The Manitoba Ball Hockey Association will be hosting over 32 youth teams from across Canada July 28-31 in Winnipeg. Teams from Newfoundland, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba will fight it out for gold across 5 divisions including Boys U15, U17, U19 and Girls U16 and U19 divisions.
Along with select teams in the Boys and Girls divisions the MBHA is also excited to be represented by a first time Indigenous team entry in the U17 Boys division. Players on this team are from Brokenhead, Skownan, Sagkeeng, Lake St. Martin, Peguis, Sandy Bay, Nelson House, Fairford, Black River, Dauphin River, Norway House and Cross Lake communities.
The event will take place at the Canada Life Centre, Bell MTS Iceplex and Keith Bodley Arenas starting on July 28 with Championship games on Sunday July 31. Games are played on full NHL sized arenas on dry concrete with almost all the rules are similar to that of ice hockey. The most distinct rule difference aside from players running rather than skating is a unique Offside Rule.
In ball hockey once the ball precedes the players of the attacking team into the offensive zone, the blue line disappears and for the defending team must clear the ball over centre to reset the blue line. This unique rule allows for a much larger attacking zone and more offence.
Teams will largely be comprised of players that play competitive ice hockey in the Western Hockey League, American and Canadian College Hockey, High School AAA and double AA hockey leagues. The game play is extremely fast and physical, and the competition will be fierce in all divisions.
Ball Hockey is a sport that is an economically friendly version of hockey played often during summer months. Manitoba team representatives have played across Canada and around the world as members of Team Manitoba and Team Canada to great success. The goal for the Manitoba representatives is to win the national championship in their respective divisions and have players selected to Team Canada for the World Championship in 2023.
Tickets will be on sale at the door and links for the live stream will be posted at www.manitobaballhockey.com
For further information contact Manitoba Ball Hockey Association technical director Jeff Dzikowicz at 204 981-8188. Information can also be found at www.manitobaballhockey.com and www.manitobaminorballhockey.com.