Take a game kind of like rugby. Take away the uniforms and the cleats. Take away the field. Turn the ball into a torpedo. Keep the passing. Keep the strategies. Keep the tackling.
Now, take the whole damn thing and put it under water.
It’s called Underwater Torpedo League started and run by a man named Prime Hall.
I was in Oceanside with Null Gravity Media, who was tasked with gathering underwater video of the event. I was ground support for the day and stayed dry while Jon filmed and shot photos while donning SCUBA gear. From the surface, there isn’t much to see. The referee would toss a rubber torpedo and the two 5-person teams would rush forward in the 10-foot-deep pool. I would see clusters of bodies gathering below, a player would speed off and another player would come up for air. This process reset every point until the 30ish minutes passed and the game was over.
When Jon climbed out of the pool the first words out of his mouth where, “You have to see this from underwater, this game is insane.”
Jon’s documented everything from combat to world disasters. If he says something is “insane,” it’s bound to be pretty intense.
I reviewed the footage in the car, “Holy $*!%.”
The torpedo can only be handled and passed underwater to avoid a penalty, so the opposing team does whatever they can to take it away- including the underwater tackle. Keep in mind these players are wearing swimsuits and goggles, no breathing apparatus, just lung capacity. And these players aren’t like apnea divers, reaching a state of calm before diving. Nope, the player in possession must fight off the opposing team and either dash, pass, or score. All on a single breath. While in a headlock.
It’s intense to watch and it has to be an adrenaline rush to play.
What I found most contradictory to the overall scrappiness of the sport, however, was the camaraderie of the players sitting on the edge of the pool. They encouraged each other to play, in fact, they encouraged all the other players to play. It didn’t matter if the player was the best point scorer or a relative newbie. It was about getting in the water and playing. It was refreshingly inclusive from what could be an otherwise machismo attitude.
However, it does have the aggressiveness and just the right amount of danger to make it the coolest up-and-coming sport to watch.
Check it out by visiting: www.underwatertorpedoleague.com or find them on Instagram: underwatertorpedoleague.