One thing about Australians is they love their sport and after living here 3 years I thought it was time I joined in…Of course this begged this first question of “which sport”. I must admit a couple immediately came to mind such as

  1. “AV enhanced yoga”
  2. “Power Lifting Ethanol”
  3. “Mattress spelunking”
  4. “Literary Marathons”

 

The challenge with all these sports is lack of rules and more importantly in Australia they lack clubs. While in training for sport #2 above I overheard the gentleman next to me talking about his “Under water hockey” club.  – I thought this was akin to the underwater basket weaving classes in the US and asked for more details.  He indicated they met Wednesdays at 7:00pm cost $3.00 which included the BBQ and the beer was $1/ each.  I LOVED these rules already and promised to make the next meeting.

 

I showed up at 7:00pm and everybody was chatting away getting their bathing suits on…Cool so they actually get in the pool for this!  At which point Danny the president comes over and asks me if I needed to borrow some equipment- I indicate have never played before so not only will I need equipment but also a lesson in their use.

 

Danny reaches in to his bag and pulls out an armored glove and asks me to try it on (…..okay this is interesting…..)

Back into the bag, this time out comes a small wooden club (…all right what do I do with this?….)

This time the bag coughs up a pair of softish fins– at least I know what to do with these!

And finally the bag yielded an athletic supporter with TWO cups!!! My first thought was one of almost sheer terror:

“What the HELL kind of sport are they playing where they CRUSH protective cups?”

My second thought was probably brought on by a touch of hysteria:

“What the hell kind of freaky men do they have in this country?”

 


Turns out the protective cups are strapped to your head to protect your ears – silly Chuck!

The game is pretty straightforward you swim to the bottom of the pool and bash a lead hockey puck towards your opponent’s goal until your vision blurs from lack of oxygen.  They played me in a forward position opposite this little girl named Sarah –she may only have weighed 100lbs but see looked a lot bigger underwater!  The next 60 minutes were a blur after which we got out and had a nice BBQ where my team mates mentioned I did real good for the first time….In particular I only received one black eye, my nose “clearly” wasn’t broken (I still disagree with this) and the bruising on my torso was certainly less other first timers….(see picture above)

 

I must admit I did learn a lot during those 60 minutes like:

 

  1. My $100 Snorkel comes apart!
  2. My $300 Mask comes apart!
  3. My teeth are NOT firmly affixed in my mouth
  4. A little blood in the water does not indicate a time out in Australian rules underwater Hockey
  5. Two protective cups is NOT enough in this game!

  

Should you be interested in this particular form of self abuse I have included some links below for your amusement

Chuck

 

 

 

http://www.freedive.net/freedive/chapters/hockey.html

http://www.newsrecord.org/media/paper693/news/2004/11/18/Spotlight/Underwater.Warriors-808567.shtml

http://www.newcastle.edu.au/sport-recreation/sport_and_recreation/nusport_clubs/underwater_hockey.html

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~dmmarketing/main.html

 

 

Underwater basket-weaving is a synonym for "Undecided" or "Really Easy".  Also a humorously generic answer to questions about a college degree. E.G.: "What kind of degree do I need to get this job?" "You can have a degree in Underwater basket-weaving”

 

http://harkless.org/dan/info/couldn't_find_on_the_web/

http://bg.opsandfulfillment.com/ar/fulfillment_underwater_basket_weaving/

http://web.csuchico.edu/~ka58/dwsm/classes.html

http://benjaminsteers.com/basket.html