March 31, 2011

Yukigassen in Fort Edmonton!

If you never even heard of Yukigassen, don't feel bad, neither have I... until today.
Yukigassen is Japanese for “snow battle”, a sport that started in Japan more than 20 years ago.
So, we now have the first Canadian Yukigassen Championships!  I think that's totally cool, and if I were 30 years younger...

The sport itself is a combination of dodge ball, paintball, and "capture the flag".
Each team consists of seven people wearing helmets and eye protection (at least... Why? Read on).
Two teams line up on the opposite sides of the court which measures 10 metres by 40 metres.
The game is 9 minutes long, and split into three 3-minute periods, kind of like hockey, but much shorter.
The game consists of the teams throwing hard snowballs at high speeds (reaching 75 km/h... ouch!) at their opponents, and diving for the flag.
Each team has 90 snowballs per period, available for throwing, for a total of 540 snowballs for both teams to throw during the 9-minute game. 
The team that captures the flag at any time during any period, wins, but they can also win by "taking out" the opposing team's players with the snowball ammo.  You need two out of three periods' advantage to win that way.  Or just capture the flag and be done with it.

The winner of the Canadian tournament in Edmonton will be eligible to compete representing Canada in the world championships in Japan next year.  Hopefully, they won't have to play with glow-in-the-dark snow...
For full article, go here.  For some awesome pics, go here.