Arena Redaktion, 20.02.2023

Different rules: Guest ice stock sport in Bichlbach

Thomas Kätzler has been organising the guest ice stock competition in Bichlbach for many years. But what does it actually involve? What are the official rules of ice stock sport and what makes this romantic evening event so special? Thomas tells us.


It’s quiet, and the lighting’s romantic. You can see your own breath in the crisp cold. This is Bichlbach during chilly February. In summer, though, it’s a different picture: ‘The sports and leisure club was started by my father-in-law many years ago. In the summer, we have a bathing lake, climbing forest, miniature golf, and a tennis court here. There’s also a small restaurant. At that time, ice stock sport based on the official rules was very popular with the locals and guests,’ says Thomas, indulging a pleasant reminiscence.

Regular ice stock sport needs a full team and takes quite some time, which is why the guest ice stock competition was created. Thomas and his wife will be organising the event for the eleventh time this year.

Different rules for the guest ice stock competition

For the guest ice stock competition, the tennis court is transformed into a small ice rink. The rules are also completely different to those of classic ice stock sport. ‘In the official version, there are lines that tell you how close the stock ends up to the stave.’ The stave is an object in the middle of the field that players must aim for. ‘You’ve got two teams playing against each other. The principle is simple: Whoever gets closest to it wins. In the guest ice stock competition, the idea is that everyone plays against everyone else.’

Whether young or old, anyone can play, and the competition rules can be tailored to the competitors. For children, for example, the start position can be moved forward, or you can use lighter ice stocks. Then there are the metal pucks with little signs and numbers from one to nine. Aim for these, and if they flip over, you get that number of points.

How it works

Guests can sign up in advance. A minimum of eight participants are required for a game. The competition takes place once a week on Tuesday at 7:30 pm. Based on an entry fee of €5, participants can take part in the trophy shoot and compete for a spot on the podium. They’re also given a starting number and some assistance to make sure they get off to the best possible start.

These are the rules of guest ice stock sport: there are five rounds, during which each player can aim their ice stock at the numbers one to nine. At the end, the three best rounds are scored and the other two eliminated. This determines the winner, the runner-up, and third place. In the event of a tie, however, a shoot-off decides the winner.

Who’ll make it onto the podium?

The winners can commemorate their sporting win with small trophies. If the participants get cold during the trophy shoot or someone needs a little motivation, Thomas also has a pick-me-up ready to warm the guests from the inside. He also says that it’s the chatting and joking around with the guests that really makes the evening for him. So, perfect conditions for a sociable evening. And children don’t go empty-handed, either: there’s chocolates and other treats to help them get in the right mood.

After the prize-giving ceremony, guests can continue to play against each other if they feel like it and have time. Thomas also finds the surrounding scenery particularly beautiful: ‘It’s such a wonderful atmosphere amidst all the snow. The forest is just over there, as is a beautifully lit church and a decorated toboggan slope.’ His final thought for today: ‘It makes me very happy when guests tell us about the memories they’ll take away with them, and that they’ll never forget this evening.’

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