1. Hundreds of high-performance athletes have descended upon Eger, Hungary in a flurry of fins, sticks and snorkel helmets to compete for the title of Underwater Hockey World Champions.

    Oui, c'est vrai -- underwater hockey exists -- and while the sport itself may be relatively niche, there's mounting evidence to show that it is growing in popularity, both at the professional and recreational level.
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  3. Canada is one of 20 countries participating in this year's championship, the 18th biannual, which will host more than 1,200 athletes from around the globe according to the World Underwater Federation.

    Many of those players belong to clubs and leagues at local community centres, like the London Dolphins Underwater Hockey club and the Ottawa Metro-Central Underwater Hockey Club.
  4. The games work in a manner similar to ice hockey -- players simply push pucks into goals with sticks to score. Six players from each team are active at a time, with four additional players waiting to sub in. Whichever team scores the most goals during the 33-minute-long game wins.
  5. Created by the the British Navy in the 1950's to keep divers fit, underwater hockey is now played around the world by people young and old.

    "The great thing about this sport is that anyone can play, as long as they're comfortable swimming in the water," said Mike Opuszynski, northeast regional director of USA underwater hockey, to the Atlantic Wire.

    It may be an accessible sport to play, but spectating is another story. Many clubs use underwater cameras to observe and record games.
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  7. The 18th Underwater Hockey World Championships has been streaming all tournament play live on YouTube for the world to watch.
  8. 29th Aug - Day 7 Court 1 - 18th CMAS UWH World Championships 2013 - Eger
  9. And many are indeed watching from all around the world, cheering their teams on and sharing in an appreciation for the sport.
  10. Would you play underwater hockey? What land sport would you like to see tried underwater? Please feel free to post your thoughts below.
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