Classique Montréalaise pond hockey tournament held this weekend

CBC

Nearly 150 teams will be competing this weekend in what is being billed as the city's largest pond hockey tournament, the Classique Montréalaise.

The free event, held at the Parc Jean-Drapeau Olympic Bassin, will see teams of four face off as part of the city's 375th anniversary celebrations.

"There's a little magic to pond hockey," said project manager Jean-Loup Barbeau. "It brings everybody back to when they were kids."

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He told CBC's All in a Weekend that the teams compete over two periods of 12 minutes on a smaller ice surface, one that measures 19.5 metres wide by 39 metres long.

"It's pond hockey, so it's played on a smaller surface," he said. "We just want to keep the game moving fast."

The teams are divided into four divisions: competitive, recreational, 50+ and women's.

Barbeau said that organizers initially set a goal of recruiting 96 teams, but once the spots filled up in December, they added space to make for a total of 144 teams.

Over the weekend, the nearly 900 amateur players will compete for the grand prize of one hour of playing time at the Bell Centre with some Montreal Canadiens alumni.

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