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This winter is brutal. We get it. But maybe instead of hiding in your basement and waiting for June to arrive, you should make the best of it like they do in Japan. Why is Japan so good at everything?
Welcome to Yukigassen, which is pretty much Japanese for taking your snowball game to the next level. To add a sense of gravity to the matter, this battle is held at the base of a smoking volcano every February. (You’ll have to book your flight for the 2015 edition, bro. You already missed the boat).
As with all totally serious, competitive sports, there are rules: Two teams of seven players are given 90 snowballs per team to use at their discretion over the course of the 3-minute match.
To win, you either knock out your opponents via regulation-sized ice orbs or capture the enemy’s flag at the end of the field. Win best out of three matches to advance in the tournament.
The enthusiasm embodied by Yukigassen has spread around the globe, now recreated everywhere from North Vancouver to Anchorage, Alaska. So the next time you’re walking past a heap of fresh city snow, consider starting your own local Yukigassen chapter – just make sure you do it before that heap fills up with garbage, used cigarettes, and various animal byproducts. Active volcanoes may be optional, but clean snow is a must.
Photo Credit: Coutesey of Ripleys