Saturday, December 11, 2010

A new sport comes to Alaska

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!



John Peddie (Toronto) said...

So...after teaching us how to make cars, the Japanese come up with an ORGANIZED snowball fight?

With MACHINE-MADE snowballs?

I bet they won't even let you pack one with a stone inside for extra impact; and dunking them quickly in water to freeze into ice-balls is surely verboten.

The school playgrounds of my childhood will never be the same again.

How will tomorrow's shooters ever learn the difference between "FMJ" and "ball" ammo, if they don't experiment with snowballs in school?

I suppose we'll give whistles to the teachers, so they can signal "time out" when the bell rings.

Then the kids will line up neatly and file quietly back into the school where they will warm up with a cup of green tea.

Stan in Minnesota said...

Organized snowball fights? Takes me WAY back. Grade against grade. Fortresses, squads, platoons, companies, flanking attacks and finishing with hand to hand combat when we stormed the others snowpile. We would all have been in prison if we tried stuff like that now a days. No teachers of playground assistants monitoring us....too cold for them.

Half of everything I learned about leadership was developed in those wars. I wasn't the best of athletes and was usually chosen last for baseball and football but I was the recognized leader in playground wars.

Anonymous said...

The Japanese seem to be the most game and competition obsessed nation on earth!