Underwater rugby was invented in Germany in 1961 and then spread to the Nordic countries where it was called underwater polo. It is still very popular in northern Europe and is also played in Canada and the northeastern U.S. It is a team contact sport and the player with the ball may be attacked, although no hitting, kicking, strangling, or removing opponent's equipment is allowed. It became a CMAS sport in 1978 and more international information can be found at www.cmas.org/underwater-rugby.
U/W rugby is played in a pool 12-18 yards long x 8-12 yards wide x 11-15 feet deep. This sport uses a water polo ball filled with saltwater, so it is slightly negative. A metal basket at either end serves as the goal. Besides team bathing suits, players wear mask, fins, snorkel, headgear, and wristbands.
the object of course it to get the ball into the goal the opponents are defending. Each team has no more than 6 players in the water at any time with 6 more available on deck to substitute at any time. A game consists of two 15 minute halves with a 5 min halftime. Each team is allowed one 60 second timeout per game.
Underwater rugby has gained a foothold here in Cen-Cal in the last several years. The SF Giant Sea Bass (AKA Sea Bass) are playing in San Francisco and Mt. View. See their website at www.sfuwr.org.