Kyle Kosier from The Hockey Academy at Ralph Engelstad Arena tells us about Grand Forks’ first ever ball hockey tournament…
The Hockey Academy, in conjunction with the Ralph Engelstad Arena is hosting Grand Forks’ first-ever summer ball hockey tournament, the REA Ball Hockey Classic. The tournament, which will run from May 31st to June 2nd, will feature teams from North Dakota, Minnesota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Much like its on-ice counterpart, the rules of ball hockey should be pretty familiar to the local community. Playing a 3-on-3 co-ed format (with a goalie), games will be held on both the REA Main arena and Olympic surfaces and will feature two 15-minute halves. Teams can have between 5 and 8 players and registration is $225.00/team.
Extremely popular in Winnipeg and other Canadian cities, ball hockey can be fun for everyone from seasoned hockey players to novices. No hockey playing experience is required, and the tournament will feature both open and elite divisions so that you can play against people of the same skill level. Each ice surface at the REA will be converted to hold 3 ball hockey floors, with games running “cross-ice”. The rules allow for a wide-open playing experience to emphasize scoring and offensive play. With an eye on safety, participants will be required to wear certain hockey equipment (helmets, gloves, shin-pads, etc.) and goalies will have to provide their own equipment.
Hockey Academy Director Karl Goehring notes with enthusiasm that “The Hockey Academy is very pleased to be able to bring an event like this to the REA, as it provides a fun experience for kids and adults alike.” In addition to the hockey, an all-ages concert is also being planned to provide some after-hockey entertainment.
Interested teams can sign up via the Hockey Academy website (www.reachockeyacademy.com) or contact the Hockey Academy at 701-777-6637.