Edit ModuleShow Tags

Let’s Play Hockey…Outdoors Of Course


It’s good and cold. January cold. The ice is thick, hard, smooth. The skates are sharpened. For Minnesota sport enthusiasts that can only mean one thing: pond hockey.

This weekend, teams from across the country (and the world) will take the ice for competition in many hockey divisions in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Nokomis, “the way nature intended.” Growing up beyond Minnesota’s borders, I don’t have the same connection and memories that pond hockey has for many athletes, young and old, in and around the Twin Cities. Hockey is a part of their athletic DNA and it only seems natural that our area would host an amateur tournament for weekend players—yet the tournament doesn’t have a long history.

In 2005, Fred Haberman, co-founder of the marketing agency Haberman, came up with the idea when he thought fondly of his younger days playing hockey with his friends on a frozen creek near his home. If such a tournament existed, who would play? Who would come and watch? In 2006, the first event took place: 120 players from around the globe entered, drawing tens of thousands of spectators to watch players on more than 25 rinks shoveled atop the ice of Lake Nokomis. (Appropriately enough, the winning teams are engraved into a golden shovel.)

The tournament has only grown since its first year. As their website states, ESPN says "there's no better place for a sports fan to be, and no better time to be there." And Sports Illustrated has even called it “perfect.” Even if you aren’t participating, being on hand to view the amateurs compete in a game they love can only bring about warm feelings about your community. Warm being the operative word. The current tournament organizers share more about the event in this YouTube video:

P.S. If you want to learn more about pond hockey, a documentary was recently released on DVD featuring Wayne Gretzky and onetime Minnesota Wild star Marian Gaborik.

U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
January 18-20, 2013
Lake Nokomis
Schedule of Events

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Brewery Running Series

We like brew, yes we do. We like brew, so we're willing to run 3.1 miles for it

Plunge Into Minnesota's Water Parks

Although Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, don’t forget about water slides this summer

Memorial Day Activities in the Twin Cities

From historical reenactments to a hip-hop music festival, there's something for everyone this Memorial Day weekend in the Twin Cities.

A Day Trip to Red Wing

Located right on the Mississippi River, Red Wing offers a historic downtown district and spectacular views

It's Farmers Market Season

No matter where you live in Minnesota, fresh produce, flowers and homemade goodies await

Origami in the Garden

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's latest exhibit puts the art of folding paper on full display with a garden and metal twist

New Ways to Explore 3 Classic MN Destinations

From Fort Snelling to the North Shore, check out this summer's technological updates to historic and wild Minnesota places

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

What to Wear + Where to Go: Music Festivals

Your style guide for Minnesota music festivals

Mesabi Trail Offers New Views in Northern Minnesota

The Mesabi Trail, a 120-mile paved cycling and hiking trail that spans the Mesabi Iron Range, recently opened a new connection in Virginia, MN that crosses the state's tallest bridge and offers amazing views of former minelands.

Glensheen Mansion Bonfire Nights

Enjoy this summer tradition from one of the most iconic estates in the state

Twin Cities Festival Spring Babies

If April showers bring May flowers, spring babies bring fun for the whole family

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags