By Michael Abeyta

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Hockey is known to be played on ice and maybe even a wooden floor, but what about underwater? It is exactly how you are picturing it.

Teams of six with two subs push a puck across the floor of a pool and try to score a goal.

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“I thought it was a joke actually when I first found out about it,” Johanna Whitman, who plays, said.

Saturday was the kickoff of the Battle at Altitude Tournament. Teams from all over the United States and Canada came to Thornton to compete in a weekend-long tournament. This is the 14th year the tournament has been held there.

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“We come here every year in January and play underwater hockey at the bottom of the pool,” said Kristin Straily.

Anyone can play no matter your age or athletic ability, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. You have to be able to swim well and not be afraid to get a little rough.

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“You’ve got to really be willing to go in there and fight hard for the puck.”

It’s a close knit community of fierce competitors. There aren’t a lot of fans but for the people who play it, it’s not about that, it’s about love of the sport.

“It’s really good at working out frustrations,” Straily said.

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“Underwater hockey is great! Come try it out,” Whitman added.

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Saturday is what they call their regular season when they determine seeding for the playoffs which start on Sunday.

Michael Abeyta