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For winter buffs, the onset of spring means that their days of frolicking in the white powder are drawing to a close. However, before you tuck away that winter gear, here is an idea - How about some snowshoe baseball? Sounds a little crazy? Don't tell that to the residents of Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin. They have been playing it since 1961!
The hybrid sport was invented by former Town Chairman Ray Sloan, to attract more tourists to this picturesque area in the summer. And while he is no longer around, the sport sure is. In fact, it has become so popular that the town of 800 residents proudly calls itself the 'Summer snowshoe baseball capital of the world'. The season begins in mid-June and ends on the last week of August. Games are held every Monday evening, when teams from neighboring areas are invited to play against the home squad.
The rules of the game are similar to baseball. The only major difference is that the field is covered with sawdust and wood chips to prevent injuries as the players try to sprint or as is the more appropriate description here, shuffle to the bases. As you can imagine, it makes for some hilarious watching, especially in the beginning, when players are still getting accustomed to playing with snowshoes.
In addition to providing both locals and tourists something to look forward to, the games also act as fundraisers for many non-profit organizations. That's because while entrance to the games is free, a donation box is passed around for those that wish to contribute. Also, the concession stands, which sell delicious homemade fare and are almost as popular as the sport, are hosted by various service clubs that are allowed to keep the profits, making it a win-win for all.
Resources: laketomahawkwi.org, wausaudailyherald.com, odditycentral.com