It was part competitiveness, part nostalgia that drew some of the 1,750 participants of this year’s PlayOn! ball hockey tournament to the streets of downtown Vancouver on the weekend.
More than 320 teams were pitted against each other for North America’s biggest two-day, four-on-four street hockey competition.
“It brings you back to the old days of being a kid playing in the back alleys,” said Jesse Dhaliwal, from Surrey, who was playing for the Titans.
“You just don’t have to worry about moving the net every time (a car comes).”
Dhaliwal said instead of playing against each other once a week in a gym, his friends wanted to see how they “sized up against other teams.”
“You’re not sure what to expect from the teams … and from game to game. You’re playing (people) of all different calibres.”
Trevor Feddersen, who was part of team Gang Green, came to Vancouver from Kelowna for the tournament.
“It’s a good guys’ getaway weekend,” he said. “We don’t usually play competitively, it’s always just as friends together.”
The tournament was held on 25 street rinks on seven blocks between GM Place and Chinatown.