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Screw Sochi – Competitive Snowball Fights Are Awesome


unnamedThings are getting real in Sochi. Too real for us. So we’re going back to our winter sports competitive roots.

Growing up in snow country skiing, sledding and skating were tops on our lists. But when we wanted a real thrill we turned to two ‘sports’ – Skitching and snowball fights. Neither required a lot of skill, money or smarts. But both required bravery.

Skitching, for those of you who don’t know, involves holding onto the bumper of a moving vehicle in a crouched position on snow-covered roads. Hiding behind brush or trees at an intersection of side roads with a stop sign provided the ideal hop on site for skitching. We’d ride until we got a few blocks away, our legs got tired or our feet hit a manhole cover or other piece of pavement without adequate snow cover. In the case of the later the ‘dismount’ was never elegant and usually dangerous. See video below for a demo.

But snowball fights were in a league of their own. Snowball fights have always had rules. No rocks. No ice balls. Don’t even think of going on old man Johnson’s yard. In our case snowball fights often culminated in fisticuffs between siblings or competitors.

But chances are your neighborhood snowball fight wasn’t half as regulated as Yukigassen: the Japanese sport of snow combat.

The rules are simple, but numerous (see a full list). Two teams of seven (with two substitutes) compete in an arena about the size of a tennis court. The game is a blend of capture the flag and dodgeball, where victory is gained either by capturing the opposing team’s flag or knocking every opponent out of the game with snowballs.

So turn off the TV. Boycott Sochi. Head outdoors and take on the day with your own winter action sports.

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