In the past couple of years some videos and pictures have surfaced from the underwater world in the north of Florida. A new team called TURC (Tallahassee Underwater Rugby Club) have started practices, and more and more players are joining the club after the Covid Pandemic break.
UWRUGBY.ORG contacted their organizer Mischa Steurer for a quick interview and introduce Tallahassee Underwater Rugby to the rest of US and Canadian Clubs.
UWRUGBY.ORG: It was a great surprise to find that a new Florida team has joined the UW Rugby world! How did Tallahassee UWR started?
Mischa Steurer: I played UWR for 15 years in Austria and Switzerland. After coming to the US in 2001, I lost track of the sport for a long while. In the spring of 2019, I ran into Joerg Hess, a fellow from Germany who also played there for several years prior to coming to the US. We instantly connected and started the club. Joerg knew the coach of the aquatics program of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) who offered us time in the pool to get stated. So we stretched out feelers and found some folks interested to try it. Of course, we needed baskets and balls. So Joerg ordered balls from Germany and I constructed baskets from PVC pipe and rubber mats I had left over. The team steadily grew and after about 1 year we had around 12 folks on the list most of them playing regularly once a week. We even planned to attend a tournament organized by the Florida Krakens in the spring of 2020. Then, the pandemic hit. After a year of pause we could finally restart again about 2 months ago. By now, we have 16 players on our list of which around 10 play regularly twice a week.
UWRUGBY.ORG: Who is the organizer?
M. S. Me, my wife Maria, and Joerg. The “oldies” from Europe J.
UWRUGBY.ORG: Where is Tallahassee located?
M. S. Almost exactly between Jacksonville and Pensacola, Florida, about 5h drive south of Atlanta and 4h drive north-west of Orlando. It is actually the capital of Florida.
UWRUGBY.ORG: How many days a week does your team practice UWR?
M. S. Two (Monday and Thursday)
UWRUGBY.ORG: Having the real UWR goals is a big milestone for clubs. Does Tallahassee have them yet?
M. S. We have goals. But not the “real” ones you may be referring to. Our goals are the proper size, though.
UWRUGBY.ORG: How many players do you have? How do you see their future in UWR?
M. S. Currently, we have 16 players on our list. Most of them just started in the last 2 months. Only four remained from the bunch who played before the pandemic. As for aspirations, right now we are just happy to have some quality training time and full body workout twice a week. As we train the team we may consider seeking tournaments in the future. However, we have a significant disadvantage with our pool being only 10 ft. 3 in deep.
UWRUGBY.ORG: How did you find out about Underwater Rugby? What’s your experience?
M. S. I played UWR for 15 years in Austria (Vienna) and Switzerland (Zurich). I came to know the Vienna UWR club after I asked my scuba instructor at the university how I could improve my swimming with fins technique. Then I got hooked on UWR. It was a big part of a long period of my life. Back then I played tournaments but never aspired to make it into the national league. I would say I am a fairly experienced player, though.
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 anytime soon?
M. S. As I said, we are still far away from attending tournaments. Whether that will ever become a driver for us we shall see. First, we need a set of players who stay for a long time and learn the sport really well.
UWRUGBY.ORG: A couple of years ago the US clubs started a big effort to start the ladies UWR league. How do you see the interest of ladies on UWR? How many girls are in your team?
M. S. We are so lucky to have five ladies on our team, including my wife Maria J. They are doing very well and have a lot of fun chasing us boys through the pool.
UWRUGBY.ORG: What are your plans for Tallahassee UWR in the near future and on the long run?
M. S. Near future: keep on growing in numbers so we have a more solid base of long term members for sustainability. In the long run I hope to attend the occasional tournament.
UWRUGBY.ORG: What are the dimensions and characteristics of your pool?
M. S. Depth: 10’-3” (3.1 m)
Width: 42’-7” (13 m)
Length: 83’-4” (25.4 m)
UWRUGBY.ORG: Having UWR clubs nearby is a great help for UWR development. Have you been in contact with the Florida Krakens in Pompano Beach or the keys?
M. S. Yes. As I said we actually planned to attend at tournament in Pompano Beach last year but then Covid hit.
UWRUGBY.ORG: Do you want to send a message for the US and Canadian UWR teams?
M. S. I would send greetings to the SFO team. I had a pleasure to be guest player with their awesome team while on a business trip in 2019. Also a shout out to Angela and Nicole from the FL Kraken. I hope to finally see the Kraken team in person in the not too distant future.
Photo: Tallahassee Underwater Rugby Club partial Team – Mischa Steurer
The second edition of the CanAm UW Rugby Championships ended with the victory of the Quincy Narwhals from Boston during an undefeated weekend. The team from Boston came back strong after their absence from a couple of tournaments of the North American league.
After the successful first edition that had as one of the highlights the participation of Club Orcas from Colombia with three teams, this time CanAm was expecting participation of three Colombian teams including Orcas, Quelonios and Pirañas but at the end such teams declined the invitation. However the tournament had the international participation of Team Canada (mixed team from Camo Montreal and Club Liberation from Toronto) as part of their preparation for the 2015 World Championships to be held in Colombia.
Participants on the 2015 US National team tryouts
Four teams participated as representatives from the US. Quincy Narwhals from Boston, New Jersey Hammerheads and NUWR from Newark New Jersey and the ROW team (rest of the world) team with players from different areas of the US without a club including Wisconsin, Illinois, DC and California.
The game for the 3rd place was played by Team Canada and the NJ Hammerheads, with the victory of the Canadians for 7-2 over a weakened NJ Hammerheads who played the same Team Canada earlier that same day defeating the Canadians on the round robin 3-1.
The final game between Quincy Narwhals and NUWR was a very intense and interesting game which was only decided on the last seconds of the game. Quincy had 11 players between experienced and new players including an experienced Swedish player and took advantage of the number of players to defeat NUWR. The team from Newark had only 7 players but made the size en depth of the pool to play in their favor as well as the speed and fitness of their players.
The game was tied 1-1 by half time and just 2 second before the end of the game one last attempt from the Boston ended on a last second goal for Quincy to win the tournament.
The tournament also served as the first event for the US National team tryouts for the 2015 World Championship to be held in Cali, Colombia. The US men’s team tryout had the participation of 24 players under the direction of US National coach Jose Echeverry.
1- Quincy Narwhals
2- Newark NUWR
3- Team Canada
4- New Jersey Hammerheads
5- Row Team
1- Daniel Lopez – NUWR 12
2- Filip Mundt – Quincy 7
3- Mike Picot- Quincy 6
Mateo Galeano – NJ hammerheads 6
Tim Burke – Quincy 6
Finally after several consecutive championships from Montreal’s UW Rugby team Club CAMO, the previous runner-ups, the New Jersey Hammerheads took the Championship title in a very exciting final game after winning all the group games, the semifinal and final games during the weekend of October 4th-5th. in the city of Toronto, Canada.
A total of 4 teams participated in this event, CAMO (Montreal) and Toronto UWR (Toronto) from Canada, the NJ Hammerheads (New Jersey) and the new team SF Giant Sea Basses from San Francisco California, USA .
Toronto UWR, a new canadian club with a few players from Club Liberation (Brantford, On.) was the club host for this tournament. For the first time, the city of Toronto hosted a tournament with a new venue for UW Rugby at the Riverdale Collegiate Institute.
The tournament was played as a round robin where the New Jersey Hammerheads and Club Camo won their games against Toronto and the New San Francisco teams. The first game between the favorites CAMO and the NJ Hammerheads ended with a close victory 3-2 of the american team from New Jersey over the previous champions, Club CAMO.
On the final game despite the advantage on number players from Club CAMO (11) over the Hammerheads with only 9 players, The club from New Jersey got an impressive victory over Camo for 4-1
Rafael Brunet (Camo) got the top scorer award with 10 goals followed by Mateo Galeano (New Jersey) with 9 and Cesar Florez (Camo) with 8.
The New Jersey Hammerheads won the best defense and best top sorer team awards.
All the teams are looking forward to the next tournament in the US, the Canam UW Rugby Championship to take place in Milwaukee Wisconsin on February 6-8, 2015
uwrugby.org has posted the new 2014 Underwater Rugby Calendar with tournaments from USA, Canada, Colombia, Spain among others.
The past weekend (Oct 5-6) was held the “6th North American Underwater Rugby Tournament – Brantford 2013”. We have the unconditional assistance of club CAMO and The New Jersey Hammerheads, plus the local team Liberation.
It was a very successful event, where CAMO club from Montreal keep its leadership winning the tournament in an exciting final against the Hammerheads from New Jersey.
In this 6th version its was clear the improvement of new players that make the most of it after each tournament. Also all 3 clubs make they part promoting the sport having several new players that are now part of the growing UWR family in North America. Specially team liberation has a big improvement with 14 players compared from the last tournament when only had 7 players.
Future looks promising in North America for UWR and specially now that we have a new tournament next January in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Looking forward to meet all of you in Milwaukee
Camilo Contreras López.
Club Liberation – Brantford Ontario
The third North American Underwater Rugby Tournament was hosted by Club CAMO Montréal the past June 23 2012. Despite several players and clubs couldn’t attend the event, the tournament was played with the participation of clubs from Canada and the USA: Hammerheads-New Jersey; Liberation-Brantford and CAMO-Montreal. It was a great opportunity to improve the level of the participants and motivate new rugby players to train harder for the next competition.
Liberation team showed an outstanding improvement that allowed them to play an unforgettable match against CAMO; in the very last minute Liberation score and won this close game 4-3.ress in this tournament.
Finally the New Jersey Hammerheads who had the smaller team with a couple of CAMO players, proved that with few players but a lot of heart you can win a tournament.
Official Results here: http://wp.me/P241bZ-6i
The 2nd North American Underwater Rugby tournament was a great event thanks to the people behind the organization process. The host, Quincy UWR, put a lot of effort into having a great event.
Having a league where Canadian and USA teams play together is helping the sport to have better visibility. Underwater Hockey has been for decades the predominant underwater sport in both countries but a well-defined set of dates for UWR tournaments could attract new players and even the media.
For this tournament we had a record number of 7 teams, including two from Canada. The tournament was played as a coed event since the number of women playing the game is still small.
The tournament was arranged in such a way that teams would play an equal number of games during the classification round (which was set to be 4 games) and then an extra game will be given to those teams which would make it to the final round.
The two Canadian teams present at the event were CAMO Rugby sousmarin (Montreal, QC) and Liberation UWR (Brantford, ON). CAMO had among its ranks players who have been part of the highly competitive UWR Colombian team. Liberation UWR showed progress in their training process by displaying great improvements in their strategy and technical skills.
East Haven Makos (East Haven, CT) is the latest team to join the league. They are a group of young players and showed the great progress attained by continuously playing with their NJ Hammerheads neighbors.
NJ Hammerheads (Newark, NJ) counted with the presence of experienced players who have been to UWR international events in Colombia and even world championships. Their experience was noticeable at the semifinal stages of the tournament where the games required a more strategic planning.
The hosting club, Quincy UWR (Quincy, MA), had two teams signed for the tournament. Quincy Red was a mixed of experimented players and newbies while Quincy Blue had amount its ranks players who have been to world championships. All the North American UWR community was really excited seeing the revitalization of the Quincy UWR team.
The “orphans” team was group of players from FL, DC, NY, and TX. These players don’t have a hosting team in their respective cities of origin and as such they were allowed to put a together a team. They struggled during the first games but their combined experienced took them to win the tournament.
Cesar Florez from CAMO Rugby Sousmarin took the first place in the Top Scorers ranking.
Results and stats related to the tournament can be found at
Club CAMO from MontrealEast Haven Makos will be the host for the 3rd edition of the North American tournament in June. The dates are still in the works but they should be announced shortly.
See you underwater!
Have you ever played a game where three-dimensional is a real thing? Can you imagine playing with someone who is 15ft underneath you?
Welcome to the world of Underwater Rugby!
We are a group of people who felt in love with the game. Many of us have either played for the USA national team or practiced the sport in other countries.The biggest development of the sport is taking place at the East Cost. Teams in CT, NJ, and MA are taking the lead. Our counterparts in Canada are working hard to develop the game as well. Teams in ON and QC have regular practices and have already organized few tournaments.