Hockey players will try to take back world record

A group from Nanaimo is planning another world-record attempt in June 2017, setting out to play the longest indoor ball hockey game.

Nanaimo players celebrate at the exact moment they break the old record for longest indoor ball hockey game. A Nanaimo group will attempt to re-establish the record from June 23-25

Nanaimo players celebrate at the exact moment they break the old record for longest indoor ball hockey game. A Nanaimo group will attempt to re-establish the record from June 23-25

The athletes from the World’s Longest Hockey Game have something to play for once again.

A group from Nanaimo is planning another world-record attempt in June 2017, setting out to play the longest indoor ball hockey game. Local youths set the record in 2013, playing for 50 and a half hours, but have learned that a group in Calgary bettered that with a 60-hour game.

“A lot of the guys thought, yeah, that was ours, so we want it back,” said Rick Nelson, director of player operations for next spring’s game. “It was a lot of work [to set the record] and it was kind of disappointing to see it go so quick. Good for those guys from Calgary; they did a good job. So now we’re just going to take back what’s ours.”

The Nanaimo teams will try to play for 60-plus hours between June 23-25 at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

Some of the athletes have the experience of a few record attempts. Nanaimo youths tried unsuccessfully to break the outdoor record in 2012, set the indoor record in 2013 and then broke the outdoor record of 105 hours in 2014.

“Having some of the old crew back will be handy because they’ll be able to share their wisdom and their experience in how it all went down and hopefully that will carry everybody through,” Nelson said.

That said, the group will do things a little differently for 2017. Nelson said there are plans to make the game into more of a community event, though plans are preliminary right now.

Even with the attempt a long way away on the calendar, Nelson feels positive about Nanaimo’s chances to re-establish a world record.

“I really do,” he said. “The mindset of the people that are already involved, including some of the players, we’re still months and months away and I’ve got guys that are already willing to start training and getting ready for it.”

The event will have a fundraising aspect, as organizers are calling it Hockey Fights Crohn’s and Colitis.

The group is looking for players, volunteers and sponsors. For information about playing or volunteering, please e-mail rick@NanaimoHockeyGame.ca. For information about sponsorship, please e-mail Tali@KickRadio.ca or call 250-327-2106.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com