Some observations and details about WINTERNATIONALS.
It’s a true WINTER NATIONAL Event, not a glorified regional. Teams from Brazil, Canada, East Coast, Mid West, every border state to California, and a TON of teams from Northern California are attending.
In the 10u through 18u divisions 34 of the 72 teams competing are from outside Southern California!
The Pro Division will be tougher competition than it’s been the last few Winternationals. Labeda Black Ice has won Pro at the NARCh FINALS the last 2 out of 3 years, and I’m sure they’re coming with the intensions on taking home the 5k prize money, while also soaking in a little beach time. The Pro Division is similar to the NHL, in that there are many very talented young guys rising as the new stars of the game.
Originally we planned to split most divisions into 2 levels for playoffs. Due to the large number of teams, we actually split many into 3 levels for playoffs so all teams have a legitimate chance to take home a medal if they play up to their potential. 10u-18u are all split into 3 levels, while 8u, men’s gold, men’s silver, women’s, and 30 and over will all be split into 2 levels for playoffs.
It was a very difficult schedule and we put hours into refining it the very best we can for the masses participating. It’s long hours with early starts and late finishes no matter how you slice it. We are using Irvine on Saturday and Sunday, mostly for the older divisions. Two reasons for this. First, there’s less likelihood for teams/players playing multiple divisions like many of the youth teams do. Second, the rinks in Irvine are bigger and cooler, which most adults prefer.
We strive to continue to go above and beyond with the videos and photos and look forward to capturing and sharing some awesome moments from the tournament. Lionel will be flying in all the way from France and Francois will be traveling down from NorCal to log long hours and capture some amazing photos that will be offered for sale at the NARCh Photo Booth. We do a ton in house but also know we can’t be everywhere, so we team up these two amazingly talented guys to capture and share the special memories.
You’ll be able to catch up with the following sponsors at the tournament and see what new products they’re rolling out in ’17! Tour, Verbero, Labeda, Rink Rat, Konixx, and Kamagraf.
It’s our 21st year of hosting WINTERNATIONALS, crazy….
We look forward to seeing everyone in 10 days!