• Underwater Rugby (UWR) is an underwater team sport. During a match, two teams try to score a negatively buoyant ball (filled with saltwater) into the opponents’ goal at the bottom of a swimming pool. It originated from within the physical fitness training regime existing in German diving clubs during the cold winters in the early ’60s and has little in common with rugby football except for the name.

    It was recognized by the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) in 1978 and was first played as a World Championship in 1980.

    In the US, the Underwater Society Of America (USOA) is the sport’s governing body.

  • The Game is played underwater in a pool 12′ to 17′ deep, and goals (heavy metal buckets with a diameter of about 16 inches) at the bottom of the pool. Two teams uniformed with light and dark swimsuits and gear, each with six players (plus six substitutes), try to score a goal by sending the ball filled with saltwater into the opponents’ goal. It is a fast and exhausting game; therefore, players substitute frequently.

    The ball may be passed in any direction but must not leave the water. It “flies” about 3 to 7 feet before water resistance stops it. This makes good tactics and good (three-dimensional) positioning essential. Players need all sorts of different abilities: Strength, speed, agility or good team play are all similarly important.

    White team approaching the blue team’s basket

Required Equipment

Players wear a mask, snorkel, fins, and numbered caps. Uniforms (swimsuits/swimming trunks) must be either dark (blue or black) or light (white).

Recommendations are provided for personal gear below.

Price range ($ – $$$), overall ratings (⭐-⭐⭐⭐), and also some links to local retailers.


We use common diving masks. Generally, masks with a small volume and two separate lenses are preferred. To prevent the mask from moving during the game, the normal elastic strap is replaced with a fabric harness (STRAP) that allows for increased stability.

  • Cressi Super Occhio ($$ – ⭐⭐⭐)
  • Cressi Focus ($ – ⭐⭐)
  • Aqua Lung Sphera ($$ – ⭐⭐)


A regular snorkel with open tip, no purge valve, and a straight (not corrugated) tube. A rubber or silicone Snorkel keeper is recommended for increased stability

  • Cressi Spear Fishing America ($ – ⭐⭐⭐)
  • Cressi Free Diving Gringo ($ – ⭐⭐)
  • Blue Reef Free Diving J-Style ($ – ⭐⭐)


Full foot Fins are preferred. Must be large and stiff enough to provide good power. Rubber Fin keepers are also recommended. We recommend trying another player’s fins in the pool before purchasing to confirm the fin size.

  • Waterway Rugby Fins ($$$ – ⭐⭐⭐)
  • Mares Plana Avanti Tre – Full Foot ($$ – ⭐⭐)
  • Aqua Lung Stratos 3 – Full Foot ($$ – ⭐⭐)
  • Cressi Clio – Full Foot ($ – ⭐)


Water polo caps to protect the ears and are also used to identify teams and players. One dark (blue or black) & 1 light (white)are required.

  • Our club has NJH UWR Caps for sale. ($$ – ⭐⭐⭐)
  • Finis Water Polo Cap ($$$ – ⭐⭐)


Ladies numbered, dark and light swimsuits

  • Our club has NJ Hammerheads swimsuits for sale.


Men’s numbered, dark and light swimming trunks

  • Our club has NJ Hammerheads swimming trunks for sale.


Non-elastic fabric harness with plastic clips for easy adjustment and locking system.

  • Canam Mask Strap ($ – ⭐⭐⭐)


Most items can be found at local dive shops but usually at higher prices or may offer alternates that might not be recommended. The following online shops have items specific to underwater sports:

http://leisurepro.com (US Local)

http://canamuwhgear.com (US Local)

http://finswimworld.com (International)