Caution: Playing Underwater Ice Hockey Might Result In Black Outs

  • Brad Cohen

So, underwater ice hockey? Sure, why not.

Players wearing wetsuits and flippers dive into a hole cut in a frozen pond and play upside down, using the underside of the ice as the playing surface. The game is played the same way as hockey, except periods are 10 minutes with 10 minute breaks in between for players to warm up.

Watch highlights below from a game in Austria, complete with appropriately tranquil music:

Oh yeah, and divers go without the benefit of oxygen, so players sometimes become disoriented (you know, because they’re upside down in freezing water) and struggle to find the air hole. This, not surprisingly, results in occasional blackouts. But have no fear, the four underwater referees all have oxygen tanks.

While this sport certainly ranks towards the top when it comes to extreme sports, it’s not exactly thrilling for spectators. The more exciting aspects of hockey—like checking, fights and general speed—have been stripped away and we’re left to watch men slowly swim towards a puck and attempt to push it into a net.

It looks sort of like a surreal, life-sized version of table hockey where two players, who can only move in one direction, struggle to gain control of the over-sized puck as it gets stuck at the edge of the table.

Still, as boring as it might be to watch, the people who play the game are undoubtedly badasses.

[SB Nation]