Learn to Snow Snake
The winter game of Snow Snake has been traditionally played amongst the Great Lakes tribes throughout many generations. Some say it comes from the old ways of life when the men would return from a winter hunt and the village would gather to share the hard work that came after the hunt. After the work was done, there was time to enjoy the many winter games and social events that took place, the game of Snow Snake being one of them. Today, the game of Snow Snake continues to have the ability to draw people together to enjoy the outdoors during the long winter months. The comradery of friends and family enjoying the many traditional winter sports is something that can be shared by all. Don't worry, the game does not involve an actual snake but rather a long smooth stick or "snake" that is pushed down the long track of snow.
Following Public Health Madison & Dane County guidelines, in partnership with the Ho-Chunk Nation, Madison Parks is offering three (3), 45-minute Learn to Snow Snake classes taught by Bill Quackenbush, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. Each session is free to attend with advanced registration. This is ideal for ages 10 years and older.
Select a Session
- Session I: 3-3:45pm
- Session II: 4-4:45pm
- Session III: 5-5:45pm
At the Event
- Wear a mask - a mask must be properly worn at all times.
- Practice social distancing - maintain 6' from members outside of your household
- All equipment is provided.
More Game Information
- The object of the game is to throw the snow snake the farthest distance along a snake run made in the snow.
- A foul line is placed 6ft. in from the snake's face. The thrower can’t pass the foul line while they throw or the score for that throw is disqualified.
- Measurement starts at the foul line.
- Team Competition I - Teams (2-4 teams) of any equal amount of players, alternate throws until all players have thrown once. The distance the snake travels is added to that team’s score and whichever side has the longest total distance after a predetermined number of rounds – is the winner.
- Team Competition II – Teams (2-4 teams) select 3 representative throwers. The teams alternate throws until all players have thrown once. The 3 thrower distances are added up for each team – the highest scoring team wins.
- Singles Competition I – Single players (2-12 players per game) throw 2 snow snakes and record the longest throw. The longest score of the game wins.