Snowball Fighting / Yukigassen

Unsurprisingly the simple pleasure of throwing a snowball at someone has been turned into a game with standardized rules and field definitions. Snowball Fighting, or Yukigassen as it is called, originated in Japan in 1988. Since then it has snowballed, so to speak, and has been taken up by the Nordic countries, especially Finland where an annual two day Yukigassen festival is held in Kemijarvi.
Snowball fighting is played by two teams of seven players on a ten by forty meter pitch which has a series of snow walls for hiding behind. Play consists of three sets of 3 minutes each and during each set the team has a supply of 90 snowballs only. The snowballs are created before each game using a snowball making machine ensuring uniformity of size and density and stopping the childhood technique of adding a little ice to the finished ball.
Each team's home area contains a flag and they must defend this whilst trying to capture their opponent’s and avoid being hit by a ball. If a player is hit he is out for the whole of the set. A set is won by either capturing the flag or by having more players left on the pitch at the end of 3 minutes. If there is a tie then the team that used the fewest snowballs wins that set. Surely there should be a push to get Yukigassen into the next Winter Olympics, at the very least as a demonstration sport.

yukigassen on yuki-tube
strange games no:162

No comments: