Takin’ it to the Streets.
It was a hit song for the Doobie Brothers in 1976, and this year it will again be the underlying theme for the Comox Cup Road Hockey Tournament.
As always, there’s guaranteed to be plenty of hits handed out at the 2014 edition of the popular event, which starts Friday, June 20 at 5:30 p.m. and runs through to Sunday, June 22 at 5 p.m.
Comox Recreation started the tourney and is proud to be putting on the 19th annual version. Recreation programmer Jessie Wallis notes the event will again be held in the parking lot of Marina Park.
After being held in previous years at the Comox Rec parking lot and then downtown Comox, the tourney moved to Marina Park last year and it proved to be a great venue.
The 2013 event attracted 22 teams (of 18-and-older players) from all over the Island. Mitt Crashers defeated Chanced Grinders to win the A Division (competitive), Hood Ratz knocked off Cougar Snatchers to claim the B Division (recreational/competitive) crown and Road Kill overcame the Courtenay Knights to take C Division (recreational) honours.
What’s new this year? “Not much new added, just perfected,” Wallis said. “We will have the Comox Valley Head Injury Society holding a barbecue this year, and we will have the beer gardens run by the Rink Minx roller derby team.”
The Comox Cup began in 1995 when Comox Recreation Centre programmers asked themselves: “Why don’t we turn the recreation centre parking lot into hockey rinks and get a bunch of teams together to play a few games on Father’s Day weekend?”
In the beginning the rinks were nothing more than asphalt parking lots with hockey nets at either end, noted former event spokesperson Dawn Stevens. There were no referees, and it was just like playing road hockey with a bunch of friends.
Within the next few years the rinks became more sophisticated and snow fencing wrapped around tire rims were added to help keep the balls in play and the flow of the game going. As the the games became more competitive, referees became an important addition.
The simple set-up soon became hours of painstaking work, as wooden boards replaced snow fencing and mere hockey nets were backed by 25-foot backstops. CFB Comox personnel were enlisted to aid in the set-up as this was no longer a one-person job.
On the 14th anniversary of the Comox Cup, the event relocated to downtown Comox. The rinks were made out of security fencing, similar to other road hockey tournaments around the province. Netting and backstops protected spectators and storefronts and created a real rink feel on Comox Avenue.
With its new location at Marina Park, the community is welcome to drop by to enjoy the pavement-pounding road hockey action and take in the breathtaking views of the Comox Harbour, Beaufort Mountains and Comox Glacier.