Photos and text by Eric Heinz

Just spectating the sport can make one gasp for air.

Underwater torpedo, a new submerged sport played in the depths of a swimming pool, has started gaining interest as it evolves.

The Underwater Torpedo League (UTL) is the governing body of the sport and was designed by Prime Hall, a former U.S. Marine Raider. Hall, along with many other active and former service members, pitted teams from San Clemente and Oceanside against one another for the first ever Aquabowl championship on Jan. 27 at the San Clemente Aquatics Center, which San Clemente won two games to none in a best-of-three series.

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Underwater torpedo is played in a deep swimming pool—Saturday’s matchup was in the San Clemente Aquatic Center’s 14-foot deep end—where players try to throw a downward-buoyant device into the opposition’s net.

Making it more endearing, players are not allowed to possess the torpedo above water. Players can come up for air at any time, so long as someone else has the torpedo. Players are also only allowed to engage the person in possession of the torpedo two at a time, in order to reduce complete dogpiles at the bottom of the swimming arena.

The game commences once the referee throws the torpedo in the middle of the pool, and teams swim to obtain it. The team that scores then throws the torpedo to the other team, sort of like a kickoff in football.

Players are allowed to block and push one another, but more flagrant fouls, such as removing an opponent’s goggles or holding someone down, are not permissible.

For more information and to see videos of how the game is played, visit www.underwatertorpedoleague.com.

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