Team Snowball Fighting Event Planned at Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Fur Rendezvous plans a new event at this winter's festival in Anchorage — team snowball fighting.

It's an organized sport in Japan called Yukigassen, and Rondy board president Gary Hufford told the Anchorage Daily News Wednesday the February event will be the first sanctioned Yukigassen tourney in the United States.

"We're always looking for new events," he said.

Here's how it works:

Two teams of seven players, wearing helmets and face guards, meet on a rectangular field that has defensive snow shelters and flags for each side.

No shields allowed. No cleats or metal spikes.

A team can win by capturing the opponents' flag or hitting all the opponents with snowballs.

Each team will gets 270 machine-made snowballs.

The teams play for three three-minute periods, with referees officiating.

After the Rondy announcement at their headquarters, Mayor Dan Sullivan, Assemblyman and former Rondy board chairman Ernie Hall and others demonstrated the art of throwing snowballs.

The 10-day Rondy begins Feb. 25. Events include sled dog racing, ice sculptures and now, team snowball fighting on the Delaney Park Strip.
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