The advent of Buffalo RiverWorks opened up plenty of entertainment avenues for this city. Whether it’s wrestling bouts, boxing events, or roller derby matches, the venue is always loaded with surprises.
The latest surprise is news that the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (ISBHF) and USA Ball Hockey will be hosting the World Masters Ball Hockey Championships at Buffalo RiverWorks from August 30 through September 3. The tournament is for men and women divisions, over the age of 35.
This is the first time that anything of this nature has come to pass at Buffalo’s waterfront. Players in the championship games will be traveling from around the globe to compete.
The Women’s Division features three teams, one each from the Unites States, Canada, and Great Britain.
The Men’s Division features 10 teams from nine countries competing for the Gold Medal – Bermuda, Canada, Great Britain, Greece, Haiti, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, and the USA.
“USA Ball Hockey has selected one of the best venues in the country for world class level ball hockey in the Buffalo RiverWorks,” said ISBHF Promotions Director Chris Bokuniewicz. “This facility has hosted the Future Stars tournament for USA Ball Hockey and it was during that tournament where discussions began about hosting an ISBHF World Championship. With all of the amenities the RiverWorks has to offer, we’re excited to give the players and fans a terrific venue to enjoy World Championship Level hockey.”
The ISBHF hosts World Ball Hockey Championships each year for different age groups, from Juniors U16 through Legends 45 and over. Each age group is represented every two years, with each tournament being held in an ISBHF member nation venue.
“The ISBHF is the world governing body of ball hockey, as recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation,” said Executive Director David Tor. “Because of the pandemic, we have adjusted our 2022-2024 schedule to give players the opportunity to compete. We’ve also adjusted the age limit for Masters from 40 to 35, so you’ll see players who have recently competed in the open age World Championships, such as USA’s Denny Schlegel, a recent ISBHF Hall of Fame inductee and Buffalo native, Greece’s Joe Barbas, and Canada’s Iain Downes.”
USA Ball Hockey President Chris Banks added, “With the lowering of the age limit from 40 to 35, we’re going to see some exceptional players who have competed at the world level very recently. The games should be fast and very competitive, and the talent level will be the best this sport has ever seen in this division. The Buffalo hockey community has been tremendous in their support, and RiverWorks is the perfect place to come watch the highest levels of hockey. It will be a fantastic tournament.”
The event website is masters23isbhf.com where visitors can find even information. The tournament will also be livestreamed by Memory to Video Productions, who livestreamed the 2022 ISBHF Men’s and Women’s World Championships. Links to the stream can be found on the website. For those wishing to attend in person, daily passes are available for $5 and tournament passes allowing daily access are available for $20.
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