Legume seeds, when relay sown following rice, may suffer from soil waterlogging and the associated hypoxia or even anoxia. This study evaluated the tolerance of grain legume species, grass pea (three genotypes), lentil (two genotypes), faba bean (two genotypes) and field pea (one genotype), to soil waterlogging in a glasshouse, to anoxia and hypoxia in temperature-controlled room at germination and seedling stages. Changes in oxygen in the surface layers of soil, with time after waterlogging, were measured by microelectrode profiling. The soil profiling showed that soil oxygen declined and then stabilized by the fourth day after waterlogging and oxygen was not detected at 8 mm below the soil surface. Germination of seeds under waterlogging for up to 12 days and seedling survival after the soil was drained for up to 36 days were measured in pot experiments. Seed germination and/or survival in anoxia (N2-flushed solutions) and hypoxia (1.0 and 2.5 kPa oxygen) were evaluated, and so were post-anoxia or post-hypoxia recoveries, all in comparison with aerated controls. Lentil had higher seedling emergence (55 %) than the other species during soil waterlogging. However, lentil had lower seedling survival (9 %) than grass pea (28 %) during recovery following soil drainage. Grass pea seeds were more tolerant of anoxia and of hypoxia than the seeds of the three other species. In conclusion, grass pea, with higher percent germination and seedling survival during recovery, is more tolerant to waterlogging and subsequent soil drainage than the three other grain legume species. Grass pea was also more tolerant of hypoxia and of anoxia at the seed germination stage. These findings demonstrate the superior waterlogging tolerance of grass pea in relay sowing, as compared with the other grain legumes.