This year our friends, the Dordrecht Black Sheep, are hosting their annual Island Cup Games tournament for the 5th time.
Aside from being our friends, they’re also terrific organizers, running one of the best tournaments in Europe. It’s relatively easy to get teams together, ask money, and throw them out on the ice, but these guuys take everything to a whole new level. Here are some examples of why the Island Cup Games weekend is always circled in my calendar (and also in our events section).
Top 5 things the Black Sheep do well with the Island Cup Games:
1. Level of competition
The level of competition is just great. The Black Sheep manage to invite teams that compete fiercly for every spot and there are rarely very lop-sided games, which is good, because no one likes paying to get an ass kicking of the worst kind. The worst score in 2014 was 12-0, which seems bad, and it is, but keep in mind that there’s 40 minutes of hockey. I’ve seen worse leads (or deficits) after two periods of play. All this means that any team that enters, has at least half a chance of a big trophy. Speaking of which..
The Flying Dutchmen play for fun, we rarely have any semi-pro, let alone pro, players in our ranks, and we want to keep it that way. That’s why it’s so cool that every team gets a trophy. The 2014 trophies? Sturdy wooden boards, held together by a plate one the side, screwed to a hockey puck. Check out last year’s top dogs KMC Eagles (hey more friends!) and their kick-ass prize:
Playing hockey (and drinking copious amounts of beer) makes you hungry. Fortunately, the Black Sheep offer some of the finest in-tournament lunch boxes I have ever encountered. And also, on Saturday night, they cater a dinner and party at the Postiljon hotel in Dordrecht which is beyond spectacular. Just take a look at some of the things they offer us;
Yeah okay, I’m biased here, but the fact of the matter is, the Black Sheep do a good job recruiting various on-ic and off-ice officials. They have teams working the clock and score sheet, as well as pairs of referees who know the drill. This may not seem like much, but it makes for a smooth tournament, even in the later stages of competition. Because officiating is consistent and fair, there’s rarely any incident that goes back to a previous game.
5. The overall organization
I know, this seems like a but much, but just look at these key facts to support my hat-tip;
- 3 day tournament
- 30(!) games being played by..
- 12 teams from..
- 7 countries, speaking
- 5+ different languages.
And catering for
- 180+ players
- 20+ officials (on-ice as well as off-ice)
- 20+ volunteers
All in all, we’re happy to join this awesome tournament once again!