Jan. 10, 2013 - Issue #899: The games we play
Fondling balls in Japan
Edmonton snow-battle team raising funds to represent Canada
Yukigassen, which translates to snow battle, is like a cross between dodgeball–using snowballs–and capture the flag.
Two teams of seven, all geared-up in CSA approved hockey helmets, face-off on a 40-metre-long court and attempt to either capture the opposing team’s flag, or eliminate their team members by hitting them with snowballs.
The 2012 Canadian championships in Jasper attracted 15 teams from Alberta and British Columbia at the end of November, and ultimately ended with The Ball Fondlers on top, qualifying the team for the world championships at the end of February.
"We are pumped that we won the Yukigassen Nationals in Jasper," says team captain Matt Smith. "Now our sights are set on representing Canada in Japan."
Yukigassen was created in Japan during the late '80s, and is now so popular that tournaments can attract up to 28,000 spectators.
The world championships–Showa-Shinzan International Yukigassen–will be held at the foot of Mt Showa-Shinzan February 23 and 24.
If The Ball Fondlers–now called the Canadian Snowbattlers–can raise the funds to travel to Japan, they will be the first Canadian team to compete on the world stage.
To help make that dream a reality, the team, made up of Smith, Terry Chatwin, Kyle Kingshott, Jeremy Goebel, Riley Paysen, Curtis Henderson, Colin Macphail, Ky MacMaster, Steve Stakiw, is holding a silent auction Saturday night at Average Joes in Sherwood Park.
The event starts at 7 pm. Some items up for auction include drumsticks signed by Nickelback's Chad Kroeger and a guitar signed by the members of Edmonton's Ten Second Epic. "There will be lots of items to bid on, so bring your wallets," says Smith.
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