Pond hockey set for weekend at White Park in Concord
Volunteers Bob Graffy, right, and Doug Davis, both of Concord, put together boards while preparing for the Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship at White Pond in Concord. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Starting today at 9 a.m. at the White Park pond, there will be 85 teams competing from throughout the country.
"There will be over 600 players competing in the tournament Friday and Saturday, ages 18 up to people in their mid to late 60s," said Chris Brown, organizer of the tournament. "This is a park that local people have a lot of history with, whether it was learning how to skate, play baseball, or even snowboard at an early age. It's a park in town that has a lot of connections to people's upbringing. This is a weekend tournament where you can bring your entire family and have fun."
Brown said there will be 85 games today, made up of two 15-minute periods.
The games are running time and there are no referees.
There will be eight 64-by-120 rinks to play on. There are no goalies and no goal.
Each team will have seven players on the roster and only four can play on any shift.
On each end of the rinks there is a 6-by-2 size box where teams attempt to shoot the puck through a slot for a score.
"It's a tournament run by gentlemen's and ladies' rule," said Brown. "There's no hard checking or physical hits allowed in the games."
Minor penalties like tripping and pucks shot out of bounds result in a change of possession.
After each goal the team scored upon takes the puck out of the box and drops it to the ice to resume play.
On Saturday, action continues at 8 a.m. and runs throughout the day to 7:20 p.m. On Sunday, starting at 9 a.m. the semifinals in each division will be held, followed by the finals.
There are six overall divisions: 18-and-over Open, 18-and-over recreational, women's division, 35-and-over A Divison, 35-and-over B Division and, 50-plus division. A brief ceremony following the championship games will be held around noon.
Brown said the Jack Edwards Teeth/Cheer team of Concord will return as the two-time open division champion.
Former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, as he did last year, will be competing in the 50-plus division.
The public is welcome and admission is free.
Fireworks will start at 7:15 p.m. Friday at White Park, which is on the corner of Washington Street and Centre Street.
For more information on Friday's and Saturday's scheduled games, visit www.blackicepondhockey.com.
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