Underwater Hockey Video Camera

Underwater Hockey

Yes it is a thing and it's completely understandable if you've never heard of it; although as you read further you will see that we're trying to change that. With origins in the 1950's the sport is now played worldwide with play ranging from friendly club practices to World Championships.

For all of you hockey veterans who would like a more detailed description of the camera and it's capabilities please visit: http://navisjon.com/ultimate-uwh-camera/

However, if this is your first time learning about this sport I can't say I'm surprised; it hasn't been much of an experience for spectators. With practically all of the play taking place on the bottom of a pool, any observer from the pool deck is confronted with a virtually impenetrable wall of bubbles and waves. However, peering below the surface exposes an exciting game of strategy, stamina, teamwork and individual skill.

At first glance Underwater Hockey is a frenzy of players moving in a chaotic back and forth as players flick, slide, push, and maneuver the puck to keep their team moving towards their opponent's goal. Getting a good feel for the game and it's fast paced action takes a little time, but once your brain starts deciphering the movements a beautiful game is revealed.

Up until recently the best, and really only, way to get a good glimpse of the sport was to hop in the pool yourself. With the video camera advancements making them both smaller and cheaper it wasn't long until someone placed a camera in a waterproof housing and started filming the sport. These initial videos were grainy, low resolution and often times not pointed in the right direction to get the play in view.

Advances in video quality, memory storage and battery life improved the video experience, but not much. There still were quality issues and pointing the camera in the wrong direction was all too common. The largest drawback was that the video was recording only, no live broadcast to the pool deck. While coaches and players were able to use the footage, it still excluded spectators from seeing the action real-time.

Attempts at live broadcasts were made with varying success. Whether using a single camera on a pole that someone tried their best to point in the right direction or 3 wide angle view cameras that a video producer switched to keep as much of the play in view as possible; the sad truth was that action was missed, plays were just out of frame and underwater hockey remained "not much of a spectator sport."

That has all changed. With the development of the Ultimate Underwater Hockey Camera the play is in view - all of it. Using a remote control the camera operator slides the camera back and forth to follow the play while using pan/tilt controls to keep the play centered and clear on the screen. No more dead spaces between cameras, no more misdirecting the camera, no more action missed.

The prototype Ultimate Underwater Hockey Camera opened up a whole new aspect of the sport. Players and fans can now watch as teams compete - live.

Coaches and team leaders now have access to quality video of their players without missing key developments in the play or worrying about not being able to identify who is who because the video is too grainy.

But as with all new technological developments, after the initial excitement of “Wow! This is awesome!” fades the inevitable human response is “Can it be better?”

Yes, yes it can.

Two of the features that were most requested by the players and fans who love this sport so much are zoom and game play graphics. Zoom enables the play at the far side of the court to come into better view. Game play graphics such as time, score, and which teams are playing help in the immediate experience of watching the game; but perhaps more importantly they also help bring a sense of legitimacy to the sport.

Adding these features along with design adjustments to make the system easily transportable are necessary steps towards providing quality video at as many tournaments around the country as possible. However, these improvements cost money and as previously stated the sport of underwater hockey is a small community with limited resources. We are asking for your help to make this sport more approachable and appealing to a wider audience which can only make it grow.

The USA Underwater Hockey National competition will take place during June 2016 in Denver.  Our hope is to have our funding goals met by the end of February 2016 to give us a chance to buy, build and test this new design. Additional funds past our stated goal of $5,500 will be applied towards adding cameras to view the reffing table and if that is achieved then adding cameras at the goals to get a different close up view of that exciting action. Please help us meet our goals.

For more technical information please visit us at:
http://navisjon.com/ultimate-uwh-camera/

Here is an example video from the prototype Camera System from the 2015 National Championships in Los Angeles, CA:


Here are some of the players/fans at the 2015 Nationals watching a game:

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Eric Straily 
Organizer
Lafayette, CO
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