Pond hockey will get the many of the armchair athletes out of the house this weekend in Prince Edward Island.
While others may stay in to watch the events at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, firefighters and others volunteers will be on the ice in the island province’s annual tournament.
Pond hockey is a winter tradition. It’s where generations of kids learned to skate across Canada, and then shoot a puck.
“It’s just a whole bunch of people that are playing it for the sport”
But it’s not as common these days, certainly in the bigger cities, where climate change has rendered many ponds too dangerous to skate on, and there are more public facilities available.
The West Point Volunteer Fire Department has been keeping the tradition alive for 12 years, as hosts of the PEI Pond Hockey Championship.
This weekend 25 to 40 teams will compete on six surfaces.
Unlike the professional game, pond hockey has only four members to a team and, no goalies.
The nets are just 20 centimetres in height, and a game consists of two 15-minute periods.
They’ll play from 9 am until dark.
There’s a warming tent with a snack bar for spectators and one surface is for kid’s skating.
Harvey Stewart, one of the volunteer organizers, told CBC News, “It’s just a whole bunch of people that are playing it for the sport.”
(With files from CBC)