The other day we noticed that the outdoor bandy rink by Sam's arena was all ready for the winter! My first thought was that we had to go skating ASAP! In Oskarshamn, Sweden we used to go skating on the outdoor bandy rink a couple of times a season and it was always so fun! The ice for a bandy rink is HUGE, and it is perfectly smooth and well 'groomed'? I clearly do not know the correct terminology for hockey rinks.
Bandy is a very popular sport over here in Scandinavia. The ice is much bigger than a hockey rink, so it can really only be played outside (unless there is a huge indoor arena). The ice is supposed to be the size of a soccer field/football pitch. They also sometimes play a variation of the game on a hockey rink sized ice, but then it is called rink bandy. The players wear hockey skates, and limited padding. They have sticks, but they are much shorter than hockey sticks and have little plastic bottoms. The point of the games is to put a ball (not a puck) into the opposing teams goal to score. There are eleven players on the ice at a time, and the game is broken into two 45 minute halves. It is a little bit like hockey, football, floorball, and field hockey. The players may not intentionally touch the ball with their heads, hands, or arms.
In 2006 the women's World Champioship for bandy was held in Minnesota! It is currently in the process of being include in the Olympic games, but is currently not one of the 'official sports'.
Here is a link to a video of a World Championship game between Sweden and Russia.
We went skating with some friends at the next possible opportunity! Bandy rinks make very good hockey rinks! After we took these pictures the zamboni resurfaced the ice, and it was so smooth! I didn't realize how much faster I would be a able to go on freshly resurfaced ice!
|Playing keep-away, you can probably guess how long that lasted..|
Hope everyone is enjoying all of the snow and finding fun things to do outdoors, even when hot chocolate by the fireplace sounds like the only way to stay warm.