The Champions Cup in Berlin is happening in 2 days. It is one of the most important events of underwater rugby. For the first time ever, a team from the USA, New Yersey Hammerhads will also be participating amongst 13 other teams. If you'd like to show your support for them and for the sport attend their event on Facebook which invites people to watch the broadcast via live stream. How many of us would be there IRL, how many would attend virtually? We'll see. If you'd like to help advertise the livestream, please translate this message to your language and add it in a comment, I'll add it to the post.
Have you ever wondered how many people play underwater sports, either hockey or rugby?
Based on the map of uwr1.de/vereine, there are (an estimated) 75 teams in Germany and Austria, 169 teams in Europe, 28 teams in the in America, 19 in South-America, 9 in North-America. There are 206 teams all over the world as some are located in Africa, Asia and Australia.
My source for hocky was http://www.pucku.org/tourist/. 124 teams located in Europe, 95 in America, 6 in South-America, 89 in North-America. 307 altogether, as there are 42 teams in Australia?
These are, again, estimated numbers, probably not all teams are registered here.
As it seems, underwater hockey has grown large everywhere where rugby is not present. It makes sense, as hockey does not require a diving pool to be played in. It may catch your eye, that in such countries, where one is strongly present, the other one starts growing as well, like Columbia (UWR) and New-Zealand (UWH) and the USA (UWH again). It shows that these teams have recognised the similar nature of their sports and they most likely co-operate or at least more open to each others sports. On the other hand, there is only one rugby team in Great Britain, where hockey started, and only 5 hockey teams in Germany, where rugby started.
The largest event of UWH was the 18th CMAS World Championship held in Eger, Hungary in August 2013. "This event once again saw all age/gender divisions, now including men and women in U19, U23, Masters and Elite categories compete - there were 68 teams competing across the eight age/gender divisions from 19 participating countries, making this World Championship the largest competition in the history of the sport to date."
As I've heard, it was a great event, yet, some of these many teams and nations stayed away. It makes me think that UWH is less organised for it's size. Probably it had something to do with the parallel existence of the 2 governing bodies of the sport. I think it makes the most sense for the 2 team sports to belong to the same organisation as well as the other underwater sports, so they could cooperate in training, PR and organising events. What do you think?
As for now, I look forward to the Champions Cup, I have high hopes for the broadcasting. The Euroleague was really showing improvements in this recently, so Berlin should not be any worse.