Warm up swimming is done first without, then with fins. Finswimming makes this sport very fast-paced.
The gear of the players are checked by the surface referee to avoid harm done by sharp edges. Two other scuba diver referees are watching the game underwater.
The game is very exhausting. 6 players are in the pool at the same time, and each player has an exchange player by the pool waiting to jump in as their pair comes out for a half a minute break.
The players wear a snorkel and mask so they keep track of the game even when they surface for air.
A separate exchange lane is used to avoid the exchange players hitting someone when jumping in.
The physical demands of underwater rugby are various. The best players are not only big, strong and powerful, but also fast and agile and great swimmers.
However, unlike most sports, underwater rugby is actually quite safe. The resistance of the water lowers the risk of injuries. The most common ones are only scratches done by the fins.
As this sport is done breathhold and even the best players run out of air at some point, tactics and teamwork are crucial.
Smaller teams are usually mixed gender teams, but larger tournaments have women's league.
Despite the fact that it's a very young sport, it's played in more than 25 countries, and keeps spreading around the world.