Looking to add a little more fun to your scuba diving or just want to practice some skills or try out some new ones? Maybe you are just a big fan of games and looking for a way to implement them into your favorite sport.
Well, we’ve got you covered with this list of scuba diving games that are perfect for learning, teaching, or just having fun.
From underwater versions of some of the world’s most popular sports to underwater versions of common party games, there’s something on this list that will bring out the inner athlete (or maybe an inner child) in every scuba diver. But you will usually by at shallower depths so make sure that you put on that reef-safe sunscreen.
We even have a few options for those of you who are landlocked and don’t have dive site or pool access on a regular basis. Ready to play? Then here are our top scuba diving games.
1. A Scavenger Hunt/ Fish Find
A fun way to play a game as a group is to organize a scavenger hunt. Have someone hide water-safe objects around a dive site and break up into teams to try to find them. The first team with all the required objects on their list wins! Just make sure to keep track of where everything was placed, we don’t want to be leaving any unnatural objects behind in our oceans and lakes.
The other way to do this is that you can have a list and and have to find certain types of corals and underwater creatures. This could be at the same dive site or reef. The team can use the honor system or you can take photos of each critter to show proof.
A play on a scavenger hunt, but this time use natural objects. For example a clownfish, a certain statue, or ever a scuba diver with her hair tied in braids. Create and use laminated bingo cards with each object on the chart and mark them off as you spot them. Bring your underwater camera with you to take photos to show as proof to avoid any cheating.
3. Underwater Hockey
Underwater hockey isn’t just a fun game, it’s a real thing. Granted, it’s played with snorkels and masks rather than scuba gear, but this underwater sport is a lot of fun. Underwater Hockey (also referred to as UWH or sometimes even Octopush) originated in the 1950s in England and has since become a world-wide sport with world championships held every two years. If you love hockey and being underwater, this sport is definitely something to look into.
4. A Spoon Race
Remember the egg and spoon races that you played at birthday parties when you were a kid? Well, it’s come back as a fun game to play underwater as well. Of course, you’ll have to make a couple of adjustments so it works underwater.
We recommend using a spoon upside down and a ping pong ball or golf ball instead of an egg. Instead of worrying about the ball dropping, your goal is to keep it from floating up to the surface. You can even up the ante by making it a race, or part of an obstacle course.
5. Underwater Rugby
We’re not really sure why underwater rugby is called underwater rugby, because it’s really not at all like the land sport. But, we’ll forgive the odd name because it sounds like a whole lot of fun. The goal of the game is for your team to get your salt-water-filled ball into the basket. Players are prohibited from blocking the basket (i.e.: you can’t sit on it), but anyone with the ball is fair game to be ‘attacked’ by opposing team members.
6. Underwater Darts
Think you are good at darts, how about playing the game underwater? It’s not quite as easy as it looks, though it is fun to try. For an extra element of difficulty, and to practice your buoyancy skills, do it while hovering. You can up the difficulty even more by playing with your head down and fins up. Just make sure to play in a pool or somewhere where you can’t impale a person or any wildlife.
7. Underwater Card Games
If you’d just prefer to be underwater or are maybe looking for a way to get more comfortable with being underwater, then grab a pack of waterproof guards and sink down for a hand of crazy eights, war, or even poker. If you are feeling particularly creative you can even organize an underwater poker run. A word of advice if you go this route, make sure to mark the cards differently at each stop (i.e.: with different colored dots) so that dive buddies don’t get sneaky and try to swap before they surface with their final hand.
8. An Underwater Obstacle Course
Plenty of dive sites around the world have buoyancy control hoops, tubes, and other set-ups to help divers achieve optimal buoyancy. While this is definitely an important skill to have and practice, you can make it a bit more fun by turning it into an obstacle course-type race. If you are experienced divers with great control, add a degree of difficulty by making some of the spots tight enough that the diver will have to take off their BCD & tanks and push it through ahead of them.
Note: if your group is planning an obstacle-course type game, you should always have a couple of divers monitoring the ‘players’ as safety is always the first priority.
9. Underwater Races
Have you ever tried to get some were fast under water that wasn’t against a current? If not, now is the time to try because it’s pretty darn funny. Especially if you organize a race and get a few of you going, or turn it into a relay-style race. Of course, you should save this scuba diving game for the pool or somewhere with a sandy bottom so you don’t risk destroying or knocking into any corals.
10. Underwater Frisbee Or Torpedo
Take your classic game of Frisbee in the park and bring it underwater. It’s best played in a pool (don’t want to risk knocking into any coral or sea life), but it can be a ton of fun. Plus, it’s a good way to practice your buoyancy skills. Don’t have a Frisbee? Don’t worry, change it into a game of catch; whoever drops the ‘ball’ or touches the bottom first loses the game. This game is a fun and easy teaching tool as well.
There is also a toy that is shaped like a torpedo and is weighted to be thrown underwater. You can play a game with it or just toss it back and fourth. Note that in the ocean it will fly different as salt water is more buoyant and there can be currents.
11. Geocaching For Scuba Divers
If you have ever dreamed of finding missing treasure or pirate gold, then geocaching is the best way to embrace your inner treasure hunter. Sure, you don’t get the actual treasure (the ‘prize’ is usually a colorful box with waterproof paper where you can write your name and the date you found it), but it’s a lot of fun.
One of the best things about geocaching is that it is suitable for divers of all levels, allowing novice divers to practice their skills and feel more comfortable underwater, and providing a fun game for experienced divers. Plus, geocaching for scuba divers exists around the world, you can even do it on land as well.
12. Underwater Board Games
Chess, checkers, tic-tac-toe, and even dominos can be played underwater. It’s another fun idea for those working on becoming accustomed to breathing underwater as the games make it easy to relax and concentrate on something else. Just make sure you get weighted pieces, or else you’ll be chasing your chessmen to the surface.
If you are on a sandy bottom you can even use the sand as tic-tac-toe board or a piece of chalk if it is in a pool. Some freedivers play these games as well and have a timer that they have to finish before it ends.
13. Underwater Pumpkin Carving
When it’s Halloween season, why not put your pumpkin carving skills to the test and see how spooky you can make your jack-o-lantern by carving it underwater? We haven’t tried it, but those that have to say it’s pretty tricky especially since the pumpkins are buoyant and try to escape by floating to the surface. This activity may seem a bit odd, but underwater pumpkin carving is pretty popular in North America and is done by dive groups in lakes, quarries, and of course the oceans. Some places even have underwater pumpkin carving contests.
Make sure when you are done to try and clean up the bits as fish shouldn’t be eating the food. It is recommended to take out the pumpkin guts before entering the water.
14. Underwater Running/ Cycling
Whether it be in the pool of on a sandy bottom trying to run or even just walk along the bottom is a fun activity to try. You can do this as a relay or just individually. Putting your fins on your hands is also pretty fun.
A lot of places have bicycles for photo opportunities, while this may not be the most eco-friendly if it is there, it is there. You can try to ride these and time yourself. Please don’t put a bike in the water unless it has all the chemicals and plastic off it.
15. Pass the Weight/ Hot Potato
You will get weights of different sizes/ weights and bring them along on the dive. They can even be on the weights on your belt. You can do it during the dive or at the end during your safety stop (which I like to do).
The idea is to pass them back and forth trying to keep neutral buoyancy at a certain depth with out moving too much. This helps with you buoyancy skill, task loads and air consumption. I like to do it at the end of the dice as it is harder since you have les sari in your tank and are lighter.
16. Bubble Rings
Usually, you use bubble rings at a safety stop if you have enough air, you can also lay on the bottom and blow up towards the surface. That way they will expand as they rise toward the surface, it looks great in photos.
The other game you can play is to set up objects and shoot bubble rings at them to knock the objects over. It can be fun but make sure you are constantly breathing.
Some Tips and Considerations for the Games
- Constantly Breathe– This is the first rule of SCUBA and should be followed during all the games. These games are fun and you may forget.
- Buddy Check- During your buddy check, make sure everything is up to snuff as you will be active and you want everything working properly. You don’t want to have to end the game early due to a piece of gear.
- Watch You Gas-You will be burning through more gas in most cases as you are more active. Be mindful of this and have a plan when you will stop and do you ascent and safety stop.
- Regularly Equalize- When going down and then up and all around you will still have to equalize and probably more often. You don’t want to rupture your eardrums and get any issues from a game.
- Ascent- Watch when you are ascending. If the games are at a deeper depth you may loose track of where you are. You don’t want to have and runaway ascent and possibly get and DCS. A normal ascent and safety stop should still be done.
Have you played any of these underwater scuba diving games (or scuba diving video games)? Or, better yet, do you have any scuba diving game (or video game) recommendations to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!