After finally getting around to the Stanley Cup Finals edition of The Hockey News, I found an interesting article about this years Arab Cup of Ice Hockey. Yes, Virginia, they're playing ice hockey in the middle of the United Arab Emirates where it's about 97 degrees F during the day.
The tournament featured the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Algeria, and Kuwait and began Monday, ending on Friday.
Behind the tournament is Mohammed Arif, who organized the tournament via email with other players from the participating countries. Arif himself plays for the UAE squad and was introduced to the game by North Americans and Europeans who moved to the region.
The International Ice Hockey Federation does not sanction this tournament, but is providing referees as a measure of support to help grow the sport in a region where no one would think they'd be able to find a hockey rink.
So next time you take a trip to the Middle East, be sure to pack your skates and get your hockey bag ready. Just because it's 97 degrees F there doesn't mean you can't play hockey. For some reason, I also want to believe that the ice conditions are much better there than what we saw during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
For more information check out
or the tournament's Myspace page