International ATC Hockey Tournament Sees Huge Numbers
Thursday, March 10, 2011

This past week, 322 air traffic controller hockey players, family and friends met in Ft. Worth, Texas for the 38th Annual International ATC Hockey Tournament. Teams from all around the U.S., Canada and Moscow each played four games of hockey over four days in competition for the coveted Friendship Cup and other prestigious awards.

The week began on Monday, Feb. 28, with 100 players sitting down in a charity poker tournament while many others watched the game and scrutinized items donated for the charity auction. Auction prizes included not one, but two, beautiful handmade ATC hockey quilts, two round-trip tickets to Europe courtesy of American Airlines, NATCA hockey jerseys, and many other really neat items, all on display for potential bidders. The charity for this tournament was the NATCA Charitable Foundation (NCF). Nav Canada sponsored Monday night’s events and all attendees enjoyed fun and refreshment throughout the evening.

Hockey began play early Tuesday morning, and the NCF efforts continued with the auction and a big item raffle ongoing throughout the day. The NCF volunteers, headed by Cathy Meachum and Marlene Mendel, worked hard to have a fantastic display for all items and to make sure everyone knew what NCF was all about. The highlight of Tuesday was the opening Meet-n-Greet, sponsored by NATCA and held at the Library Bar in downtown Ft. Worth. Over 340 people attended, including the hockey contingent; NATCA NEB, ZFW and D10 local members; and everyone’s favorite, Barry Krasner. A great time was had by all as the NCF events closed out with $15,000 donated, great BBQ, and a "kiss of the fish" by the NEB. Wednesday and Thursday included hockey and a pub crawl in Sundance Square, plus a bar bash in the Stockyards. No rest for the weary.


Friday saw the final day of hockey, as well as the closing banquet during the evening where there was good food, good words, awards presented, and photos taken, marking the end of a successful tournament.

The Russian Snowmen won the Friendship Cup with 40 of 40 points and 1 goal allowed in four games. No other team was even close. Next year it's off to St. John’s, Newfoundland, and in 2013 to Cleveland, Ohio. If you’ve never been to an ATC Hockey tournament, you don’t know what you’re missing. Come on out! It’s open to everyone -- players or non-players. To learn more about the event, visit

Above/Right: Check out the NATCA jerseys!


Chicago Center Aardvarks


 Fort Worth Texans


The MSP Goons


NY vs. Winnipeg