Dive into the world of underwater hockey

New Evansville Underwater Hockey Team Is Making Waves

Evansville Penguin Team Members

Yes, you read that right. Underwater hockey is the latest sports and fitness craze in Evansville, and it's easy to see why...

Underwater hockey: two words that you’d probably never guess go together. But Dominic Poggi is committed to making it a household term in the greater Evansville area. After moving from Chicago to Evansville in search of a place to set down roots with his family, Dominic seized the opportunity to expand the sports horizon for everyone. It’s been a welcome addition! Not only is it a beginner-friendly sport, it also comes with numerous health benefits that will have you coming back for more.

Learn more about underwater hockey and how you can benefit from joining the local team, the Evansville Penguins.


What Is Underwater Hockey?

Also known as Octopush (no, we’re not kidding), underwater hockey is similar to ice hockey, except you’ll need flippers and a snorkel - oh, and some swimming skills. It’s basically the version of hockey for all you warm-weather folks who prefer to avoid activities that involve cold weather. The game is more about pushing the puck (also known as the squid) around like a shuffleboard game. 

You don’t need a ton of equipment to get started, which makes it an extremely cost-effective way to get involved in local sports. All it takes is swimwear, fins, a diving mask, a snorkel, and a short stick (a.k.a. a pusher). And if that isn't easy enough, the Evansville league provides gear for beginners.


The History of Underwater Hockey

Believe it or not, underwater hockey isn’t a new sport. The creator of the game, Alan Blake, was also the founder of the Southsea Sub-Aqua club. The first game was played nearly a century ago, in 1954, in Southsea, England

Originally, each team had eight players; hence, octo and pushing the puck (push) gives you Octopush. Magic! But the modern version of the game typically has ten players to a team: 6 are on the field at all times, and four are on the sidelines ready to sub in when you just can’t flip those flippers anymore. There are nationwide tournaments, but it’s not recognized as an olympic sport… yet.

How You Can Benefit from Underwater Hockey

Before you dismiss underwater hockey as the latest fad, you should understand just how you can benefit from participating. While the concept may seem simple, it’s one of the best workouts you can do, and you may even have fun while doing it. Here are the reasons why your doctor will love you a little more if you take up this entertaining sport:

1-Improves Flexibility

Yes, you read that right. If yoga isn’t your thing, then maybe it’s time to give underwater hockey a shot. The game of underwater hockey isn’t necessarily a fast-paced one, but it requires skillful maneuvering to outperform the competition. Essentially, it’s a competitive form of water acrobatics. You’ll be doing spins, pivots, and flips throughout the game, which helps increase your range of motion and flexibility over time.

And while it may seem like flexibility isn’t a big deal, you may want to reconsider that position. Your mobility and flexibility are essential to not only exercising and playing sports but everyday actions like getting up and down to play with your kids on the floor, reaching for that thing you need on the top shelf, or even catching yourself before you fall down.

2-Boost Your Cardio Fitness

Here’s your sign that it’s time to ditch the treadmill and trade it in for underwater hockey. Because if we’re honest, there’s literally nothing exhilarating about using the treadmill. So why not get the same (if not better) cardio exercise while actually having fun? 

Underwater hockey gets your blood pumping thanks to the incredible resistance of water. If you’ve ever tried to trudge through water that’s waist-deep, then you’ll understand just how much more effort is required compared to walking through air alone. That’s the beauty of underwater hockey. You get a great cardio workout without feeling like you’re working out.

3-Offers Low-Impact Exercise

Exercise doesn’t need to be high-impact in order to see results. In fact, low-impact exercises are great alternatives to your normal routine. This is especially true if you’ve hit a plateau in fitness - it could be a sign that you need to change up your routine and try something new.

Underwater hockey can offer you all the same benefits as your HIIT workout while taking it easy on your joints and ligaments. That’s because it’s all about the resistance, baby. Your muscles will be working harder to push through the resistance of the water, but you don’t get that jarring high impact like you would from HIIT, CrossFit, or plyometrics. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’ll be a breeze. You’ll probably be surprised at just how much it wears you out.

4-Helps Reduce Stress Levels

If there’s one thing we Americans do well, it’s stress; don’t worry, we’re just as guilty of stressing too much as you! But one of the easiest ways to combat stress and lower your cortisol levels is to exercise daily. And it all comes down to neuroscience.

According to Harvard Health, when we exercise, the neurochemical balance in our brain changes - for the better. Exercise helps mitigate and reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. It also simultaneously boosts the production of endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers and happy pills. Endorphins are the same little neurochemicals that give runners that sought-after runner’s high.

5-Great Source of Strength Training

The Mayo Clinic recommends whole-body strength training at least twice a week and 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. Oftentimes, that can seem like a daunting challenge to add to your already-packed to-do list, especially if you have to go out of your way to make it to the gym.

But here’s the silver lining: underwater hockey checks both strength training and cardio off your list. The games consist of two halves, usually 10 to 15 minutes each. So, if you spend 30 minutes each day practicing or playing underwater hockey, then you’ve already achieved the recommended amount of exercise. Sign us up!

Be a Part of the Future of Recreational Sports in Evansville

There’s never been a better time than now to explore the wild world of sports in Evansville. Dominic Poggi broke the mold by bringing the unconventional sport of underwater hockey to the area, which paves the way for more interesting recreational opportunities in the future. So go on and make your fitness routine a little more fun; you'll be glad you did.

Click here to learn more about playing underwater hockey locally and sign up to be a part of the league.