If you have never played outdoor hockey before, you should. It’s the most amazing feeling of freedom and pure joy. Pond hockey is where I forged many of my skills, and some of my best memories from my childhood. Whether you’ve played outdoor hockey before or not, there is an amazing opportunity for you and all your friends to collectively indulge in this amazing experience!
The Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships
If you’re looking for an amazing weekend out with your closest friends, this is it! Hockey, Beer, Nature, Food, and hundreds of other beauty hockey players all having a great time and playing hockey. This is what it’s all about!
The tourney is hosted at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario.
The dates are
Jan 23rd – 25th for 25+ Mens Rec and Open and 19+ Womens competitive
Men’s 19+ division just added!
Jan 30th to Feb 1st for Mens 35+ Mens 50+ and Women 19+ Fun and Competitive
The cost is $600 and each team is allowed 6 players. Registration covers entry into the tournament, you can book a hotel room at Deerhurst or many of the other hotels in Huntsville.
What’s the Tournament like?
I played in this tournament a few years ago and it’s amazing. You’re with your best friends, playing hockey together on a pond, and trying to win it all! There is more to the weekend than just hockey though, I have included some details below
Friday Nights they have a “Food Truck style” meal at the “Gibson’s Finest Friday Night Bash” with a live DJ etc…no reservation required and it’s held at Deerhurst Resort. I’m looking forward to the food truck inspired meals!
Saturday Nights they have the “10th Annual Pond Party” with All-You-Can-Eat buffet, Raffles, giveaways, Hockey on the big screens, and live band and dance party! ( the dinner tickets are sold separately by Deerhurst) You don’t have to go to one in order to attend the other.
Throughout the entire weekend they have music pumping and food & beers flowing in the rinkside food and beverage tent all weekend! All the action is in one location with 28 rinks on Deerhurst’s Sunset Bay
The Canadian Pond Hockey Championships were held in February 2010 at Deerhurst Resort in the beautiful town of Huntsville, Ontario. I had the privilege of attending this great event and wanted to share the experience.
Why I love Pond Hockey
I have played hockey outdoors since I was a child. I remember the days where I would skate until I could not feel my toes, and then skate some more. Whether the temperature was 2 above or 20 below, I would be out on the pond skating. There is an amazing feeling that you get when you lace up the skates, pick up your stick, drop the puck and just play. No rules, no refs, no pressure, just hockey… pond hockey that is.
Many of the guys who skated in this years pond hockey championships felt that feeling, skating on the frozen lake, dodging pressure cracks and facing temperatures of 25 degrees below 0 or more! There is no global recognition or prize money for the winning team, just bragging rights and a cool trophy. So why did over 200 men and women come out to play hockey, outside, in the blistering cold? Because they love the game of hockey, and that is something we can all relate to.
Canadian Pond Hockey Championship Pictures
I took a few pictures from the pond hockey that I wanted to share. I hope you guys like them
The event was hosted by Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario. The resort is an amazing place to stay in the winter. They have snowshoeing, dog sledding, horse and buggy rides, tubing, cross country skiing and about 100 other things to do during the winter, oh and pond hockey 😀
On this particular day the temperature was -19 (here is proof) I think the coldest it got during the tournament was -28 but every team still participated, that’s what I call true Canadian spirit!
Here is a shot of the lake from the resort, the staff at Deerhurst worked for weeks and weeks to get all of the rinks cleared, 24 in total!
The teams show up in style, every team wore a unique uniform or jersey.
Here is a shot of a few of the guys lacing up for a game of pond hockey
After a great game the teams line up and shake hands, the sportsmanship lives on, indoors and out.
Here we have a team starting a team cheer before the game.
The first night teams were playing into the night, and some even stayed out to get some extra ice time. I had to work so I did not get a chance to get any night shots, but I did manage to get this cool silhouette
Here is my favourite shot from the tournament, and would also make a pretty cool ad for Source for Sports!
I hope you guys like these shots, and hopefully they will inspire you to call up some friends, shovel off a piece of ice on your nearest lake or pond and play some good old fashioned pond hockey!
Share your favourite pond hockey memory below. My favourite memory is going out with my best friends, playing until we could barely stand, and then making a massive pasta dinner!