Some people love the cold, snow and ice that embody a Midwestern winter.
Pond hockey players, for example. They depend upon the plunging temperatures to glaze area lakes and ponds.
Many area hockey enthusiasts are hoping Mother Nature's dose of cold sticks around long enough for this year's 4-on-4 tournament in Lake in the Hills.
The LITH Parks and Recreation Department is preparing for the upcoming 2014 Outdoor Pond Hockey Tournament on Woods Creek Lake, which is scheduled from 8 am. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.
So far, 13 teams have registered to play, said Trevor Bosack, recreation supervisor for the LITH Parks and Recreation Department. There's room for three more teams, Bosack said.
"We've been getting calls and requests for information from people who are interested," Bosack said. "With the cold weather we've had, I think we are going to have the necessary ice thickness for this year's tournament."
The fee to enter $125 per team, players must be at least 18 years old, and rosters can include up to seven players per team. This year's registered teams hale from Chicago, Arlington Heights, Oakwood Hills, Huntley Crystal Lake and Lake in the Hills.
The village's Public Works Department has already begun moving snow on Woods Creek Lake to create the four rinks, and Bosack has been busy securing referees for the games.
All games are two 15-minute (running clock) halves with a one-minute halftime. The competition is a double-elimination tournament, and each team is guaranteed to play at least two games.
The village held its first outdoor pond hockey tournament in 2012, which was a huge success. However, last year Mother Nature delivered a dose of warm weather, thawing the ice on the lake, and the event had to be canceled. This year's rain date is Feb. 1, in case the weather takes a turn for the warm.
The public is welcome to come out and watch the games, which promise to be action-packed as no goalies are used and there is little stoppage of play.
"These are fast moving games," Bosack said. "In the morning, it'll be more easy-going and fun. But the games intensify in the afternoon (as the teams advance)."
The outdoor rinks will be located near Indian Trail Beach on Woods Creek Lake, 228 Indian Trail in Lake in the Hills.
More information about the tournament can be found on the
Lake in the Hills village website.