ICE HOCKEY – THE MOST EXTREME WINTER SPORT
If the idea of regular ice diving is not so scary, then you should think about ice hockey. Do not confuse with classic ice hockey or even underwater hockey. This sport was conceived in 2005 by freediver Christian Redl and his training partner Jaromir Fukal. A few years later, 2007, the first world championship was held in the Austrian city of Weissensee, where the Finnish team won. Other gaming countries were the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia. The second world championship in underwater hockey was held in February 2013 in Weissensee (Austria), where Austria won the championship.
Despite the fact that people from northern Europe are the best sportsmen in winter sports, athletes from Austria were able to surpass everyone. The temperature of the “water” during the game reaches the mark of 5 degrees, which is why it is not surprising that the participants in the competitions are mainly residents of countries with harsh climates.In 2015, in Russia, an ice hockey championship was held in Siberia. It is noteworthy that the tournament allowed its participants to play scuba diving, despite the fact that traditional underwater hockey is intended for freedivers. This sport is based on traditional hockey with several (rather obvious) differences. The skating rink is much smaller than a regular hockey rink, 6 meters wide and 8 meters long and located under the ice. The rink is also equipped with side shields, including the names of sponsors, very similar to any typical sport.
Players may not be able to skate, but should be good swimmers and hold their breath for a long time. Before the match, they put on wetsuits with a mask and flippers, and also take with them a specialized club. Breathing apparatus is allowed to be used only during “unofficial” underwater hockey matches. The game washer is made of polystyrene foam and has a large shape. The gate is made in the form of a triangular hole.
The rules of the game are specific. Players are under the ice upside down. Usually teams consist of 2 to 3 people. Halves last 10 minutes. As in ordinary hockey, the game is developing rapidly, because due to the low temperature of the water, athletes must act very energetically. After a 10 minute game, athletes are given time to take a break, which also lasts 10 minutes.
As in ordinary hockey, teams tend to score the most points by directing the puck into the goal of the opposing team. Given that matches can become physically difficult for health, players are allowed to rise to the surface every 30 seconds to catch their breath and gain air. Four referees with scuba gear watch the game and are under water as well as athletes.
The first world ice hockey championship was held in 2007, and every year there are more and more people interested in this sport. The main seven participants are from the countries: Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia. Every year, the composition of representatives of different states is becoming wider. Russian athletes conquer their homes, develop local lakes. Competitions are held in the Kemerovo region, in the area of the flooded Timir quarry, as well as on the pearl of Siberia – Baikal. The main participants are teams from Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Altai and Kuzbass.
Ice hockey is included in the rating of the most extreme sports. For the game, athletes need not only good health and a good vestibular apparatus, but also mutual understanding and solidarity in the team.
This sport has impressive prospects; matches are already broadcast on television and discussed in newspapers.