The Rendez Vous Nissan Pond Rocket Cup is back!

The 16th edition of the popular 4-on-4 hockey tournament, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, returns to the Vankleek Hill Community Centre on April 1 and 2. But if you want to enter a team, you’d better sign up quickly.

“We already have 10 teams (of 12) signed up already for the Men’s Division and four (of four) for the Women’s Division,” said Jason Jackson, President of Pond Rocket Sports, which hosts the event.

Although there remain only two spots in the Men’s Division, the tournament also frequently incorporates a ‘Wrecked Division’ for weaker teams and so far has only one team signed up.

“If we can get three more weaker teams to enter, we will probably have the ‘Wrecked’ Division as well,” Jackson said. Anyone wishing to sign up for the tournament can contact Jackson by email at [email protected] .

On Saturday evening following the tournament, event organizers have traditionally held an after party in the hall of the community centre, however this year the party will be held at the Windsor Tavern.

Admission on Friday and Saturday to watch the tournament is $5, with a weekend pass available for $10. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to support the Vankleek Hill Sports Club, of which Jackson is also the president. The club – a non-profit organization whose mandate is to provide affordable recreational youth sports programs while helping to facilitate local school and competitive teams in need of financial or administrative support in the region – has been almost completely shut down for the past two years.

“The pandemic hit us hard – we didn’t have any revenue,” Jackson says.

Pond Rocket Sports has also hosted other events over the years, including Pond Rocket Challenge ball hockey tournaments and the Pond Rocket Classic old-timers hockey tournament. Jackson said organizers with the group are looking at bringing some of those events back and also hosting a youth tournament.