Sports Briefs: Showcase Showdown turns 15 

Urban skateboard-themed slopestyle course set on Whistler Mountain

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - How bout that? A Kishindo-Whistler students shows off his Tiger Balm Invitational medal.
  • photo submitted
  • How bout that? A Kishindo-Whistler students shows off his Tiger Balm Invitational medal.

The 15th annual Showcase Showdown is now one of Canada's longest running snowboard competitions, if not the longest, with events that are always designed to reflect what riders are into and challenge them to step up a level.

This year's contest took place at the base of Whistler Mountain, with an urban skateboard-themed slopestyle course featuring a 13-metre hip channel jump, a spine box and a rail feature.

The event kicked off with the Vans Riders Waffle Breakfast at 10 a.m. at Showcase Snowboards. Practice and qualifying rounds took place from noon to 4 p.m. with a Forum Double Dog Barbecue for athletes and spectators during the day. The finals ran from 5 p.m., to 6 p.m., followed by the official after-party at Merlin's. $5,000 in cash is up for grabs this year, as well as prizes from Sandbox and Dakine.

Sea to Sky Eagles recruiting for rugby league

The Sea to Sky Eagles Rugby League Football Club is gearing up for its second season, which will get underway on May 13 this year.

Before then, the club is inviting players and prospective players to take part in a trials game in Vancouver on Sunday, April 1. The top players will be invited to try out for the B.C. Bulldogs for the 2012 season, and possibly the Canada Wolverines. Jamie Lester, the captain of the Wolverines, will be watching the trials looking for talent.

The trials are open to anyone and take place at 10:30 a.m. at Sullivan Heights Secondary School in Surrey.

The league is open to anyone, whether they're residents of Canada or not.

As well as promoting the trials, the Sea to Sky Eagles are starting to recruit for the upcoming season and held their first practice in Squamish last Sunday. For more information contact team director Ally Mac at

You don't need rugby league experience or even rugby union experience to try out. Rugby league is a variation of rugby that emphasizes tackles and playmaking over possession.

There are several differences from the sport of rugby union: there are a fewer players on the field (13 instead of 15); there are no scrums or line-outs; and there are limits on possession — each team can be tackled and taken to the ground with the ball six times before they lose possession. There's very little kicking during play because that creates an opportunity for a turnover and loss of possession. Passing and tackling are crucial, as is having a good kicker to convert scores and penalties, and add the occasional drop goal.

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