Mesha 13, 2078, m249
We’re stoked to hear that a second season of ISMO’s Exhibition Hockey has been announced! While the organizers are preparing and finangling away behind the scenes, let’s take a look at the frenetic world of ISMO hockey.
The spotlight has been on the 6 teams chosen for the first exhibition season, but that’s just the tip of the ISMO iceberg. There are at least 9 other teams (at time of publication) who have been training and playing scrimmages—they’re the so-called “D-Listers”.
Who are these teams and where are these players coming from?
Well, the requirements for forming a team are not strict—as long as the minimum number of co-ed payers are met, any team can be registered with ISMO. Additionally, many companies in the 3 rink-holding settlements are actively encouraging employees to participate in the name of recreation and team-building.
I took it upon myself to see these teams in action and visited Korolev Rink one afternoon to watch a few games and training sessions. Suffice to say, these teams are not pros.
Nevertheless, these D-Listers are putting out some great matches and favourites have definitely emerged amongst the fans of this informal league.
The Canadicas are headed up by Earth-born Ashton Morin. “I love Earth, and I wanted to bring a little piece of my heritage with me. Everyone know that Canada and hockey go hand-in-hand. So Canadicas it was,” says Morin about his team’s moniker.
When asked about the rest of his team, Morin laughed that everyone else was Mars-born, but went along with his suggestion out of a sense of camaraderie.
I also had a chance to talk to eccentrically-named team SunRa. Members were enthusiastic about the development of sports and recreation on Mars.
“We’re a company team, and most of us work at Soltek, so we thought it’d be fun to include that in our team name somehow.
Other D-List teams include the Super Colliders, Orbiters, Voyagers, and Cosmic Rays. While these teams are currently flying under the radar, I think there will be some up-and-coming players emerging from the shadows before too long.
Keep an eye out for Pete Watkins (currently a forward for the Super Colliders), Leola Ballard (playing goal for the Canadicas), and Anza Kahale (alternately playing forward and defense for the Orbiters).