Snowball Fighting Is an Actual Sport, and One You Should Watch

Dodgeball meets capture the flag meets snow

February 3, 2017 9:00 am

Every February, two teams of top-tier athletes compete for a world championship, engaging in an epic physical battle that puts their guts, brawn and endurance on full display for all to see.

But it has nothing to do with $5 million ads. Or wardrobe malfunctions. Or inflated balls of any kind.

Instead, the balls  used in the annual Yukigassen championship in Japan are made from snow and ice and there are 90 of ‘em.

During the Yukigassen (Japanese for “snow battle”) event, 100 teams duke it out through a round robin snowball fight tournament in a series of three-minute matches that end when time expires or one team is able to capture their opponent’s flag.

Snowball Championships (5 images)

Players are eliminated when they’re struck by an opponent’s snowball. If neither team captures a flag, the squad with the most remaining players when times expires wins. The team that wins two out of three matches takes the round and advances in the tournament.

This year’s tourney kicks off on February 25th at the base of a volcano that still emits smoke.

Time to get packing. 

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