Yukigassen is Japanese for snow battle. The event in Saskatoon is believed to be the first organized snowball fight of this kind in North America. The event was a smash hit with no doubt some misses as well.
The format for the Yukigassen orginated in Japan way back in 1988. It seems a perfect type of event for Canada where the winter weather will accomodate snowballs without fear of a meltdown! Just today the windchill is in the minus forties where I am. No doubt a truce would be declared in any snowball fight and beer and munchies would be shared inside around a fire!
In Yukigassen two teams with 7 players each pelt each other with snowballs while trying to capture the other teams flag. It is against the rules to make specially effective snowballs by adding ice or other foreign material! This may take some of the fun out of the game. The snowballs are made by machine to ensure the snowballs are of uniform size and density. Each is perfectly round and six and a half to seven centimeters wide!
, captain of the Credit Union Centre Rink Rats, says the key to winning is snowball strategy. Over 150 competitors took part in Saturday's event.The winner qualifies to go to Edmonton for the 2011 Canadian Yukigassen Championships March 4-6.