‘Black! White! Go!’ Fans say underwater hockey is sweeping the nation
The smell of chlorine fills the air of the Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis as two teams of men and women hold the rail of opposite sides of the pool with vicelike grips.
Donning swim caps, snorkelers, gloves and fins, 12 swimmers eagerly await three magical words so they can charge at a 3-pound, bright pink puck at the bottom of the pool.
“Black! White! Go!”
The players push off the walls, disappearing into the blue water like dolphins diving into the ocean. Seven feet below, they resemble a feeding frenzy as they attack the puck with short black and white sticks and try to maneuver it towards a metal trough.
Welcome to the world of underwater hockey.
Every Wednesday, the Corvallis Narwhals gather at the swim center to practice a sport so under the radar in the United States that slightly more than 60 clubs operate across the country.
More cities are catching on to the trend. Just a year and a half ago, a Portland enthusiast started his own club and another group has started in Newport. As the game steadily gains players and recognition, the Corvallis Narwhals and other clubs are helping underwater hockey evolve into a household name rather than just an absurd concept.