The Story of Yukigassan - the Birth of a New Sport
Snowball fight as an official sport? How obsurd?! That was the common reaction of most in the Sobetsu when first told of the idea.
The stagnate winter months (economically) in this part of Hokkaido has long been a challenge. In Aug, 1987, a youthful commission from areas of commerce, tourism, agriculture and public service came together to brainstorm an idea to take advantage of the plentiful snow of the area.
The unique and fanciful idea of Yukigassen (Snow-battle) was sparked while observing south-east Asian tourists having fun throwing sowballs at each other. From the initiate sparks, the attempt was to modernize this winter fun reminiscent of childhood past.
After many months of hard work in creating the rules and designing the various aspects of the game, sport Yukigassen was born; culmulating with the inaugaral Yukigassen tournament in February 1989.
The History of Sport Yukigassen
1988 The Yukigassen Rules Committee was formed
⇒ Official set of rules was complete on Dec 6
1989 The snowball maker and helmets were first made
1989 Feb 25-26 The 1st Annual Showa Shinzan International Yukigassen（70 teams participated)
1991 1st Ladies Divison tournament
1992 Australia hosted the first Yukigassen event outside of Japan
1993 The Japan Yukigassen Alliance was established
1995 Finland established the first Yukigassen organization outside of Japan Followed by Norway in1997, Russia in 2006, Australia in 2007, Holland in 2008、Sweden in 2009, Canada/USA in 2011, Belgium Yukigassen was formed and tournament was held in 2012
The 20th annual tournament was cancelled due to extreme bad weather
• The Hokkaido Sports Association recognized The Hokkaido Yukigassen Federation as an official competitive sporting body
• Yamanashi Yukigassen Federation was officially recognized by their area sport association in 2012
2009 The 1st issue of Yukigassen Magazine published
2010 Yukigassen joined the 65th Winter National Sports Festival as an official event.
2013 The International Alliance of sport Yukigassen formally established
2018 The 30th annual tournament will be held at 24th-25th Feb.