The birth and growth of Yukigassen


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 The Birth of a New Sport

Yukigassen traces its roots to snowball fights: fun ways for kids in snowy areas to pass the time with some friendly combat.…and “Sports Yukigassen was born”. It all started with an effort to energize the community during the winter months, when tourist traffic drops. But finding a unique, original approach proved difficult….…and then, one day…We saw how tourists loved the snow-touching it, balling it up, and throwing snowballs at each other. It was an instant inspiration: a realization that people had a natural instinct to fight with snowballs!  So, in 1988, we decided to make Yukigassen a real sport!

“Snowball fight as an official sport? How absurd?!”
That was the common reaction of mostpeople, when first told of the idea. Every sport needs standard rules and equipment: how to play, how to win, how to make the snowballs, what to wear???  There were so many questions, but no easy answers…. By studying other sports, researching games, and conducting numerous simulations, we came up with a set of rules and standard equipment. Finally, in 1989, the first Showa-Shinzan International Yukigassen was held.

History of Yukigassen


The Yukigassen Rules Committee was formed

Official set of rules was complete on Dec 6


The snowball maker and helmets were first made

The 1st Annual Showa Shinzan International Yukigassen(70 teams participated)


1st Ladies Divison tournament


Australia hosted the first Yukigassen event outside of Japan


The Japan Yukigassen Alliance was established


Finland established the first Yukigassen organization outside of Japan


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


Yukigassen joined the 65th Winter National Sports Festival as an official event.


The International Alliance of sports Yukigassen (IAY / Yukigassen International) formally established


The 30th annual tournament will be held at 24th-25th Feb.