The Underwater Society of America was formed in 1959 by the then existing skin-diving councils; it was composed of and represented all divers in North America. It is the public diving organization of the United States. It is controlled by its executive committee, board of governors and delegates of the member councils and clubs meeting annually. The Society functions to give national recognition to divers.

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One of the main functions of the Society is education and information - keeping divers, councils and clubs aware of the issues affecting them.

Since 1959, the Society has been active in issues affecting divers right to dive, marine ecology, safety, legislation, conservation and the like. The Society offered testimony opposing a proposed extremely restrictive California regulation; as a result, the infamous ‘LA Ordinance’ was not enacted state wide. Working with the councils, areas closed or restricted to diving have been opened. USOA has offered written and verbal testimony to both Congressional Houses and the National Park Service regarding proposed ‘Wreck Diving Bills.’ The Society has worked with and offered testimony to the Coast Guard in support of the red and white ‘divers’ flag.


C.M.A.S.: As a charter member of the World Underwater Federation (C.M.A.S.), the Society is the sanctioning body for underwater sports in the US. CMAS is headquartered in Rome where USOA sits on the CMAS Sports and Technical Committees.

As a member of CMAS, the Society sanctions yearly local, regional and national underwater champion ships in Skin Diving, U/W Hockey, U/W Rugby, Fin Swimming and U/W Photography. The Society is also eligible and sends teams to the World U/W Sports Championships.


The Society is also a member of USOC - United State Olympic Committee, DEMA - the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association and DANthe Diver’s Alert Network.


Since 1959, National Championships have been conducted in Skin Diving. Underwater Hockey started in the US. in the late 1960’s, and Nationals have been held annually since 1976. Fin Swimming started with regional competitions in 1985 and National Championships in 1989. U/W Rugby is played on a regional level.

United States National Skin Diving Champions have represented the USOA in all the biennial World Championships and have placed as high as second.

World U/W Hockey Championships are also biennial. In 1984 USOA hosted in Chicago, IL and hosted again in 1998 In San Jose, CA. The USOA Women’s teams have medaled often - Silver in 1988 - and in 1994, the Men’s elite team took Bronze in France. Competition now includes Masters and Juniors Divisions. 1998 Medals were Women and Open Masters, Bronze and Masters Women, Silver. In 2002 the US Open Masters Team took Gold in Canada and again in 2004 and 2006. And the US Women Masters took Gold in 2004. The US Juniors took Silver in 2002.

In 2008, the USOA underwater hockey committee started a major Development Program whose task it is to increase participation, increase the level of play and increase uw hockey education on all levels.

USOA Fin Swimmers participated at biennial World Championships for the first time in 1986 in Berlin and recently in 2007 in Bari Italy. A team of fin swimmers represented the Society at the World Corporate Games in 1988 and 1989. This is a new sport with building enthusiasm.

U/W Rugby World Championships are quadrennial. In 1999 the USOA Men's team participated for the first time at the Championships held in Germany and again in 2003 in Denmark with both a Men’s and Women’s Teams.

Anti doping information including banned and legal substances, and methods and procedures for drug testing are available from WADA / USADA.


Underwater Sports Awards: 

In 1989 the Society was admitted to the United States Olympic Committee as an Affiliated Sport.

USOA athletes are also honored with all sports national champions comprising the ALL AMERICAN DIVE TEAM. Each sport also awards their MAN & WOMAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR. There are two Sportsmanship Awards: DAN WILKINS MEMORIAL AWARD for U/W Hockey Nationals and the CARL JUDD MEMORIAL AWARD for U/W Hockey Pacific Coast Championships.


The Society Legislative Director works with member councils and clubs on issues of diver/diving access and regulation and is ready to offer testimony and/or support for divers facing unnecessary or restrictive legislation. Member councils and clubs assist their state legislatures on matters of access, fish & game laws, underwater parks, aquatic environment and safety. The Marine Environment Director acts in a similar fashion advising on matters that threaten species or the marine/ aquatic environment.

An activity to further highlight the Marine Environment is the annual Ocean Pals Children’s Poster Contest. This Contest was developed in 1984 by Beneath the Sea Dive Exposition in New York, and the winning posters are displayed at that Show each March. This is a contest for grade school children to heighten their awareness of the dangers to the ocean. In 1988 Ocean Pals was regionalized, and the US sponsors the Western Regional Competition.


Since 1960, the Society has sanctioned four special awards: The NOGI. The award is symbolized by statuettes awarded in four categories: Arts, Sports/Education, Science, Distinguished Service. The NOGI is the ‘Oscar’ of diving and has been awarded to Jacques Cousteau, Sylvia Earl, Glen Engstrom, Valerie Taylor, Paul Tzimoulis, Al Giddings, Stan Waterman and Jack Mc Kenny to name only a few. The Society also recognizes divers at the regional level, The Regional Divers of the Year Award in the categories of Art, Sports, Education, Science & Service.  In 2014 the Award added a category.


Recently, the Society endorsed and became a sponsor/founder of the new Women Divers Hall of Fame. Women members Carol Rose, Jana Bradley, Brigit Grimm, Mary Jo Ferris-Fischer, Linda Gray and Dr. Anne Giesecke were selected as inaugural honorees. 


The Society publishes a biannual newsletter, Visibility which is a benefit of membership. Other publications include ‘How to Form a Dive Club,’ underwater sports outlines, 'How To Start UW Hockey' Guide, UW Hockey Referee Manual, an Underwater Hockey Program for Skill Building in Skin Diving Instruction and rules books for national and international u/w sports.


The Underwater Society of America provides liability insurance for its member councils and clubs. Such insurance is usually required by uw hockey clubs to enable them to rent pools for play; for skin diving clubs enabling them to ‘stage’ from state beaches and parks; for member clubs for their annual film festivals and holiday events.


The Society is a dues supported membership organization. Dues currently are $15/year. Membership is open to ALL divers. Membership benefits include the newsletter, insurance program, credit card and other services. There are also logo decals, pins, patches, t shirts, special World Competition logo goods, video lending library and so forth.

Benefits of membership are also intangible - being a winner in u/w sports competitions, representing the USA as World Championships, advising law makers, meeting other divers from across the nation and the world and being a safe buddy. Members help it all to come about just by being members. So, join the Society and be a proud member!

If you would like to join, a Paypal button is provided below.  Please include a note in the comment section explaining the purpose of the payment ie: membership, donation, payment for items etc… Tax deductible donations will require an address for the tax receipt.


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Standard Competition Rules 2006

Bylaws 2005

Download USOA Sports Waiver

Download USOA Sports Waiver - Spanish


Club / Council Status Report

Conflict of Interest






January 1                   New Years Day Holiday

January 6-8                Paris Dive Show

January 14                 Victoria UW Hockey Potluck BC Canada

January 16                 Martin Luther King Jr Holiday

January 20                 Inauguration Day

January 21                 Submarine UW Hockey Event Connecticut

January 27                 LIDA Film Festival, New York

January 27-28            Battle Altitude & Regional UW Hockey, Denver

January 28-29                        Dallas Dive Show


February 2                 Groundhog Day

February 14               Valentines Day

February 18-19           UW Rugby Tournament East Haven CT

February 20               President Day Holiday

February 24-26          Our World Underwater Show Chicago


March 3-5                  Pan Pacific UW Rugby Brisbane Australia

March 4-5                  UW Hockey Tournament of Universe Key Largo

March 4                      Great Lakes Ship Festival Michigan

March 8-12                Pan American Skin Spearfishing, Argentina

March 10-11              Ghost Ships Milwaukee WI

March 11-12              Boston Sea Rovers Show, Boston

March 11-12              UW Hockey Atlantic Coast Champ’p Orlando FL

March 12                    Daylite Savings Begins

March 17                    St Patrick Day

March 20                    First Day of Spring

March 23                    USOA Annual General Meetings

March 24-26              Beneath the Sea Dive Exposition New Jersey


April 1                                    April Fools

April 1-2                     H2O Dive Show Tacoma Washington

April 1-2                     UW Hockey Mens Training Denver

April 7-10                   PanAmerican Fin Swimming Cali Colombia

April 8                        Willow Beach Spearfishing Contest Airzona

April  8-9                    Great Northern Dive Show, England

April 11                      Passover

April 15                      Easter

April 22-23                 UW Rugby Event – Ontario Canada

April 22-23                 Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo, Ft Lauderdale

April 27-30                 CMAS Elective General Assembly Rome Italy


May 5                         Cinco de Mayo

May 5-7                      Scuba Show Long Beach CA

May 14                       Mothers Day

May 18-20                  International Fresh Water Invit Lake Mead

May 21-22                  UW Rugby Tournament Montreal QC

May 25-28                  UW Rugby Nationals Australia Perth Australia

May 29                       Memorial Day Holiday


June 10                       Lake McCongauhy Spear Contest Nebraska

June 14                       Flag Day

June 10                       USOA Olympic Day Modesto CA

June 16-18                  UW Hockey National Champ’p Cincinnati

June 21                       First Day Summer

June 24                       Fresh Water Nationals Glendo WY

June 25-1                    CMAS UW Rugby Egger Hungary


July 4                          Independence Day Holiday

July 12-22                   UW Hockey Age World Champ’ps Australia

July 20-30                   World Games Poland

July 30-1                     NASO Summit

July 31-7                     CMAS Jr Finswimming WC Tomsk Russia


August 3                     Skin Spear Nationals Ft Bragg CA

August 3-7                  Australia Dive Show Sydney

August 25-27              Monterey Shoot  Out/uw photo Monterey CA

August 26                   Lake McConaughy Spear Contest Nebraska


September 4               Labor Day Holiday

September 9               Starvation Spear Contest Utah

September 9-10          UW Rugby Tournament Keys Florida

September 11             Patriots Day

September 18-22        UW Hockey International Training Clinic Hawaii

September 21             Rosh Hashanah

September 22             First Day Fall

September 30             Yom Kippur


October 9                   Columbus Day Holiday

Oct 14-15                   Pacific Coast Championships uwh    Santa Clarita CA

October 21-22            UW Rugby Tournament Newark NJ


November 1-4            DEMA Dive Trade Show Orlando FL

Novembe 5                 End Daylight Saving

November 7               Election Day

November 10             Veterans Day Holiday

November 11             Veterans Day

November 23             Thanksgiving Day Holiday


December 13              Hanakkah – end December 21

December                   First Day Winter

December 25              Christmas Day Holiday






Carol Rose

Sonoma CA 95476  USA

707 343 7132 land line 



Ray Tucker

Ava NY

315 337 6938



Michael Gower

San Jose CA

408 286 8840



Wendy Okafuji



·         Underwater Hockey

Eric Straily


  • Assist Director

Karen Thullner


  • Secretary

Tom Brown


  • Chief Referee

John Kulsa  chiefref@usauwh.com

  • Rules

Doug Roth   rules@usauwh.com

·         Skin Diving

Dennis Haussler

Redwood City CA

  • Assist Director

Mike Mc Guire

  • Secretary


·         Underwater Rugby

Rolexi Pinzon    rypinzon@gmail.com

·         Fin Swimming


see Mike Gower, Secretary

Appointed Directors/Liaisons:


Bob Burres, San Jose CA

Ship Wrecks

Phil Bergeron, CA


Anne Giesecke, Lincoln NE

Artificial Reefs

Glen Arthur, NJ

(Ships to Reefs)


Safety Director

Craig Jenni


Carol Rose, see president

USOC Representative

Mike Gower, see Secretary

Women Divers Hall of Fame

Carol Rose, see President

Blue Water Records

Terry Maas
Ventura CA

Catch Records

Phil Lamm
Granite City, IL

CMAS Representatives

  • Sport - Carol Rose
  • Technical - Mike Gower

NOGI Representative

Mike Gower


  • Logo Goods - Lands' End
  • Awards - Glass Impressions

Area Vice Presidents:


Charlie Matthews
Randolph MA


Scott Turgeon
Jupiter, FL


Phil Lamm
Granite City IL

Ct Plains/Rocky Mts

Mike Mc Guire
Clifton CO

South West Pacific



DAN Divers Alert Network - Scuba Diving and Dive Safety Association



Midwest Diving Council - www.midwestdivingcouncil.org

J.A.W.S. Club, Pittsburg Kansas - http://www.geocities.com/Pipeline/8522/jaws.html

New York State Divers Association - www.scubany.org

Long Island Divers Association - www.lidaonline.com

Texas Gulf Council of Dive Clubs - www.tgccdiving.org

New Jersey Council of Diving Clubs - www.scubaNJ.org

New York State Divers Association - www.scubany.org

Greater Los Angeles Council of Divers - www.glacd.org

Women Divers Hall of Fame - www.wdhof.org/about.html

Ohio Council Ski & Scuba Divers - www.ocssdi.org

Long Island Divers Assoc - groups.yahoo.com/group/Long_Island_Divers_Association

Alabama Spearfishing Association - http://www.flounderwear.com/asa.html

Florida Scuba Divers Association - http://www.divefsda.com/

Free Diving

IBSRC - www.freedive.net/ibsrc/

Rocky Mountain Spearfishing club  http://rockymountainspearfishing.org/wp/

     Athlete of the year   http://rockymountainspearfishing.org/athlete/index.html

Fresh Water Worlds   www.freshwaterworlds.com



Underwater Hockey

United States Underwater Hockey - www.usauwh.com

Canadian Underwater Games Association or Association Canadienne des Jeux sub Aquatiques - www.cuga.org

British Octopush Association - www.gbuwh.co.uk

The following sites are frequently updated.

Underwater Hockey Tourist - www.PuckU.org/uwht

Connecticut Underwater Hockey - members.tripod.com/jls_website/uwh/index.html

USA Fin Swimming



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Web site Comments should be directed to UWRugbyUSA

Web site last updated 7/23/2017