What You Need to Know About the Pequot Lakes “Bobber Bocce on Ice” – Brainerd Dispatch

PEQUOT LAKES – This might be the coolest thing to do in the Brainerd Lakes area on the coldest day this weekend.

The inaugural “Bobber Bocce on Ice” tournament on Saturday, February 12 on Sibley Lake in Pequot Lakes will be played outdoors with a single-digit scheduled day.

“I got this idea from Longville. They have ice bocce, and I’ve been there for several years,” said Nichole Heinen. “And we enjoyed playing it so much that we decided when I became a chamber manager here at Pequot that I wanted to bring this fun event to Pequot.”

Bobber Bocce on Ice will take place on the frozen lake, but people can watch the competition heat up between the 27 mixed teams of four who signed up before last month’s deadline.

The director of the Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce said she thinks winter activity would be a cool way to attract visitors and businesses to the town of nearly 2,400 people.

“We just don’t have very big events happening in the winter… in Pequot, so I wanted to bring people to the area,” Heinen said of Pequot Lakes, known for its larger-than-life fishing bobber. nature. water towers.

Bobber Bocce on Ice is a hybrid of pétanque and curling played on plowed lanes on ice. Pétanque is traditionally played on natural ground and asphalt courts with a maximum length of 90 feet.

The hard part is, ice cream is never perfect, is it?

—Nichole Heinen

“Ice pétanque is different from regular pétanque because we’re actually using pieces of wood with a handle on them. And you have a lane that’s all ice,” Heinen said.

Bocce is an Italian game. The basic principle of the sport is to roll a bocce ball as close as possible to the target ball, called a pallina.

Heinen said of Saturday’s Bobber Bocce on Ice: “You take this big log with the handle and slide it down the ice lane to get close to the little little ball… so it’s very similar to bocce but instead of using the ball, we use logs on the tracks on the frozen ice.

In that sense, it shares similarities with curling, which is part of the Beijing Winter Olympics games that run until February 20. Curling is played on ice, usually by two teams of four players each, where people slide a swinging granite to a target circle at the other end of the rink.

Wooden pucks with handles replace curling stones in ice bocce.

Contribution / Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce

“You don’t throw the ball like you normally would,” Heinen said of ice bocce. “You actually have to put your foot in a half-drilled hole on one side of the track, and you get on your hands and knees, and you can actually push it down and slide it.”

Event registration for teams begins at 8 a.m. and the tournament begins at 9 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place teams in the form of a cash prize of $500, $300 and $150, respectively.

“The hard part is that the ice is never perfect, is it? It’s never super smooth everywhere…but it also pushes a log into the lane – they’re certainly not light – so it’s a challenge to get her exactly where you want her to be on that path,” Heinen said.

Heinen called ice bocce “fun”, “unique” and “a way to get out and play”, especially during the long and arguably dreary winter months for those who may have cabin fever.

“I think the biggest thing is that it allows you to meet new people…and play something totally different and new and something that’s really not very common in Pequot,” Heinen said.

The Brainerd Jaycees will sell alcohol from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and SKOL Food Truck will sell food from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the event. There will be a 50/50 raffle at 3 p.m. with half of the proceeds going to support a Pequot Lakes wading pool and the other half going to the winner of the raffle.

“The nice thing about this event is that we also have a live band from 11am to 3pm called ‘My Famous Friends’…and they’re going to be playing there, all powered by a generator…because we’re not by a restaurant or something like that. It’s right on a lake,” Heinen said.

The double-elimination-style tournament ensures teams of four play at least twice if they don’t advance to the next round.

“You actually go down and back down that ice lane three times, which makes one game – back and forth three different times – and you want to have the highest score. If you have the highest score on the team and you win and move on,” Heinen said.

There will also be bonfires to keep things warm and games for spectators, like life-size Jenga.

“I think 27 teams is phenomenal and something I didn’t necessarily expect,” Heinen said of the teams that paid $100 each to compete in the Bobber Bocce on Ice tournament. “I think it’s 108 people just playing.”

There will be no on-ice parking near the event. Motorists can park at TDS Telecom, Pequot Lakes High School along Government Drive, the Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce Building or St. Alice Catholic Church.

There will be a shuttle bus to transport people from TDS Telecom to downtown Pequot Lakes at Sibley Lake. The free shuttle service will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

FRANK LEE can be reached at 218-855-5863 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchFL.

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