Third training time!

Mariendorf Ankogelbad-001
Thanks to our beloved Club – The Sporttaucher Berlin – we can now train three times a week!

The new training time is on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 8:30 pm in Kombibad Mariendorf. Right after that, the underwater rugby players are training in the same pool, so anybody who wants to, can stay and join their training for another hour.

We practice in the diving pool, so it’s deeeeeeeeeeep! 3.8 metres, to be exact. It’s a bit difficult at first, but a great practice!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the bottom!

Advertisements

Munich Underwater Hockey Open Air 2017

On the 22nd of July, it finally was time for one of the biggest competitions in Germany, the Munich open air. Well, Munich is an overstatement, as it’s located in the middle of nowhere basically. But nonetheless, it gives you the chance to enjoy the wonderful countryside of Bayern.

Half of our team left early and probably had the chance to enjoy this a bit more. The car I took left Berlin at around 5:30 pm. The drive roughly took us 7 hours and we arrived at around 2 am in the morning. Here we came to a darkened camping site where most of the players had pitched their tents and were in a deep coma like sleep. Yet some from our team was waiting on us with a beer and a campfire. So after pitching our tent and drinking a beer, enjoying the stars, you don’t see them like that in Berlin, pity really. We joined the others with a coma like sleep to prepare for the big day tomorrow.

Waking up was not without its complications but after a few hours, a hot shower and a nice cup of coffee we were ready to go to the pool. A wonderful pool in the open air, no surprise there, with two playing fields and a place to swim and practice. After finding our spot and taking a short nap it was time to jump in! The sun seemed to be absent, and with the tiredness, I was wondering how to make it till the end of the day. The first three matches were played in a grey and cloudy morning, but after that, the sun came out and the whole day changed. The weather was amazing! Pro tip from Sumi: bring a wetsuit, yes you need it! I wasn’t burned that badly for a long time.

First German League games

The day was split into two parts: in the morning in one of the fields there was the first German League! UWH starts to grow more, and Munich was the perfect place to kick off the first German League day. We started with 6 teams and it was great to see the turnout and the motivation of the players. In the second play area, there was an international tournament to decide the level of strength of the different teams.  

The second half of the day, we played a big international tournament. After a total of 10 matches, I can safely say that we were out of energy and starting to get a bit – yes bit since we took more than enough food with us – hungry.

The pool was quickly cleaned and after a short shower, we drove back to the camping site, since there the fun would start! After a few beers, we were kindly invited for dinner. Together with around 100 people we were sitting in a big hall enjoying some good food and even better company.

After our hunger was stilled and enjoying some delicious beers it was time for the ceremony.  (Now I would usually write down the list of teams in order that they won, but since I forgot this we have to deal with it in another way). One of the Dutch teams became first and team Berlin became 10th! The rest of the teams are somewhere between those numbers give or take a few.

The day ended with good music, a campfire, delicious beer and great company. An amazing and successful tournament, a perfect day and a great ending. Thanks to the Munich team for the organization! We are already looking forward to 2018!

Summer practice

During summer holidays, most of Berlin’s indoor pools are closed. So we can’t practice in our regular pools. But good news: this year we got some alternative training time in another pool!

So from  July 17th to September 1st, we will practice on Tuesdays from 19.00 until 20:00 in Kombibad Mariendorf. Let’s meet at the pool entrance at 18.45!

There is also fin swimming:

1. Sommerbad Wilmersdorf, 50 m Pool with a Sporttaucher coach
Thursdays: 19:45 – 20:45/21:00, Meeting at entrance of Sommerbad Wilmersdorf at 19:20.

2. Sommerbad Olympiastadion, 1 lane in 50 m Pool, without coach
Fridays: 20:00 – 21:30 Uhr, Meeting at entrance of Sommerbad Olympiastadion at 19:30

Pictures Pictures Pictures!

Thanks so much Christoph Giese for the awesome pics! Feel free to tag yourself!

Posted by Sumi Roos on Monday, July 10, 2017

Berlin’s first UWH training camp

No air. Cold. Wet. Dodging speeding pieces of lead. Sore muscles.

It takes something special to enjoy putting themselves in that condition – once. Finding people that enjoy it all day long, well that’s just… awesome! That is exactly what we found in Berlin this weekend for the first ever Berlin Underwater Hockey Day.

Thanks to the fantastic support from our club, Sporttaucher Berlin e.V.! Our dreams of 3 years came true – we were finally able to bring people to Berlin to play UWH, for a whole day!

We kicked off bright and early, with half of Team Berlin arriving at the pool at 8am to get everything set up. Some of our team hosted a few players from other cities, and they also came to help get things happening, so set up went super fast. Our heros from Hannover also arrived early, bringing with them a set of goals. UWH goals are 3m wide, heavy, often custom made, and Berlin doesn’t have any. Hannover was kind enough to pack up theirs in the back of the car and drive them all the way to Berlin, which was very cool of them! The old saying “many hands make light work” was definitely true in this case, and we were ready well ahead of time!

Theory lesson

The official program started off with an hour of theory. Lots of players do theory as beginners, or once they’re playing at a high level, but sometimes it’s missing in mid-level hockey, which means physical strength and speed get over emphasised. We wanted to make sure that we focussed on two really important pillars of playing good hockey: sandwiches and depth control.

Sandwiching is when an attacking play from one team is blocked by one player from the opposing team, usually forcing the attacking player to turn, where another player from the defending team is waiting as the other slice of bread in the “sandwich” to steal the puck. This move can be used in attack or defense, relies a lot on good timing, and when it’s done well, makes for fluid, beautiful hockey. Depth control is important for players to understand – it’s the theory of when to be at what depth in the water. For example, if you’re on the surface and a breakaway against your team happens, it takes you much longer to get down and chase the attacker down. If you’re already on the bottom, you might run out of air while you’re waiting there, and it’s harder to change direction. If you’re waiting in the middle depth, you can get to the surface to get fresh air quickly, and you can engage in the game in many directions much faster than from the surface.

 

Once the theory was over, it was time to get wet. Our initial plan was to practice what we’d learned in the theory session in short games, but we quickly found that the pool was a little small to accommodate two 6v6 training games at once. Luckily, some of the players stepped in to help, and we spontaneously changed up the session to have two experienced players coaching the teams playing games in one half of the pool (thanks Alan and Dasha) and another running team drills in the other half (thanks Toby). It was nice to play with different people in a training environment, and good to work on new skills and tactics outide of the hectic frenzy of full-speed games. It couldn’t last forever though, and eventually, the fun was broken up by a horde of eager Schnupperers (new people coming to try hockey) arriving!

Schnupperkurs

We’d been a little nervous about running a come-and-try session, because none of us had ever done it before, but Cris, Sumi and Laura did a great job. Until about a week before we only had 3 registrations, and then all of a sudden we had 15 in total two days before the big event. That was great – except that we don’t have that much spare gear! We ended up racing around last minute to collect enough gear to get everyone ready to go – a big thanks go out to Sumi and Wolf (from our club Sporttaucher Berlin) for finding a whole stack of masks and fins on Friday night, and to the VDST (federation of diving sports in Germany) for sending us a whole box of gloves, sticks and hats, which saved the day!

In the end the Schnupper session was a great success. We had some young finswimmers participating, who were lovely and polite out of the water – but turned into sharks as soon as they got in the water – some freedivers as well as divers from other clubs in Berlin, and some people who just thought holding their breath and chasing a puck around the bottom of the pool sounded like fun! It was great to see so many people keen to give hockey a go!

Competition time!

Once the Schnupper session was over, it was time to get serious. All the players were divided up into 4 teams of approximately equal skill level (we tried to keep clubs together, but balanced the teams where we could by mixing more experienced players in). Christian did a great job of creating a tournament plan, and games got underway with Heidelberg vs Berlin grudge match.

It quickly turned out that someone must had paid off Christian to make Heidelberg a little overpowered by assigning no newbies to the team (even so Chris claims that he just wanted to create a proper challenge for team Berlin). This however backfired as Heidelberg left Berlin no chance and annihilated the home team 7-0.

The next game was between two mixed teams, Hannover-Elmshorn and Munich-Pirania. Despite having lots of newer players and not having played a lot together, Hannover came out of the gates super strong and scored very early to take a 1-0 lead. The rest of the first half was a full tilt battle with no score – both teams did great defensive work to keep the puck out of the tray. Munich-Pirania afterwards must have had a good team talk at half-time, because they were a different team in the second period, driving home three goals in 8 minutes to leave the score at 3-1 when the clock stopped.

The victors didn’t get long to celebrate though, as they had to get straight back in the water against a rested Heidelberg team (due to only having four teams, some teams had to have two games in a row). Although Heidelberg had no subs, the team meshed very well together, and led by a very strong forward line took home a 6-0 win.

Berlin then had a chance to make up for their earlier loss, putting their numbers and teamwork into play against Hannover-Elmshorn. Berlin’s forward line seemed to work well together, opening play up the sides of the pool repeatedly resulting in goals. Hannover-Elmshorn made a massive effort to push down the pool, only to be fouled in the goal area, causing a rare penalty shot 2 on 1 situation. A mistake in the setup of the 2 on 1 meant that Hannover’s players had to come from further out than normal, which gave Alan, the Berlin defender, more time to set up and defend the attack. The result? No goal, and a reset of play. Although Hannover-Elmshorn team pushed hard in the closing minutes of the game, no attacks made it through, and the game finished up 6-0.

You’d think that after the battle in the previous game, Berlin would struggle to jump right back in for a second game, and you’d be right. But that’s what had to happen, and it couldn’t have been for a more important game: Munich-Pirana vs Berlin. Two teams, both with one win and one loss. The victor would move on to the finals, the loser would be left to play for bronze. Battle commenced, and what a battle it was. The game was close, and both teams were desperate. Mistakes were made, and two Berlin players fell victim to the rough game within 5 minutes of each other, being hit hard with an elbow and a puck respectively. Despite this, Berlin pushed on to score, but not before Munich-Pirania pushed their advantage and put in a goal. After the half-time, Berlin added 2 more goals to the tally, to finish up 3-1 with a place in the finals.

The final game of the round robin was Heidelberg vs Hannover-Elmshorn. Heidelberg put their experience into play, and clinically dissected their opponents to finish 9-0. They did make one mistake though: going full power. Little did they know, but that would cause them problems later.

Finals

Finals started after a short break with the bronze medal match between Munich-Pirania and Hannover-Elmshorn. Both teams gave it their all, but Munich-Pirania was fresher, and the experience of their backs shone through, making it difficult for Hannover-Elmshorn to gain a foothold (or rather flipper-hold) in their attacking half. Munich-Pirania fought hard and scored several goals, before Hannover-Elmshorn broke through and scored a beautiful goal. It wasn’t enough though, and Munich-Pirania continued their attack to score 3 more goals in the second period and leave the game at 6-1, taking home 3rd place overall.

For the final both teams agreed to add a few more players to keep things interesting. Berlin beefed up their back line with Burak from Munich, and added Artur from Pirania to contribute a bit more offensive firepower. Heidelberg added Laura from Munich, who added some freshness to a pretty tired forward line, and the game began. Right away it was clear that Heidelberg would definitely not have an easy time of this game, and had to fight for every inch of pool. The added experience of the Berlin reinforcements meant that Heidelberg didn’t have as much freedom to build up their open game, and despite Heidelberg scoring an early goal, Berlin came back with a big Cris-Alan punch to score an equalizing goal. Heidelberg fought back, but the long day of hockey was wearing on everyone by now. The end of the first half came without another goal. After the half-time, everyone knew it was all on the line and only 8 minutes to go, and the game got intense! Berlin defended well, but Heidelberg escaped up the wall to score a goal, bringing it to 2-1. Despite a last push by Berlin, Heidelberg saved another strong attack, and counterattack to put the nail in the watery coffin, ending the day with a 3-1 victory and 1st place!

Once games were over the tired and hungry players collected their belongings and tramped in the direction of the showers – but not before helping out with putting the pool back together. Team Berlin is super thankful to everyone – the pool staff told us privately that they have never seen a bunch of people help out so well to get everything back in place, and said we’d be welcome back anytime. Super awesome stuff!

And most importantly: dinner!

Next on the agenda was dinner! 35 hungry players and friends descended on Pignut BBQ, purveyors of fine meat for a feast to finish off the day. The keg was cracked open, piles of pulled pork burgers and smoked ribs appeared on tables, and everyone got stuck in.

We were also super lucky to get some sponsorship from Australia’s best “togs” manufacturer – Funky Trunks/Funkita who donated 4 pairs of very snazzy bathers for some lucky participants, and from Apneashop.pl, a dive gear/UWH shop based in Poland and run by all around good guy Daniel Sielowski, who donated a pair of brand new sticks. We were super happy with all the support we received for this event, from the sponsors, from our club Sporttaucher Berlin, from VSDT with the gear box, from Pignut BBQ for the last minute allergy-handling, and from all of the awesome players and volunteers who came, played, and helped out with all the little stuff that made the day work. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we really appreciate it!

We’re already planning our next event, and look forward to bringing everyone lots more UWH action from Berlin! Until next time, happy hockey!  

Unterwasserhockey Schnuppertraining / Underwater Hockey try out session

Flyer für Unterwasserhockey Schnupperkurs

 

German (English below)

Unterwasserhockey ist eine Sportart, die in Deutschland noch nicht viele kennen. In den 1950ern in England erfunden, erfreut sich dieser Teamsport zunehmender Beliebheit und wird mittlerweile in 28 Ländern der Welt gespielt – nun auch in Berlin!

Unterwasserhockey verbindet Fitness,Teamplay und Taktik, sowie Schwimm- und Pucktechnik im Wasser und macht einfach Spaß!

Am 01.07.17 findet im Rahmen eines Trainingstages ein Schnupperkurs statt. Einlass ist um 12 Uhr, Kursbeginn um 12.30 Uhr. Wer Schnorchel, Tauchermaske und Flossen besitzt, gerne mitbringen, ansonsten bei der Anmeldung angeben, was fehlt. Die restliche Ausrüstung wird gestellt.

Anmeldungen bis 27.06. per E-Mail an: berlinuwh@gmail.com
Der Eintritt ins Bad ist selbstverständlich frei!
Das Facebook-Event findet Ihr hier: https://www.facebook.com/events/707516156119847

—–

Introduction to underwater hockey

Underwater hockey is a sport that isn’t very well known in Germany yet. Invented in the 1950s in England, this team sport enjoys increasing popularity and is now played in 28 countries around the world – and now also in Berlin!
Underwater hockey combines fitness, teamplay and tactics, as well as swimming and puck techniques in the water, and is a lot of fun!

On 01.07.17 we are organising a trial session for everyone who’s interested in playing underwater hockey.

Entrance is at 12, the course starts at 12:30 pm. If you have your own snorkel, diving mask and flippers, please bring them. Otherwise let us know which gear you need and we’ll organise some for you to borrow.

Please register via email to berlinuwh@gmail.com until 27.06.
Admission to the pool is of course free!
You can find the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/707516156119847