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 still 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.


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 Committee.

As a member of CMAS, the Society sanctions yearly local, regional and national underwater champion ships in Scuba, Free 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 and Scuba 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. Underwater Photography competitions such as the Beach Photo Championships were first held in 1987 and ‘mail in’ competitions have been held. 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 a the Championships held in Germany and again in 2003 in Denmark.

World U/W Photography Championships were first held in Spain in 1987. USOA has sent teams to each biennial competition, placing in the top 10 at the 1994 Championships in South Korea. USOA u/w photographers did well at the biennial ‘50 Judges World Competition’ last held in 1999 taking a Bronze.

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


Underwater Sports Awards: 

In 1989 the Society was admitted to the United States Olympic Committee as an Affiliated Sport. The first opportunity for Olympic competition may come in 2002 in Greece for Fin Swimming. Each year the USOA nominates the MAN AND WOMAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD winners to USOC.

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 - 7 western states and US Trust Territories.


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.


Recently, the Society endorsed and became a sponsor 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 quarterly 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!

Right now we don’t have any fancy payment systems set up, 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.





Standard Competition Rules 2006

Bylaws 2005

Download USOA Sports Waiver

Download USOA Sports Waiver - Spanish





2014 - 2015 CALENDAR



December 5-7 Final Try Outs Mens UW Hockey Wrld Team

December 6-7 Phoenix World of Water Dive Show

December 7 Pearl Harbor Remembrance

December 16 Hanukkah begins sunset

December 21 First Day Winter

December 24 Hanukkah ends sunset

December 25 Christmas Day Holiday



January 1 New Years Day Holiday

January 16-18 Womens World Team Try Outs Denver

January 17-18 Denver UW Hockey Tournament

January 19 MLK Jr Birthday Holiday

January 20-25 Australian UW Hockey Nationals

January 24-25 Dallas TX Dive Show



February 2 Groundhog Day

February 6-8 Midwest Regionals UW Hockey Milwaukee

February 16 Presidents Day Holiday

February 14 Valentines Day

February 20 LIDA Film Festival NY

February 21 Catalina Island UW Clean Up

February 21-22 Blue Wild Dive Show Ft Lauderdale

February 21-22 Michigan State UW Hockey Tournament

February 27-29 Our World Underwater Chicago

February 28-29 Univ Il Champaign Spring Tournament



March 7-8 Key Largo UW Hockey Tournament

March 7-8 Boston Sea Rovers Dive Show

March 8 Daylite Savings Begins

March 13-14 Ghost Ships Festival Wisconsin

March 17 St Patricks Day

March 20 1st day Spring

March 21-22 ScubaFest Ohio

March 26 USOA Annual Meetings NJ

March 27-29 Beneath the Sea Dive Exposition NJ



Mar 30-Apr 4 Euro Masters Tournament UW Hockey

April 1 April Fools Day

April 4 Passover at sun down

April 5 Easter Sunday

April 11-12 Quebec UW Hockey Tournament

April 11-12 Seattle Dive Show

April 11-12 UWRugby Tournament - New Jersey

April 18 Chicago Maritime Festival

April 18-19 Atlantic Coast Champ’ps Washington DC

April 22 Earth Day



May 10 Mothers Day

May 17 or 24 UWRugby Tournament - Montreal

May 25 Memorial Day Holiday



June 4-6 Freshwater Nationals Keyhole WY

June 6-7 Long Beach Dive Show

June 14 Flag Day

June 18-20 Am Academy UW Sciences Meeting Montreal

June 21 Fathers Day

June 26-28 National Champ’ps UW Hockey Los Angeles



July 4 Independence Day Holiday

July 15-22 World Championships Fin Swimming China

July 26-28 Nat Assoc Sports Officials Summit

July 26-28 CMAS UWRugby World Champ’s – Cali Columbia



August 6 National Champ’p Skin Spear Tarpon Spgs FL

August 6-15 UW Hockey Age World Championships Spain



September 6 Labor Day Holiday

September 11 Patriots Day

September 12-13 Australia Dive Expo Sydney

September 13 Rosh Hashanah at sun down

September 19 International Beach Clean Up Day

September 23 Yom Kippur at sun down

September 23 1st Day Fall

Sept 28-Oct 4 AAUS Annual Meeting Key West – TENTATIVE



October 4 Pacific Coast Champions’s Skin Spear Cambria

October 12 Columbus Day Holiday

October 31 Halloween



November 1 Daylite Savings Off

November 3 Election Day

November 4-7 DEMA Trade Show Orlando

November 11 Veterans Day Holiday

November 26 Thanksgiving Day Holiday



December 6 Hanukkah at sun down

December 20 1st day Winter

December 25 Christmas 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




Underwater Hockey

Terry Sutton
San Francisco CA

  • Assist Director

Ben Erickson

  • Secretary

Paul Wittekind


  • Chief Referee

Woody Lee

  • Rules

Doug Roth

Skin Diving

Dennis Haussler

Redwood City CA

  • Assist Director

Mike Mc Guire

  • Secretary



Jana Bradley Jones

Frontenac KS

Underwater Rugby

Joe Gomes

Fin Swimming

see Mike Gower, Secretary

Appointed Directors/Liaisons:


Elizabeth Hughes, .Jackson MI



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/

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



 Copyright 1998 to 2014 Underwater Society of America All Rights Reserved.

Web site Comments should be directed to UWRugbyUSA

Web site last updated 6/05/2014