Snowball fight elevated to international standards in Shenyang
By Wang Qiwei
A snowball fight is one of the pleasures of living in places with sub-zero temperatures.
In Shenyang, China's northeastern province of Liaoning, the activity has grown into a competition with international standards.
Despite face-numbing winds and biting temperatures, whether it's mounting an offense or dodging a hit, the winter warriors certainly know how to fight... on a battlefield of snow.
With the city taking snowball warfare to a new level, the young soldiers all have special supports to bring them ammunition to the frontline.
It has attracted some curious spectators, both old and young.
"It's really fun. The competition tests the cooperation between team members and the accuracy of your aim," said Zhang Qifeng, a player in this competition, "so we must keep an eye on our team members, pass on the snowballs, and attack as much as possible."
The snowball fight in Shenyang has a set of standardized international rules, with each team getting 90 snowballs for the three-minute match.
To win the game, a team must capture its rival's flag on the opposite side of the field. And one thing's for sure: It's easier said than done.
"The interesting point about this competition is that it's not only a winter sport, but also a team activity," said Zhang Peng, coach of the competition, “there are a lot of strategies to use. Both adults and kids can benefit from this game, because it cultivates your team spirit and competitiveness."
In the interest of safety and fair play, all the snowballs are made with a special tool.
"We first grind the snow into powder, and then add a bit of water to make it sticky. We use this specialized tool to make snowballs,’’ said Zhang Peng, “when the ball hits someone, it must fall apart, so that we can ensure the safety of all our participants."
After a few throws, the kids are ready to warm up with some hot drinks. The spectators may also want to take up this activity, as long as the idea of being hit by a snowball doesn’t give them cold shivers.