The 2014 Golden Sombrero of Ice Bowls has will be the biggest in the series’ history. Begun as the “Triple Crown of Ice Bowls” (Redlands, Palm Desert, San Marcos) in 2008 by Bill Maury-Holmes and Allen Risley, the series has evolved into nine charity events crammed into the first two months of the year. The series changed its name one year later with the addition of a fourth event (Sun Valley/San Diego) to the Golden Sombrero Series and has kept that moniker ever since.
Each year the series has crowned a champion, who is awarded a golden, decorated sombrero at the series-closing event. In the early years the champion was the player who beat the most other players at all of the events combined. As the series grew it was decided to put a cap on the number of events included in a player’s points total, and that cap has been set at four events. Players receive a point for each other player in an event who they beat (no points for players tied). Since many of the Ice Bowl events allow for the use of mulligans ($1 each), some have argued that it’s possible to buy a series win. With the addition of the Ice Bowl in Paradise in 2011 and inclusion of the San Marcos Super Ice Bowl – neither of which included mulligan use – that claim is harder to defend.
This year’s series has had a record number of players so far, with 318 participating in the first seven events, thanks to big turnouts at Chavez (83), Yucaipa (64) and Murrieta (64). This year’s series championship is still up for grabs going into the final two events this weekend – the Wrightwood Ice Bowl and the San Diego Ice Bowl @ Mission Bay. The current top 5 players are listed below with their point totals (and number of events played in parentheses):
- A.J. Risley – 214 points (5 events played)
- Danny Zwolenski – 176 (6)
- Chris Horn 173 (3)
- Allen Risley 152 (5)
- (tie) Bill Maury-Holmes 148 (3), Jason Perdue 148 (3)
Four-time defending champion A.J. Risley is currently in the lead with 214 points. Since neither A.J. nor 2009 champ Allen Risley are playing in Ice Bowls this weekend, their scores will not change. But other players still have a shot:
- Danny Zwolenski can catch A.J. if he can beat 72 players in one of the events and none of the other top players pass him.
- Likewise for Chris Horn, who needs to beat 42 players at Wrightwood to pass A.J. (Chris needs to hope for more walk-up entrants on Saturday, current registration is 37).
- Bill Maury-Holmes needs to beat at least 67 players at Wrightwood, which is not likely to happen (sorry Bill).
- Jason Perdue needs to beat 67 players at either Wrightwood or Mission Bay to pass A.J. He is unlikely to have enough players in the field at Wrightwood, but the Mission Bay field is 94 players, which gives him a strong chance.
So don’t expect to know the outcome of the Golden Sombrero championship race until late in the evening on Sunday (Mission Bay is played under the lights). But we already know the big winners from this year’s Golden Sombrero Series of Ice Bowls – the local charities that will be receiving cash and canned food donated by our players!