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The GFORCE Guide to… Octopush

Added 10 Feb 2020 by GFORCE

In our latest GFORCE Guide to… we explore the sport of octopush.

Octopush may sound like you need eight limbs to play, but it is in fact underwater hockey!

Dubbed as a ‘supreme aerobic game’ to play underwater, Octopush was first invented back in the 1950s when sub-aqua divers from Southsea decided lane swimming was a rather boring way to keep fit. And so Octopush was born.

As with any hockey game, endurance and speed are required to play, but you also need to like having fun and taking on a challenge.

Octopush players wear a mask, fins, snorkel and a water polo hat while using a small spatula-like stick held in a gloved-hand. Competitors then use this stick to hit a weighted puck of 1.2kg down a 25 metre pool into a goal. Players need to push the puck into the other team’s goal, which is made up of a three metre tray. There are 10 players in a team, with six being allowed in the water at one time.

What skills do players need to play? What makes Octopush so challenging and gives it the title of being a ‘supreme aerobic game’ is that it requires players to hold their breath underwater - sometimes for long periods of time. This in itself is no easy task. The key lies in players breathing through their snorkel above water and then judging carefully when to quickly dive down to furiously battle for the puck.

Tackling an opponent and passing the puck to a fellow player can take up to a few seconds before they can surface, so players must be fast and comfortable whilst also remaining calm underwater. And of course, have a competitive side!

That said, anyone who can swim can take up underwater hockey, they just need to learn how to use a mask and a snorkel. This sport exercises both the mind and body, from flexing willpower and stamina through to working lots of muscles. It is sure to keep you fighting fit!

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