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Rugby is Going Underwater

Underwater rugby rules and equipment are very different than regular rules for rugby. Safety is much more of a factor as well as how the ball would be able to stay underwater. The CMAS Under Water Rugby Rules were set in place to allow the ball to be played under the water.

1.4  Underwater Ball (see Appendix 3)

1.4.1 Ball descent rate;

A ball filled with water so that it is negatively buoyant shall be used for playing. It shall have a descent rate of 1000 – 1250 mm per second. (C.f. Appendix 3)

1.4.2 Ball circumference;

It shall have a circumference of 520 – 540 mm for men’s matches, and 490 – 510 mm for women’s matches.

1.4.3 Ball visual appearance;

It shall be coloured black, or any other dark colour, and white, of good contrast, or it shall be plain red. The ball shall be easily visible in the water.

1.4.4 Ball selection;

At World or Zone Championsh

ips, all teams have the possibility to present a ball for consideration. The referees will check the circumference, negative buoyancy, hardness, grip, colour, contrast, direction stability etc. This will be done at a time and place stated at the team leaders meeting. If necessary, the referees may reduce the number of balls to be tested.

The representative from each team may give their vote to which ball is to be used in the tournament. A minimum of three balls each for men’s and women’s matches are ranked. The balls are marked clearly, and are kept close to hand in the immediate vicinity of the match protocol table. The balls should be kept hanging in separate nets or fully immersed in buckets with water.


CMAS Under Water Rugby Rules – http://www.uv-sport.dk/cmas/English_doc/CMAS_Int_UWR_december2008.pdf
Photo – www.stuff.co.nz

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Sports Balls is a group of sports enthusiasts interested in the official specifications of balls used as sports equipment. As hobbyists, we are continually amazed at the level of detail used to accomplish fair play.

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