After a strong turnout during its first year, the BC Pond Hockey Tournament is back in Invermere. On February 1, 2 and 3, Kinsmen Beach will be host to dozens of hockey teams for the second annual BC Eastern Regional Pond Hockey Championships.
Teams will be divided by age, gender and competitiveness, and there will be no goalies in play and no enforcement of icing or offside.
“It’s spectacular,” John Reed, Tournament Director, told The Echo. “It’s an iconic Canadiana setting and there are few, if any, that are better. It’s fun.”
Teams up to six will skate four players who will compete in five games consisting of 30 minutes each. Semi-finals and a final playoff round will occur on Sunday (February 3) for teams that qualify.
There will be no contact and breaking the rules will hurt the team’s score. Rather than penalizing players with a time out, the number of penalties between the two teams cancel each other out until one team is left with a surplus. The team with more penalties will see the difference deducted from their score.
“When it comes down to the wire, as refs we always hear about it,” Reed said.
Before its debut in Invermere last winter, BC Pond Hockey was in the market to expand, he said.
“[Invermere] seemed like the right fit, and as it turned out it definitely is the right fit.”
Asked what’s unique about the tournament, Reed replied, “It’s playing hockey outside in a great venue. the fresh air, the adrenaline you get when you step on the ice…it’s a completely different feel to playing hockey inside.”
The event begins on Friday ( February 1) night at the Station Pub with burgers and live music by the band Willhorse from Golden.
Reed thanked the many sponsors and said, “We’re as excited as the players, and the players are super excited.”
For more information, visit www.bcpondhockey.com.