Welcome to Underwater Hockey (Octopush)! We are a small, friendly club that are always open to new members joining, whether you are a sporting pro or have never played before and are interested in learning something new.
Octopush is a non-contact sport, which can at times get rough. Whilst a team consists of 10 players, you can only have 6 in the water at one time meaning you'll have 4 subs. These subs can be in water in a designated subbing zone and are able to substitute at any point during the game once their sub has entered the subbing zone. The aim of the game is to push the puck, which is a brightly coloured plastic covered weight, along the bottom of the pool into the other team’s goal (a metal gulley).
As the sport is underwater it requires players to hold their breath. This means that team work and passing is critical to maintain control of the puck, however our sport is unique due to the lack of communication you possess. Equipment required consists of a mask, snorkel, water polo hat, fins, protective glove and a 6-8 inch wooden or plastic hockey stick, however our club can provide any equipment you may need.
We are currently 8 times student national champions, which is a fantastic achievement for a club of our size. With our achievements we hope to expand the club to new members and hope that the sport we are passionate about can be enjoyed by other students in the university.
We train at Plymouth Life Centre on Sundays from 17:00-19:00. We usually walk as a group from the student union to the life centre to catch up with each other and socialise before each session. As we approach our main competition time, those who are more competitive and make the teams will usually meet before the session starts with the captain to run through an indepth session structure, positions, fouls, formation and self analysis. This usually runs as a fun bonding session, whilst in turn preparing us effectivley for the upcoming weeks.
For the more passionate members there are also external sessions run by our local Octopush clubs on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. However, it is suggested that members only attend these sessions once slightly more adept at the sport, as they will be involved with senior members who have played for several years.
Octopush is a great sport for the casual player but also the budding athletes out there. Having four subs available means that if players are feeling tired or don't quite have the stamina then they are able to rest at any point during games. Alternatively, players are able to play for as long as their body allows, pushing themselves to the limits and testing their fitness levels. As the sport requires players to hold their breath it has huge anaerobic benefits for fitness which are noticed considerably in other sports. A large number of our members play other sports and use Octopush primarily to improve their fitness in a less conventional way. It is most definitely more fun than going for a run in the park on a Sunday evening! Also, Octopush is great training for swimmers and water polo players as it gives them more pool time and varies their training. On top of this Octopush is an amazing sport which is filled with many memorable moments. Although we are a small club we have gained some big acheivements and hope to push forward with our competitive side, whilst also acoomodating those who prefer to play recreationally.
Socials and Fundraising
As a club we have always prided ourselves for our socials. Whether this is through our drinking socials with the famous golden snorkel or through our sober socials such as quiz nights. We are also very open to our members thoughts and always like it if you pitch in with wild ideas!
Here is a list of some of our ideas for this academic year:
- Movie Night
- Quiz Nights
- Games Night
- T-shirt social
- Club Nights
There are also many other socials planned, allowing for team bonding in a more relaxed environment. Each year we also run a glove social prior to Student Nationals (to make more gloves for the club), and a christmas meal.
Fundraising and volunteering is very important to a small club such as Octopush. Making a massive impact in the university is hard to achieve when the club is small. But each year we manage to pull together and work as a team to volunteer and raise as much money for charity as possible. In previous years we have raised enough to gain us the Gold ICONS title, which is very a proud achievement. This year, we are planning on participating in fundraisers such as Movember, and local volunteering opportunities such as beach cleans.
Normally each year we have two major competitions; the tournament we host, and Student Nationals. Previously known as Valentines, our competition was usually carried out in February. However, due to its proximity to the National tournaments, we have decided to move this to around Easter time to allow for more teams to participate in a fun and friendly competition! Other university teams join us as well as some of our more local teams, and there is a meal afterwards. Student Nationals is held in February in Leeds, and is the biggest university competition in the country, where every university team plays against each other in hope of earning the title national champions. We have previously performed very well at this competition (8x National Champions) and we're looking for a top spot in 2024!
Every year we aim to enter two teams into both competitions. One team of our most elite/dedicated players aiming to win and another team of our more casual players who play less often or are not as keen on big competitions. Many new members to the sport compete at a national level and some have even become National Champions six months after joining the sport.
Our Captain will usually try to get us a spot at other competitions run by other universities such as the Oxford competition. This year we aim to attend as many of these competitions as possible to give everyone the best Octopush experience there is.
Our members like to help out wherever possible so if you are interested in helping and joining this weird and wonderful sport, ask the committee or check out our Facebook page, Plymouth Uni Underwater Hockey Club, and instagram, plymouthmantas.