Organizers of the Play On! program are delighted to announce that they will host the 10th anniversary celebration of Canada’s largest annual street hockey festival in Ottawa on the airstrip runway of the Rockcliffe Flying Club, behind the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, June 3-4, 2017.
Play On! – sponsored by the CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada – has become recognized as a uniquely Canadian outdoor street hockey tournament & festival attracting hundreds of thousands of Canadians annually from coast to coast. After spending the last eight years filling the parking lots at the Canadian Tire Centre, Play On! is moving is Ottawa location to this new venue in order to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary in a space that can accommodate up to 1000 street hockey teams, with a goal of setting a new world record for the largest single street hockey tournament.
“We love hosting this event in Ottawa, and we know that through the years Ottawa has grown to truly love this event,” said Scott Hill, founder of the national program. “Where else in the country would be a better place to set a new Guinness World Record than in the Nation’s capital, and as part of Canada’s 150th birthday.”
“This summer is set to be an exciting time in the Nation’s Capital as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, said Chris Ricci, General Manager of the Rockcliffe Flying Club. Our organization is pleased to partner with Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! to host this incredibly popular event.”
“Ottawa is a hockey city, deeply rooted in the sport’s history, and the place to be for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! is a great event for hockey fans of all ages from across the country to celebrate and partake in their favourite Canadian sport, right here in the Nation’s Capital.”
Play On! is structured as a two-day competition open to individuals of any age or skill level organized into self-selected teams consisting of as few as four or as many as nine players. There are divisions and categories for individuals/teams of any skill level, including for those who may be new to Canada and who have never played any form of hockey before. Free to spectators, it was designed as inclusive event that uniquely combines Canadian sport and culture. One interesting fact about the event in Ottawa is that more than 50% of participants in this event have historically not played ice hockey. Featuring more than fifty different divisions for boys, girls, men, and women, the event also includes a Corporate division, with proceeds donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa. Championship t-shirts, medallions, and other prizes are awarded to all divisions winners.
Since teams have considerable time in between their games, organizers enhance each Play On! event with food vendors, craft vendors, live music, sponsor exhibits, contests, and special events, including a breakaway competition and an annual celebrity street hockey game, (being held at Noon on June 3, 2017). This game is also free to spectators; Mayor Jim Watson and Governor General David Johnston have already received invitations to participate.
For this special anniversary event, organizers have applied to set a new world record for the largest single day street hockey championship. The current official record of 1333 participants was set in Toronto in September 2015. Last year’s Play On! event in Ottawa involved over 2,400 participants. Organizers hope to set a new record of over 5000 participants at this event, which would make it not only the largest single day street hockey championship, but also, the largest Play On! event ever held (the current Play On! record of 4438 players was set in Halifax in 2014.)
More than one hundred and thirty volunteer positions and over one hundred referee opportunities are available for this event. Those who are interested in participating as a volunteer or official may register now at www.playon.ca
The Play On! program is sponsored nationally by Booster Juice, Sportsnet, Via Rail, and the CBC. The Ottawa Senators have been supporters of the event since 2009. More than twenty-five local sponsorship opportunities are available for a limited time. Registration is now open at www.playon.ca and will continue until the event is full, or until the May 29 registration deadline.
About Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On!
Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! is Canada’s largest sports festival, featuring recreational and competitive street hockey tournament divisions for both genders, all skill levels, and all ages. Since the program's inception in 2003, more than two million Canadians have ‘taken back the streets’ from coast to coast through involvement in one of the one hundred and fifty-five (155) Play On! events held to date. The events have collectively included participation from many prominent Canadians and hundreds of professional hockey players, including current NHL players Connor McDavid, Kyle Turris, and Curtis Lazar. These large-scale, highly organized street hockey festivals celebrate the game of hockey in its purest form, in a wholesome, fun-filled atmosphere that makes kids feel like NHL pros and helps adults feel like kids again. All interested participants can visit www.playon.ca for tournament information, to register a team, and more.
Note: Play On! already holds the Guinness Record for the largest street hockey tournament in the world, a Canada-wide mark that was set in 2013 with 5360 teams. The Play On! program has not formally applied to break its own record since that time, but has since exceeded its own standard with participation of 6070 teams in its largest season to date.
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