A bunch of ball hockey players are going to make a break for it. The World’s Longest Indoor Hockey Game, as it’s being billed in advance, begins Friday (Aug. 9) at Frank Crane Arena.
Thirty local youths will attempt to play for 50 straight hours, and if all goes according to plan they will reach that mark Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
The same group, Youth Sticking Together, made an attempt last summer at the breaking the world record for the longest game of street hockey, but stopped after 50 hours, not quite halfway to its goal of 105 hours.
Right after that game ended, a player asked organizer Tali Campbell, “Can we do this again next year?”
Dylan Howard, one of the returning players, said last year’s experience was unforgettable, but said the memory will be even better if they can actually break a record.
“I don’t think there was any thought that we wouldn’t try again, and I’m glad that we are,” he said.
Campbell said it was someone from Guinness World Records who suggested the Nanaimo group try for the less-daunting indoor record. They’re only allowed 30 players instead of 40, but still, they know 50 hours is doable because they’ve done it.
Organizers have a better idea of the medical and nutritional needs, and will have a massage therapist this time around, and scheduled meal times. They’ll try to keep it down at bedtime, to let their teammates get their sleep. Out on the floor, they’ll take it a little easier with their slapshots, and they’ll also attempt to conserve energy.
“Last year we thought we were all NHL stars – 105 hours was just a number,” Campbell said. “What we have learned as a team is pacing yourselves, respecting everyone.”
They also won’t have to play in the rain, like they did last year. So the conditions all seem to be in place for the guys to take a serious run at the record.
“We all know what we’re going to get ourselves into,” Howard said. “So I think we have a far better chance this year than we did last year.”
Campbell said he doesn’t want to jinx the guys, but he’s optimistic about breaking the record.
“This year is a make or break. If we don’t break the record this year, there’s no attempting it anymore. There’s only so many tries you can have,” he said. “This year is, I’m not going to say a must, but it is a must. They know that’s the expectation.”
Their chances will be a little better if they can make the most of home-floor advantage.
“We want the community to come out and cheer these guys on,” Campbell said. “All they need is a few minutes of your time to come say, ‘Woo hoo, go, go, go,’ to keep them going.”
GAME ON … Opening ceremonies are Friday at 3 p.m., then on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. there will be a bouncy castle, dunk tank and face painting. On Sunday evening there will be a wind-up barbecue. Admission to all activities is by donation, with all proceeds going to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island.