Art Shanties Festival, Medicine Lake, MN 1.2010

Vikingball is a new sport invented by Ian Evans Finch, a Pittsburgh native who contacted me concerning our mutual interest in new sports. When it came time to develop an Aesthetics event on a frozen lake in Minnesota, I immediately thought of staging a game of Vikingball. The game is a great twist on hockey: the goalie is a Viking with a shield and mallet. He protects the net with the shield, and plays offense with the mallet. If the goalie hits an opposing player with his mallet, he scores one point for his team. Offensive and defensive ends of the rink disappear; at all points of the game either team can score. If played competitively, this would create fascinating new scenarios, would obliterate the strategic importance of the power play, and force other interesting changes into the game. When played on a frozen lake with Ikea sheets as uniforms, not to mention lots of beards, the strategy was lost on most players, but not the visceral pleasure of hitting people with mallets. With the help of the Dance Shanty, and the bearded ladies of the Shan Tea shanty, we put on a great match between rivals St. Brendan’s Reformatory for Incorrigible Self Knowing and The Great Lakes Ancient Astronauts. Halftime entertainment was also provided by the Bearded Ladies, singing their hit song, “All the Bearded Ladies”

LINKS Vikingball promo video