really about shape," said Robin Duquette of the CAMO Club. "If you have good cardio, that's what it takes. It's the only sport that if you are not in shape, you don't enjoy, that's why it is so tough."
Interested? Contact the CAMO Club