2010 marks the five year anniversary of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, which will be played on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis this Friday-Sunday as they have for the last four years. I will once again be participating in the event, although this year I'll be on a team in the "over forty" instead of the "open" field. Aging typically doesn't offer one many advantages, but when an opportunity does arise it's prudent to seize it. Rather than fighting an unwinnable battle, it's better to accept age for what it is, especially if means you might get to skate against guys as old and slow as you (fingers crossed).
During the last few Pond Hockey Championships, the biggest struggle that players faced was how to keep warm. This year it might be how to keep dry. We play both our Friday games early so we should be okay tomorrow. However, on Saturday we play at 10:30am and 12:30pm. Based on the current weather forecast, that could mean trouble:
Saturday: Freezing rain and sleet before noon, then rain. High near 37. Breezy, with a east wind around 23 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Freezing rain, sleet, rain, and windy? Hardly ideal conditions for outdoor hockey. January rain in Minnesota is cruel. It pretty much ruins any winter activity you want to do outside, can play havoc on the roads, and generally depresses the hell out of everyone because you know it's not a sign of spring, but rather a mid-winter anomaly. Snow and cold we can handle, rain should not be part of the wintery mix.