Aries 12, 2078, m249
Martian ice hockey has gained enough momentum at the midpoint of it’s 5 week schedule for organizers to announce the next stage of exhibition play.
Until now, unless you live in one of the hockey prototype settlements or purchased one of the weekend vacation packages, more likely than not, you’ve seen very little of this sport. This announcement by the ISMO will change all of that as extended exhibition dates are in the works and are expected to be played in Marineris, Europa, Noviymir and Wendland.
ISMO has arranged with local councils to set up temporary rinks in each respective colony. Not only does this increase audience size, it provides a platform for fund raising.
“After this first round of games wraps up,” explained Fredrick Seulovik, President of ISMO, “We’ll take the top 4 teams on tour. We believe in our mission to develop new sports, so this will our showcase.”
Not all teams were happy to hear this news. Sands’ captain expressed disappointment that this plan was not shared prior. “Of course we are upset. We were led to believe that the exhibition was part of the training camp program, not actual competition. What can I say, we feel we were left in the dark.“
The Sands have had a dismal record thus far, losing all 4 games and having scored only 2 goals over the 3 weeks of play. It is unlikely that the Sands would have faired any better had they been aware of the second round.
When asked how the teams would be selected in case of tied records, Seulovik responded that it would come down to points. Clearly, they are looking for the teams with the greatest skill and capacity to entertain spectators.
In actuality, ISMO hockey training camp currently has 15 test teams, from which only 6 are represented in the current exhibition round.
According to program organizers, many of the test teams may disband as players return back to their home colonies and back to their day-jobs. It is unclear at this point whether ISMO will broker deals to create rinks and training facilities in more colonies to continue their efforts in developing the sport outside of Mareotis, Noviymir and Korolev. This could very well be dependent on reactions during the 2nd round of exhibition.