I've mentioned the Alaskan Fur Rondy in the past. Next year's event will see a new sport, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The Anchorage Fur Rendezvous says it's going to import a new event from Japan for the city's 2011 winter festival -- a sanctioned, organized snowball fight called Yukigassen.
Rondy board president Gary Hufford said Wednesday it will be the first sanctioned Yukigassen tourney in the United States.
"We're always looking for new events," he said, and someone brought this idea to the board.
. . .
The structured snowball sport began in Sobetsu, Japan, according to the Rondy news release. The word yukigassen means snow battle in Japanese.
The game has taken hold in Canada, and a Canadian group will come to Anchorage in January to teach the rules, train referees and run practice tournaments, said Hufford.
There's more at the link. Here's a video clip of a Yukigassen championship match in Japan.
Looks a bit like a paintball match, except that instead of using foam barriers, they use snow walls. If you'd like to learn more about the sport, there's an English-language Japanese Web site that provides more details.
I suspect next year's Rondy is going to be a bit more snowy than usual!