Yes, Seattle Has an Underwater Hockey Team

Seattle’s underwater hockey team heads to nationals
Brangien Davis  |   June 2014   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
seattle underwater hockey team octopush seattle magazine
Smells like team spirit: the Seattle octopush team goes for the gold

Seattle is known for its rabidly loyal fans—we love our Seahawks, Sounders, Storm and even the troubled Mariners—but there’s one local team that has yet to gain a vocal following: the Seahammers. The lack of team scarves, 12th men and bobbleheads is likely due to the fact that the Seahammers are hard to see. Seattle’s underwater hockey team, founded in 1988 by Western Washington University grad Patrick Carboneau, plays at the bottom of a swimming pool, the athletes only surfacing briefly to grab a breath. Also known as octopush, this coed, limited-contact sport has been around since the 1950s (with competitive teams in the U.K., Australia, Canada, South Africa and the U.S.), and follows the same basic rules of ice hockey, played underwater, with snorkels, swim masks, fins and a short stick used to push the puck. Always looking for new members (massive lung power a plus), the Seahammers are hoping to increase their name recognition and fan base—they practice at the Seattle University pool, and welcome “spectators” (although it involves signing a waiver in advance at the front desk). Last year the team placed seventh at the National Underwater Hockey Tournament and this month returns to nationals (June 27–29 in Minneapolis), among a watery field of about 24 teams. So if you happen to be in the area, consider devising a Seahammer costume and cheering those splashes on the surface.