Looking to add a little more fun to your scuba diving? Or to practice some skills or try out some new ones? Or 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 inner child) in every scuba diver.
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…
14 fun scuba diving games
1. A Scavenger Hunt
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! (I wonder if you can do this in cenotes in Mexico??)
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 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 (ie: 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 with a sandy bottom so you don’t harm any corals.
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. Word of advice if you go this route: make sure to mark the cards differently at each stop (ie: 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. But 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
You may be a great runner on land, but have you ever tried those skills underwater? 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 Catch
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.
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 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.
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.
13. Underwater Pumpkin Carving
If it’s nearing Halloween season, then 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 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.
14. Scuba Diving Video Games
Ok, we’ll admit that this one is cheating a little bit. But, if you are missing diving and don’t have a dive club or operator nearby, then you can at least pretend by playing a scuba diving video game. It’s better than nothing, right?
In a world of Mario, Donkey Kong, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty, scuba diving may seem like an odd subject for a video game. But, surprisingly, there are actually quite a few scuba video games to choose from, some of which even date back to the early 1980s.
One of the most popular scuba diving video games on the market right now is called ABZU which was released in 2016. While it is a couple of years old, this puzzle-type video game has received a lot of rave reviews for its stunning visuals which all ocean enthusiasts seem to love.
Other popular scuba diving video games include Infinite Scuba, Endless Ocean and Endless Ocean 2, and Subnautica which you can actually play in virtual reality.
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!