Source: YouTube

Hokkaido’s Snowball Fight Is More Like A War Zone

Just because it is snowing outside doesn’t mean all activity is shutdown completely. The most northern part of Japan, Hokkaido, is holding a snowball fight that is way more serious than we thought. In fact, the sport "Yukigassen snowball fight" started in the Showa period, and this year is their 28th consecutive year.

To an extent, players must wear helmets and protective gear to be able to join the team. Whenever the referee yells out start, the snow ball field turns into a war zone, and two team players concentrate on aiming at their target player while hiding behind the wall. If you receive a direct hit, then you’re out of the battlefield.

While you might think this is still child’s play with no rules, there are actually specific strategies to follow and coaches behind to lead them to victory.

In most cases, one team positions as four forwards and 3 backcourts. Backcourts serve the snowballs to forwards, and they fire them at the target. Besides that it must be a direct full hit, a player is eliminated even when struck by a teammate’s or one’s own snowball. In any case if you catch or pass the ball like in a baseball game, you’re not only totally out of the game, you also embarrass your teammates.

As a quick tip, many beginners tend to hide behind the Chateau (snow wall) to cover themselves from being hit. The best way to counter this is to maximize the height velocity with the “LOB attack!”

The goal is to capture opponents flag in the backfield, or have the most remaining players at the end of the game.

The intense Yukigassen snowball championship tournament is still on-going until the end of February in Hokkaido. Best of luck to all.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.