Corvus Design Blog

February 28, 2011

Fur Rondy – Yuki (snow) gassen (battle)

This Fur Rondy post focuses on Yukigassen, which is essentially a sanctioned snowball fight with rules and safety equipment. Yukigassen is a Japanese word which translates to snow (yuki) and battle (gassen). We watched our first ever games yesterday, and it appears to be a combination of dodgeball and capture the flag. The official website for Yukigassen in the US is: and the rules can be fouund here:

Best formed snowballs I’ve ever seen!

Here’s an excerpt that deals with how players are put ‘out’ of the game:

The following players are called out:
• A player who is hit by a snowball
• A player whose foot crossed an end line or sideline
• A player who is a Forward whose foot crosses his own team’s blue line
• A player who makes an illegal snowball
• A player who hides or carries a snowball inside his or her clothing or penny.
• When two players hit each other simultaneously they are both considered out.

Watching the game was pretty fun. It appears to be a good balance of skill (hitting your target), speed and agility (dodging the hail of snowballs), and strategy (getting someone forward to capture the opponent’s flag). Although, it does have the element of dodgeball… and our childhood fear of being the one always targeted first might leave us paralyzed on the field…

This tournament was the first sanctioned US tournament, and the winners have the ability to go to the international tournament in Japan. We hope that Yukigassen catches on around the US to a similar extent as something like Ultimate Frisbee has in the summer.

These photos show one of the games that our own Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department played in… putting it on the line… keeping our parks safe from the forces of snowball evil.