What is Underwater Rugby?

Two baskets at the bottom of the pool, one ball, three dimensions to move in and six players between your team and the goal.  Underwater rugby is a fast paced team sport where players jostle underwater to score a goal at the bottom of the 5m deep pool.


There are three positions on each team, forwards, defenders and goalies.  Players play in pairs, you have to hold your breath when playing underwater, so players take turns to get involved in the play or rest up on the surface. The ball is negatively buoyant, travelling a few metres before sinking to the ground, and a goal is scored by getting the ball in the opposing team’s basket.  Contact is part of the game, and is usually grabbing and wrestling the person carrying the ball, and if you have the ball you can try and move the goalie off the basket where you’re trying to score.

UWR originated in Germany as an excuse for divers to keep fit during the winter. Its most popular in northern Europe, and is also played in Colombia, North America, South Africa and New Zealand.  In Australia UWR started at UNSW, and has since spread to Hobart, Brisbane, and Canberra, as well as some games in Singapore.  Internationally there are underwater rugby world championships administered by CMAS, and official rules of the game.

Check out our summary of the rules and referee hand signals (below). For more info, check out Wikipedia.

Article on Underwater Rugby on BBC news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26051330

A classic introduction to Underwater Rugby:


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