There’s only one good thing about a winter this freezing cold. Ice Hockey. It’s a sport that’s tailor-made for winter. As the pros gear up for the NHL All-Star Game, other “weekend warriors” are gearing up for another type of hockey. It’s the kind that only exists outside in the elements, and can be played by anyone with some ice, a pair of skates, and a stick.
The sport we’re talking about, of course, is pond hockey.
In pond hockey, anything goes. Playing thee-on-three? Okay. Don’t have goalies? Not a problem. No nets? You can mark the goals with someone’s old boots.
Despite its easy-going nature, pond hockey requires skill and teamwork. Because there’s often no goalie, everyone on the team has to work together to prevent the other team from scoring. A fast skater can score easily in a break away, and hand-eye coordination is crucial for the open puck handling. And, because the puck can get lost in the snow, players need to pass accurately.
Pond hockey certainly isn’t relegated to pick-up games between friends, although that’s theoriginal spirit of the game. There are major tournaments including the and World Pond Hockey Championships. The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships has 116 teams with four players each—and anyone can play.
Watching on the sidelines? Stay warm with a hockey hoodie under your jacket.