It may not have looked like much other than a few splashes and fins to a passer-by, but there was a lot more happening underwater at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre last weekend as the 2008 New Zealand Inter Zone Underwater Hockey Championships took place. 16 teams across 3 grades battled it out to find out what region would be named champions.
The Tournament was played to international rules, with 15 minute game halves, a court size of 25 metres by 13 metres and to a depth of 2 metres. There is a high amount of fitness, skill and finesse required to play this quirky three dimensional sport all while holding your breath!
In the Men’s grade, there was little doubt that the Northern A team, which included 8 players from the current New Zealand Men’s Elite team, would be able to maintain their 1st place seeding after the round robin which they did, cruising to score 9 goals to Central A’s 1 goal in the final.
The women’s grade was dominated by the Central A team during the round robin. In the final, the Northern Women’s team scored an early goal against Central A but they were unable to hold on to the lead with Central A winning the final match 8-2.
The tournament was a great build up for those players that will be representing New Zealand at the World Underwater Hockey Championships to be held in Durban this April.
Australian Invitational team