Underwater Rugby is the only 3 dimensional team sport in the world. It is played below the surface of the water in a swimming pool by two teams. A team consists of a maximum of 15 players, six in the water, six exchange players and three reserves. Each player is wearing basic underwater equipment, i.e. fins, mask, cap with ear protection and snorkel. The object of the game is to put a negatively buoyant ball into the opposing team’s goal having the design of a larger sized waste paper basket. One goal is located at each end of the playing area on the bottom of the pool.
The playing area shall be 12 – 18 meters long and 8 – 12 meters wide. The depth of the water shall be 3,5 – 5 meters.
The duration of the game is divided into two periods of 15 minutes with a recreation time of 5 minutes. When the game is interrupted the time counting equipment is stopped. The match is controlled by 1 Land Referee and 2 Under Water Referees one at each side of the pool bottom carrying bottles of compressed air.
Only the player who is in possession of the ball can be tackled. Intentionally violent tackles are prohibited.
The sport has been developed in Germany in the early sixties.
At present many national and international tournaments are carried out up to Continental – and World Championships for men-, women- and youth teams.