Timmins UWR to debute at the 22nd. NAL in Toronto

Great news are coming from the Canadian side of the NAL border as four Canadian teams are about to participate on the 2nd edition of the North American UW Rugby Tournament this upcoming August in Toronto.

The regulars have been so far Club CAMO (Montreal, QC) and Toronto UWR (Toronto, ON) together with Club Liberation (Branford, ON) but this August a third club team from the province of Ontario will make their debut as the Timmins Underwater Rugby team, from the City of Timmins, Ontario.

uwrugby.org contacted their organizer Alex Gagnon for a short interview to introduce Timmins UWS to the rest of US and Canadian clubs.

UWRUGBY.ORG:  It was a great surprise to find that a new canadian team has joined the uw rugby world! How did Timmins UWS started?
Alex Gagnon: When you initially contacted me about this, I didn’t realize there were only 3 other teams that currently still exist across all of Canada. It doesn’t surprise me though as I understand now the obstacles that face a new club. Timmins isn’t a big City compared to the other UWR club locations and Underwater Sports usually attract only a small demographic due to it’s perception of intensity. I was lucky to have formed a partnership with my City and local pool to accommodate my initiatives, be flexible with my needs and promote my efforts. How do you get people to pay about $15 (cover pool rental) to try something they don’t know they’ll like or even stay around for? This is why it didn’t surprise me how not many clubs survived. You need to establish a strong interest of participants that can assure numbers at the pool sessions but as a start up how’s this possible? I was able to share the Friday night public swims with the City by closing off a small section of the pool and taking drop-ins who were curious of what we were doing. It was a win-win, they only charged the normal public swim and I brought in regulars who kept coming for the sport. This was a great system….except I received drop-in newcomers in the dozens at times, which is great but also many didn’t expect to join nor had gear for it. Which is the other reason I see Clubs’ tough lifespan. I did get some donations/support from the Toronto/Guelph Underwater Rugby & Hockey clubs and thank them very much but even with that I had to invest in gear for UWH & UWR for numbers that I couldn’t predict. I bring in 3 full bins of gear to the pool to supply over 20 participants if need be and bring them back home every evening to clean and sanitize each piece for health & maintenance reasons. I once had 133 pieces of gear to clean right after a drop-in evening!
UWRUGBY.ORG: Who is the organizer?
A.G. My name is Alexandre Gagnon and I can proudly say I have brought a surviving Underwater Sports Club to Timmins. Underwater Hockey started October 2017 and drop-in sessions every Friday night and Underwater Rugby started in March 2018 running drop -in sessions only Monday Evenings for the first few months and now 2 sessions a week (Wednesdays too).
UWRUGBY.ORG: Where is Timmins located?
A.G. Timmins is a mining community in Northeastern Ontario, approximately 8 hours from Toronto and has a population of 41 788 residents. Going the other direction it is about 7 hours from the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan border.
UWRUGBY.ORG: How many days a week do you practice UWR?
A.G. Currently we practice Underwater Rugby twice a week; Monday and Wednesday evenings 8:15 to 9:30 PM, to accommodate the various schedules of our regulars as well as to have more time to build endurance, skill, welcome more newcomers and simply add more joy to our week.
UWRUGBY.ORG: Having the real UWR goals (baskets) is a big milestone for clubs. Does Timmins have them yet?
A.G. I did not invest in the grand amount for nets as a start up but MacGyvered hours to make the closest replica that I could within my means that could also withstand chlorine water submersion vs. stainless steel. I attached photos of our plastic & foam, mining belt, tywrapped UWR goals. They are a bit wider than regulation nets but about the same height. Maybe the regulation nets will be easier to goaltend on for us when it comes to tournaments as it is a smaller hole to cover!
UWRUGBY.ORG: US and Canadian clubs started a collaboration to develop the sport in both sides of the border through the North American League (NAL) Do you see your team going to tournaments in the US soon?
A.G. I definitely could see this possibility become a reality. We are doing our first tournament this August in Toronto where US teams are travelling to us and if that experience is enjoyed by my members I could see them eager for future tournaments against the same and new teams. I know fees are a challenge when it comes to tournaments with each members personal financial situations. I never wanted that to impede on someone’s potential to experience an Underwater Sports improvement opportunity. This is why I can see a US tournament (further, more costly) easier to swallow as I have set up fundraising efforts for our club through a business I own to try and cover most of the costs (attached image).
UWRUGBY.ORG: I guess your background is UWH. What did you liked about UWR that made you start the UWR part?
A.G.  I did start with hockey as it was easier to get people to try out for the first time. A good chunk of my Underwater Rugby regulars come from being UWH regulars who were very competitive and intrigued from the sounds of UWR. I always planned on adding the sport but knew I had to build that committed group first as it is perceived as an intimidating activity. Now others seeing us scrimmaging during Adult Swims and people who try UWR sharing word of mouth increase our numbers.
UWRUGBY.ORG: What are the dimensions and characteristics of your pool?
A.G.3.81 m deep, 14.5 m across
UWRUGBY.ORG: Do you want to send a message for the US and Canadian uwr teams?
We are fairly new club but we can still make the other teams work. We are eager to learn from the experienced as well as perhaps bring new challenges to the Underwater play seen at previous tournaments.
For any other Canadian individuals looking to create an Underwater Rugby team, DO IT! The work is endless and takes much of you, you may invest more time and money than you should….but it is so worth it.
UWRUGBY.ORG:  Please feel free to add any other info, fun facts, etc
Underwater Sports Change Lives! We have seen amazing transitions in swim ability from players simply attempting to get to depths, players with deep end fears of drowning overcome the phobia, we have had smokers quit their addiction to improve lung capacity and even had someone quit and move out of an employment that took over almost every minute of his weeks to be able to make practices and he discovered a better workplace-life-family balance.
Also our 2 youngest players are a 15 year old girl and a 16 year old boy. Don’t be fooled by their age, they are tough and very dangerous! haha.
Timmins UWR will be one of the possible participants in Toronto
1. Toronto UWR (Can)
2. CAMO Rugby sousmarin (Can)
3. Club Liberation (Can)
4. Timmins UWS (Can)
5. Boston Narwhals (USA)
6. NJ Hammerheads (USA)
8. Orphans team (US-Can)
9. USA Ladies Team (USA)

USA Women’s Underwater Rugby Improving on the path to World’s

By Lindsay Walker.

In May the tryouts for the USA Women’s Underwater Rugby Team was completed. Many players traveled to Florida for a tournament and coach, Juan Sevillano made use of this time to conduct fitness tests on Friday and the final of three tryouts on Monday following the tournament.

34 women came to the third tryout. The number and caliber of players was a significant improvement from previous years. Juan has shown his dedication to the process by sending the players drills and expectations in advance, recruiting volunteers to help with timing during fitness testing, and communicating the selection process with the players from beginning to end.

Juan brought in an amazing player, Natalia Londoño, from Columbia to teach scoring and other drills. Together they broke down many skills and allowed the players ample time to practice. The idea being that even women who don’t make the team can continue to improve and help others grow. The players broke out in scrimmage to allow Juan to analyze their skills under pressure in game situation, with focus on fast passing and avoiding attackers/surface play.

The mood was excellent at the wrap up of the tryouts. Juan and veteran player, Laurie Picot McGrath, highlighted the growth that’s been made with this group of women and the sport of underwater rugby in America. The vast majority of players met up for a meal and to celebrate the conclusion of a great weekend.

Players sent in their recommendations for a “dream team” and Juan announced team selection shortly after. The larger group was whittled down to 21 players, with many women commenting on how difficult it was to select which players moved on. The coach wanted 20 players but several were at the same level, so he selected them all.

What’s next? These 21 players will train hard, in and out of the pool, to improve their skills. Already several women are in Columbia to practice with the experienced teams there and 3 teammates from Boston are set to travel to Sweden for a training camp. 15 players will be selected to attend Worlds in Graz, Austria in Summer 2019.

21st North American UW Rugby Tournament – Pompano Beach 2018

The second and last North American Tournament in US soil for the 2017-18 season was literally played in and out of the pool “underwater”. Despite of the rainy weekend due to tropical storm Alberto, all the activities planed for the long weekend of Memorial Day were sucessfull starting with Friday May 25th and the second round of try-outs for the 2019 US National men’s team.

US Men’s National Coach Jose Echeverry directed a 6 hour session with Physical tests, drills and games to follow the 25 candidates present during this event.

Saturday and Sunday were planned for the 21st North American Tournament (NAL) in the two US categories;  the club (co-ed) tournament and the second round of the ladies tournament.

On Monday Coach Juan Sevillano directed the 3rd try-outs for the US Ladies with drills and games. Top Colombian player Natalia Londoño from Club Castores and the Colombian National team was invited to help oversee the American ladies games.

Ten (10) Club teams and four (4) ladies teams participated during 34 games to find the winners of this round of the North American League as well as the US Champion teams for the 2017-18 Season.

Club Tournament

The 10 teams were divided onto two groups of 5 teams each. Group A had Boston Narwhals as the defending Champions from the previous round in Montreal, New Jersey Hammerheads A, San Francisco Giant Sea Bass, Florida A and NUWR B. This group was very competitive and all the games were strongly played. Boston Narwhals and the New Jersey Hammerheads qualified for the semifinals.

Group B had NUWR A as well as the East Haven Makos, NJ Hammerheads B, DC UWR and Florida B. At the end of the Round Robin NUWR A had apparently an easy ride, winning all their games by K.O. (10-0). The East Haven Makos also qualified for semifinals.

The semifinals brought surprises for the qualified teams. The first semifinal was between NUWR A and the New Jersey Hammerheads A teams, both from Newark, New Jersey. The New Jersey Hammerheads A defeated NUWR A by 3-0 in a very fast and strong game sending the Hammerheads straight to the finals.

On the other semi-final the Boston Narwhals played against the East Haven Makos and defeating the second with a final score of 4-0 sending the Boston Narwhals to their sixth final game in the last six North American Tournaments, an impressive record.

The game for 3rd and 4th place between NUWR A and the East Haven Makos was a copy of their first match during the group round with an easy victory for NUWR A by a score of 10-0.

The final game was a completely new final match in the history of the North American Tournaments. This was the first time Boston Narwhals and NJ Hammerheads played a final game against each other, but not during this tournament. Their first game was during the group round on which Boston defeated the Hammerheads by a close score of 2-1. The final game was as strong as the first game but with fewer mistakes from both sides until Boston capitalized a mistake by the Hammerhead defense and got the goal that made the difference at the end of the game with the 1-0 final score.


1st Place Club – Boston Narwhals







2nd Place – New Jersey Hammerheads A

3rd Place – NUWR A

Club final 2017-18 ranking

With the NUWR A team finishing in third place gave Boston Narwhals the first position on the US Club Ranking for the season:

  1. Boston Narwhals         7pts.
  2. NUWR A                             6pts.
  3. NJ Hammerheads A     5pts.
  4. East HAven Makos        2pts.
  5. DC-UWR                            2pts.
  6. SF Giant Sea Bass           1pt.


LADIES Tournament

The second round of the Ladies tournament had the participation of 4 teams; Makos Ladies, New Jersey Hammerhead Ladies, DC-Boston Ladies (formerly Mixed Ladies) and the Florida Ladies.

The round robin came with strong games and surprises for all teams. Differences between all teams got reduced and games ended with very closed scores. The Dc-Boston team ended first on the group with 3 wins, while the other 3 teams ended-up tied in points and only with a goal difference decided their group ranking having the East Haven Makos Ladies going to the final game with DC-Boston.

During the group round DC-Boston and Makos Ladies had a close and strong game that ended with a DC-Boston victory by 2-0. Their final game was even more exciting and disputed on which the East Haven Makos Ladies were defeated at the end by 0-1 and giving DC-Boston Ladies their first victory on the Ladies tournament.



1st Place Ladies – DC-Boston

2nd Place – East Haven Makos Ladies

New Jersey Hammerhead Ladies

LADIES final 2017-18 ranking

The season for the ladies had a triple tie for the first place (NAL 10.4) and decided by points of direct games (CMAS 4.4.4.a):

  1. DC-Boston Ladies                        7pts.(+9)
  2. East Haven Makos Ladies           7pts. (+3)
  3. NJ Hammerheads Ladies           2pts.
  4. Florida Ladies                                   1pt.

The next and final round of the NAL 2017-18 series is scheduled for August 18-19 in Toronto, Ontario

First US Men’s UW Rugby team Try-outs for Austria 2019 WC

The Road to Austria 2019 for the US men’s team started this past Saturday March 25th in Newark, New Jersey scheduled as the first of a series of try-out events in the US for 2018.

22 players from a pool of 41 candidates from 4 clubs participated in this event directed by the US National UWR Coach Jose Echeverry who was reappointed as Head Coach last year. The players from Boston Narwhals, Florida Krakens, New Jersey Hammerheads and NUWR did some physical tests  on a early session and finished the day with a series of games and drills, closely observed by Coach Echeverry.

The goal for this new US Men’s team is to get a better final ranking on the Austrian World Championship next year improving the 9th place from the previous World Championship in Cali, Colombia 2015. In word from Coach Echeverry “the goal this time is to improve and be a serious contender to the top world UWR teams”

Special thanks to the City of Newark and the department of Recreation and Cultural affairs for their constant support.

The second try-outs are scheduled for Friday May 25th in pompano Beach, Florida prior to the 21st North American UW Rugby Tournament – Pompano Beach 2018 (3rd round of the NAL Season) Invitation to this tournament following this link http://www.floridauwr.com/images/21stNA-UWR-Pompano.pdf

1st US UW Rugby Men’s team try-outs in New Jersey looking forward to Austria 2019 WC


20th North American Underwater Rugby Tournament – Montreal 2018

The North American Underwater Rugby Series came to Celebrate their 20th Edition this past 24th and 25th of February. Club Camo Rugby Sousmarin from Montreal, Canada hosted the two day tournament featuring 7 teams from US and Canadian Clubs. For the first time two clubs from the North American League participated with two teams each across the border. (NUWR A & B and NJ Hammerheads A & B) The other participating teams were Toronto UWR from Ontario, Boston Narwhals and the host club CAMO.

This was the second round of the North American League for the 2017-18 Season. With Seven teams a round robin and then direct finals decided the tournament. The third place game was played between NJ Hammerheads and CAMO with victory of the latest by a clear 6-0

The final game was once again between NUWR and Boston teams both from the US, but this time it was the Boston Narwhals the winner of the tournament with a very close 1-0 score.

Full Results here

All participants at the award ceremony

3rd Place – CAMO RS







2nd Place – NUWR B

1st Place – Boston Narwhals







The next Round of the NAL League is scheduled for May 26th-27th In Pompano Beach Florida hosted by the Florida Krakens.


Ladies Team USA first tryouts

During the weekend of December 9th, 23 women united for the first set of tryouts for the Underwater Rugby USA Team. Juan Sevillano was nominated to be the team coach earlier this month and has coached the women at the previous World’s competition in Cali. He was well prepared with fitness testing and drills sent to participants in advance. Women from all American UWR teams were represented and flew in from Florida and California. There were several players from states that don’t currently have teams, and a couple underwater hockey recruits. There was a lot of experience from the Boston Narwhals team (MA), new talent from the East Haven Makos (CT), local players from NUWR and the New Jersey Hammerheads, and some excellent speed from competitive swimmers and fin swimmers alike. The ladies had ten hours in the pool over the weekend but the unexpected fun came out of the pool with a potluck and fitness games at one of the local players homes. Two more tryouts next year, before the team is selected in May.

Get ready for a fun ride! Juan is already flying high.

19th North American Underwater Rugby Tournament – Newark 2017

The new 2017-18 North American League (NAL) for Underwater Rugby season is about to start in just two weeks in Newark, NJ a city just 40 minutes from New York City. This time hosted by the New Jersey Hammerheads club, the first round of the new season hopes to be the milestone of the new ladies tournament during NAL events.

After the unfortunate events of the 18th NAL that had to be cancelled due to hurricane Irma, the Canadian and US clubs are eager to resume UWR playing soon.

The new season brings changes to the NAL rules on which the most important is the “guest rule” on which club teams can only have a max. of 2 guest players (reduced from 3 from the previous season) The amended rule encourages teams to keep developing local talent.

The 19th NAL tournament will be also the first participation of the U-21 candidates as a team looking forward to their preparation for next year’s 1st CMAS UW Rugby Championship in Germany.

The NAL events are open to foreign teams and also individual players through a “mix team”

For additional information contact Daniel Naujoks at daniel.naujoks@gmail.com or follow the FB event page https://www.facebook.com/events/1497057320368881/

Please download the full invitation here:

2017-2019 USA National Underwater Rugby Coaches elected

The US National Underwater Rugby team coaches have been elected this past Sunday September 17th. The election process began a coupe of moths ago through a process involving all the active UWR clubs in the US through the selection of representatives from each club to be part of a National Coach Election Committee and the USOA Underwater Rugby Director Rolexi Pinzon.

The National Coach Election Committee had the objective to elect the coaches for the next men and women U-21 teams that will participate next year on the 1st CMAS Underwater Rugby World Championship for Juniors – Germany 2018. Also the Committee elected the coaches for the men and women elite teams that will participate on the 11th CMAS underwater Rugby World Championship – Austria 2019

The National Coach Election Committees are proud to announce the election of their national Coaches:

Jose Luis Echeverry was re-elected as the USA Elite Men’s Team National Coach. Jose has an extensive history in the sport as a player as well as coach. Jose participated as a player on the World Championships of Denmark 2003, Colombia 2015 and was the USA Head coach during the WC Colombia 2015. He is the co-founder and Head Coach of the New Jersey Hammerheads.

Juan Sevillano was also re-elected as the USA Elite Women’s Team National Coach. Juan has and extensive history as an Underwater Rugby player including the World Championship Colombia 2015 on which he was the Women’s National Coach.


USA Elite UWR Team Coaches – Jose Echeverry (Men team) – Juan Sevillano (Women team)


Mateo Galeano as the new U-21 Men’s Team National Coach. Mateo Galeano was the team Manager from the previous U-21 USA team that participated for the first time overseas on the 12th. Open UWR European for Juniors in Norway. Mateo will take Filip Mundt’s place as the head coach for the U-21 Men’s team. Mateo is an active player from the Boston Narwhals Team and former USA National team player (Elite and U-21 teams)

Juan Pablo Riomaña was elected as the new coach for the U-21 Women’s Team. Juan Pablo will work in a join effort with Mateo Galeano to put together the first U-21 Women’s team looking forward to next year’s U-21 World Championship. Juan Pablo is an active player from the New Jersey Hammerheads and former USA U-21  team payer. Juan Pablo is one of the top 3 scorers of the North American League 2016-17.


USA U-21 UWR Team Coaches – Mateo Galeano (Men team) – Juan Riomaña (Women team)


North American UWR League 2016-17 ends with Hurricane Irma

Everything was ready for the 18th North American Underwater Rugby Tournament in Islamorada Florida scheduled for this weekend Sept 9-10. But suddenly Hurricane Irma had different plans for the state of Florida and the UWR community in North America.

tournament cancelled

Organized by the Florida Keys Krakens the tournament was going to be a milestone in several aspects for our sport in the US. A woman’s UWR clinic was scheduled as an initial step for the preparation of a ladies team looking forward the next UW Rugby World Championship in Austria 2019. A record of 3 teams registered to a tournament by the same club, the first women’s tournament in the US with 4 teams and the participation of all active USA clubs. And last but not least a record of UWH ladies registered for the first time to give UW Rugby a try as a new sport.

Unfortunately everything had to be cancelled just a few days before the start of the tournament due the to the path of Hurricane Irma. Late on tuesday night a conference call took place between the organizers and the club representatives to take a decision on how to approach the cancellation and how it will impact the 2016-17 NAL League.

2016-17 Final NAL Standings

The 18th NAL tournament was the 4th tournament scheduled for the 2016-17 season after the rounds played in Newark, NJ (USA), East Haven, CT (USA) and Montreal, QB (Canada). The NAL committee decided to end the 2016-17 NAL season with the standings after the 17th. NAL. Rescheduling was out of the options since the following tournament 19th NAL tournament was already set and organized by the New Jersey Hammerheads for October 21-22, 2017.

With the cancellation of the18th NAL the winner of the 2016-17 NAL Season is the NUWR club from Newark, NJ with  11 points. The first runner-up was Boston UWR with 10 points, and the second runner-up Club CAMO from Montreal with 5 points.

The points from the NAL tournaments that took place in the US also gave the NUWR team the first place for US teams with 8 points, followed by Boston with 6 points and the third place to the Florida Krakens with 3 points. With these results the NUWR team has the first option to participate on the 2017 Champions Cup in Berlin scheduled for November of this year.

The 2016-17 NAL top scorer award goes to Flip Mundt (Boston UWR) with a total of 24 goals scored. First runner-ups are Bryan Mosquera (NUWR) and Cesar Florez (CAMO) with 21 goals followed by Juan Pablo Riomaña (NJ Hammerheads) with 18.

For all 2016-17 standings click here

New NAL season starting in October

The start of the 2017-18 NAL season brings many challenges and we hope to carry on and make a successful start with record club participation as well as making the Women’s Club tournament a reality. Registration is already open for the 19th North American Underwater Rugby Tournament – Newark 2017 scheduled for October 21-22 at the Ironbound Recreation Center in Newark, NJ and organized by the New Jersey Hammerheads.

A club representative conference call is scheduled for September 23rd. To set the parameters of the following season. The NAL committee hope our friends from the Florida Keys Krakens UWR to be safe after the events of hurricane Irma.

19th NAL tournament registration information available here


“Road to Germany” USA U-21 Underwater Rugby clinic

30 young underwater Rugby players during Road to Norway UWR clinic

During the weekend of August 5 and 6th The East Haven Makos Club from Connecticut hosted the first UW Rugby clinic for juniors as a start for the preparation of the next national teams to represent the US on the first CMAS UW Rugby Championship for Juniors scheduled for November 2018 in Germany.

The first “Road to Germany” clinic was organized by the current U-21 coach candidates Mateo Galeano and Juan Pablo Riomaña with the close collaboration of the East Haven Makos head coach Jose Bedoya. Mateo Galeano was the organizer of the first international participation of a US Junior’s team on an official CMAS event last year during the 10th Open European Championships for Juniors, as well as a player of that team. Juan Pablo Riomaña was one of top scorers of the USA U-21 team last year and an a very active player. Jose Bedoya is the head coach of the East Haven Makos, the powerhouse of young talent in the US. More than 50 percent of the players that participated on the European Championships last year have been part of East Haven Makos teams.

The clinic had the participation of around 30 young players from Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut between the ages of 14 to 23 year olds. Also part of the clinic had the local participation of local kids and future Makos’ stars younger than 14.

The next UWR clinic for juniors is scheduled for mid September. Details and dates to folllow.