Promoting the game of underwater hockey (octopush) to develop a spectatorship
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Newbies - having an introduction to UWH - Plymouth UK

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:01 am    Post subject: Newbies - having an introduction to UWH - Plymouth UK Reply with quote

Newbies - having an introduction to UWH - Plymouth Initiative (UK):
This has been started as a topic on its own (specific to Plymouth UK) as is a good Initiative Project story for the sport of underwater hockey - In bringing the game to the general public:

Newbies - having an introduction to UWH:
Plymouth Underwater Hockey Club Initiative (UK):

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Ravishing Reporter

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Newbies - having an introduction to UWH:
Plymouth Underwater Hockey Club Initiative (UK):

Plymouth Underwater Hockey Club Initiative
Plymouth Underwater Hockey Club (PUWHC), play at Central Park Pool and do these General Public run adult sessions for UWH on Tuesday evenings 9-10pm. The initiative bit is that their structure is set up to for general public adults to gain experience in the game, by pool-time being made available, making the game both accessible and affordable.
There is no Club membership or commitment - it is just 'pay-as-you-go' (and a low and reasonable price so money is less of a restriction to general public participation). This is great for learning the game and promoting the relatively unknown sport.
Moving on from the introduction, as well as mixing it with other more experienced players at the pool, it will be posible to meet other Regional teams for friendly matches and a local League competition each summer - this increases awareness of the 'bigger' picture of underwater hockey.

Here's a little information on the Initiative:

PUWHC ethos
It has always been the vision, that an adult general public awareness to UWH should be promoted and then made both accessible and affordable to participate; It is hoped this ensures that adults who have never played the game or have very little experience, have a route through to being able to play UWH.

Adults that have never played before and the transition of certain skilled youngsters that have never played as/with adults before, are catered before.
New players will need to undergo an induction process: from the initial training in the learner pool to demonstrate or aquire basic snorkling ability, to the shallow end of the main pool to demonstrate or aquire basic personal skills and team-shape awareness, before finally being allowed into the main pool area and mixed into teams (balanced with experienced players).
New Players, in the main pool, are given an orange coloured pusher so to be recognised when in-play. Existing Players (in view of both sportsmanship and the interests of Health and Safety) are always expected to maintain an empathy to those players less skilled/confident/experienced than themselves and use their own capacity to only 'spar' with these newer players in order to bring their game up. This is to develop, both personal-skills and team-shape awareness. It is deemed bad-form, if an orange pusher player is tackelled by a more experienced player.

Throughout the evening, a constructive part of the structure is whereby game-plays are broken down, worked out, built up slowly, pin-pointing each player’s role within any given area and then implemented into actual game situations. This enables increasing choices of gameplay options and also enables familiarisation between players and is usually done in the first 20 minutes of the evenings water time.

Overview of the Teaching Flow Structure:
learner pool - set aside for adults that turn up that have never snorkled before - get practice in use of fins mask and snorkle (out of sight/way of rest of main pool activities)

main pool shallow end - set aside for learning/practicing basic personal skills, then basic team shape skills.

main pool rest of pool - set aside for main games for those players that have reached a level of skill/confidence.

The PUWHC is also forming a competitive team at the top end players to enter competitions. It is to this end that players aspiring to competitive levels would be noticed within the steady flow of new players within the conveyor belt structure as they progress through the sport.

PUWHC organisers

So, .........
The teaching flow structure caters for general public adults to come in from nothing and move up the experience and skill levels. The organisation of the evening also uses this structure to cope with experience or part experienced players turning up (they can be plugged into the appropriate part of the pool) and the occasion that some new players need more time than others (they can stay in shallow end for as long as like) before moving to main game.
It also embraces the youngsters that have come to the top of the youth training sessions (saturdays). If deemed at a skill level (and size/stature/maturity) that would make it safe to join in the adult Tues sessions, they are invited to go along - the mentality requested of the adults is to 'spar' with these, which is not only seen as empathy and fun, but it brings their game up in leaps and bounds, both in personal skills, but also in team shape awareness - something that this Tues adult session is passionate about promoting.

Also... They have indeed fought very hard, merely just to obtain and sustain the facilities in spite of a fair share of ''underwater what!? syndrome'' . . . . . and very very hard againgst a few naughty people who thought the idea was too good and therefore (cowardly and jelously) wanted to own it or kill it and saboutaged and 'poisened' the owners and instigators of the idea (how unscrupulusly naughty is that!). They almost succeeded and 'poisened' the true people, only to find that they then (when holding the reigns) didnt really know what to and ended up loosing the invaluable facilities (how sad and terrible!)........ luckily the story has a good turn and the poisened people recovered (how fortunate and beneficial!) enough and succeeded to recognise the source of cowardly naughtyness and also rebiuld and stabalise the situation with.... once again (to date).... great potential for the promotion and enjoyment of the sport.

Plus new video system.... plus new website.... plus new animation.... etc etc!
As well as this Initiative Structure of facilities, a post university underwater science & media project initiative has set out to create an underwater 'storytelling' filming system to help spectators 'see the game'. Progress to help general armchair public 'see the game' (its called 'see the game' funily enough!) can be followed on the web-site

A credible effort from the organisers - a private effort in a public service - promoting underwater hockey to the adult general public.

Arrow N.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Out of respect to the big picture of the small 'world' of underwater hockey in Plymouth UK the following should be acknowledged:
As well as the Tues evening Plymouth UnderWater Hockey Club (PUWHC) Initiative for the general public there is also:

Plymouth University underwater hockey - (sunday evenings - see university for details). In recent years the uni club has mixed it more and travelled to play with other local non uni clubs in the area. This has allowed them to be known more and also buffers that ''university problem'' of never having anyone play together for more than three years - cus then they leave uni. This flushing always makes the uni team less cohearant as an effective competitive team, when playing against non-uni players, unless they are lucky enough to get a fresher arrive who has played the game before to a good level. The extra games with long established non-uni club players in the area works well (for the good of the game) in both directions.
The obvious limitation for the uni club is that it is for students only, therefore is a 'closed shop', and therefore cannot cater for newbie players from the general public in the big picture of the sport in plymouth...... The PUWHC Initiative at Central Park Pool on the Tuesday evenings now caters for this.

Plymouth Pirates underwater hockey - (friday evenings at Plympton pool) - they dont wear eye patches and the parrots are not allowed in the water (health and safety - you know how it is nowadays).
The club has been around for many years (membership club, run by committee - visitors can go and is easy to join if wish to continue).
The club has a great mix of colourful characters and has established itself (to date) as a fairly 'heavy-handed' and therefore predominantly male adult game evening. The pool is clear, but has no real space for proper separate training and the club evening is usually spent with a full-on game. This caters for established players (with a 'leaning' to more hardy players), but does not have the available facilities, or available time slot for newbie players from the general public in the big picture of the sport in plymouth...... The PUWHC Initiative at Central Park Pool on the Tuesday evenings now caters for this.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


The Plymouth concept is good because it encompasses a future vision of being set up with a view to general public participation (a market that is presently minimal - only because it is an unknown sport, not because it is an un-attractive sport).

Having the structure of the facilities obtained (before the market is proven), is one feat that commands a respect. Having a mentality of organisers that have come at the sport from the 'general public awareness', to make it accessible and affordable is another feat that, in time, may prove invaluable to bringing knowledge of the sport to a wider general public audience.

Tie in the research and development of the filming system that is being created for use as a general public promotional education tool and a coaching tool for existing players (they never really know what they play like, because they never see themselves! ....or their fouls or brilliant team plays). Also aimed as a teaching tool (setting the bar) to existant media on how to give the spectator no less of the true game, than will be offered by the new multi campod system.

All this has taken time and effort to set up. Time and effort to hone the balanced structure and methodology. Time and effort to protect against impatient or 'me-me' existing local players. Time and effort to negotiate facilities against (to date) a non-existant therefore an unknown market.

Underwater Hockey Clubs are usually, historically, set up because a group of existing players want to play in their town - a pool is hired, then numbers are sort to help to justify the costs.
As the game is somewhat small numbers, the players are all passionate and the clubs are all flexible (nowadays) to other players popping in as visitors. This leads to a great wealth of experience being available to up and coming players - worthwhile and valuable 'nutrition' to the growing sport. Inter club competitions are another vibrance that get a bit of rivalry (usually fun) and adrenaline going.
The youth have been seen as the future to the sport (common phrase) and most clubs have a youth facility - sometimes in the shallow end, if pool size permits and sometimes on another day (Saturdays is common), if volunteers are available to instruct and encourage those that attend.
Although it would not be denied that youth are our future, I would add an observation (bore out by the video promotion to win the 2012 Olympic bid) - that is that youth are our future, yes, but bear in mind that the youth aspire to be as their heros and heroines - usually adults and usually seen by a youngster, from the comfort of their sitting room, on their TV. To get the game filmed (story telling) is, in my mind as important to the sports future as youth training. The fact that it is, to date, missing from the TV, needs changing and this, it is hoped, in the future, will allow the inspiration of more youngsters to their known and chosen heros and heroines of future Underwater Hockey - as followed on TV).

All these club level activities and set ups have held an often unknown, somewhat 'secret' world of this vibrant sport together - and have kept the sport alive and evolving since 1954 (when it was invented).
The plymouth initiative just adds a new step (in beat with modern technology maybe?!) of being set up with the different structure to allow the adult general public to experience the game from first hand participation and from visual participation, therefore wider knowledge of the otherwise unseen game.
This later part has the effect of stimulating the general public and existing players with visual referenced knowledge, the media with visual referenced story telling methods of filming the real game and not just point-a-camera at 'something perculiar & quirky'.
Even the governing bodies are now looking to show the game in better light. The seethegame website admin were asked for advice so the British Underwater Hockey governing body would have a more professional looking website. (they even liked the forum idea so much they copied the layout!).
Sometimes to get things going, you just have to start something then others join in....... and........ others get all excited and seek to steal (from a base evolution mentality 'benefit-from-someone-elses-work!).

Here in the south west there are many clubs with high standards. You can play each night of the week if you travel within a 45 mile diameter. All the clubs together in the area offer a great richness to the sport.
The PUWHC Initiative is slightly different in structure and it is hoped that it will, not only promote the sport, but also be able to cater for the market of interested players, that may be created as well. ... Not only at plymouth, but around other UK councils, bringing the numbers involved in the sport to higher levels in the pools, the popularity and familiarity of the sport into the sitting room, and perhaps even encoraging more finance to be available to the sport in general because..... it IS (many don't know it at the moment) dynamic to play and also to spectate.

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