The 39th Senior Hockey Tournament

Emily from Snoopy’s Home Ice is working on the final touches for the hockey tournament by sprucing up the paint on the curbs in the main driveway.

As I write this, once again Snoopy’s Home Ice is being “spiffed up” for the Senior Hockey Tournament – our 39th year. Nancy Williams, from Snoopy’s Gallery and Gifts, is currently working to finish off a display of photos and memorabilia from previous tournaments which will be prominently displayed.

It is my pleasure to welcome players and their families and friends to what Sparky called “summer camp for hockey players.”  He said often that most of the people who participated in the tournament also were the stalwarts of their local junior hockey  groups, either as coaches, referees or managers. This was their “thank you” from him. We are very excited to have a large turnout for the tournament this year with 68 teams playing in 14 divisions with players coming from all over North America.

Here are some significant dates in the history of the tournament:

  • 1974: Burbank, California venue- 40 and over age category only.
  • 1975: Moved to Santa Rosa – 45+ and 50+Age Divisions added
  • 1978: 55+ Age Division added
  • 1975-1981: Snoopy was the Official Host of the Senior Olympics Tournaments
  • 1982: Official name change to Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament
  • 1983: 60+ Age Division added
  • 1988: 65+ Age Division added
  • 1992: Monte Schulz turns 40 and forms the UN 40’s to play in the 40A division.
  • 1993: 70+ Age Division added
  • 1998: 75+ Age Division added
  • 1999: Last Tournament in which Charles Schulz played.
  • 2000: In the same year that Charles Schulz passed away, a record 64 teams,16 age divisions and the first woman played in the tournament
  • 2001: No Tournament due to ice arena generator upgrade
  • 2002: Jeannie and Monte Schulz become the tournament sponsors to carry on the tournament/ tradition that Charles M. Schulz (Sparky) loved.
  • 2010: Celebrated the 35th Annual tournament with 56 teams.
  • 2014: Welcomed a record 68 teams from all across North America.

Throughout all the years of the tournament, the Rileys and the Shortts played an important role in organizing the tournament, the referees, the publicity, and the entertainment. Without the help of these two couples, the organization of the tournament and the memories that people love would simply not have existed. Mary Louise continues to watch her son John’s team and to visit with players and families during happy hour.

Mary Louise and John Riley

Cecelia and Murray Shortt

The “beer garden,” which is where I have met and talked to many old-timers and new-comers alike, will be inside the Arena this year in the expanded party room. We’ve already many “happy hours” there.

I appreciate all the work that the excellent arena staff, led by General Manager Justin Higgs, and many loyal volunteers extend to make this tournament a wonderful tribute to Sparky’s memory. And thanks to Marianne Lathrop, who managed the hospitality room. Finally, I would like to thank Monte Schulz for his continued support and efforts in keeping this ongoing tradition. Thank you for being here and making it a great tournament. We all hope you enjoyed yourselves in beautiful Sonoma County.

I’ll be adding pictures from the tournament when I catch some interesting moments.


Eric MacNeil, originally from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, may be one of our longest attending players. Eric played on the West Covina Eagles teams against the Santa Rosa team in Burbank, California, in 1973 and 1974. He then played in Santa Rosa in 1975 and every year since then, except for two years when he had surgery. He reminisced about the Friday shows at the Burbank Center (now the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts) and the time that the magician cut me in two. He also remembered our wonderful on-call hockey playing doctor, Bob Richardson, who stitched up his injured friend.

Bagpipers from the MacIntosh Pipe Band entertain visitors outside the Ice Arena before marching in led by Snoopy. Martha Yates, the first piper on the left, is also one of our wonderful Museum volunteers.

Snoopy is a hit with all the visitors waiting outside for the opening ceremony.

Part of the opening ceremony is receiving a representative from each team. This player is obviously below the 40 year age limit! Santa Rosa Mayor Scott Bartley is on the left and Mike Kovanis, the tournament coordinator, is on the right. Members of the Pipe Band stand behind us.

A player heads for the goal while the goalee prepares for the shot.

Many retired National Hockey League ‎players have played in our tournament over the years. This year our newspaper featured Norm Beaudin, who coaches the Reno Aces, one of the teams that has participated year after year in the tournament.


A happy birthday cheer for Mark Sertich, whose birthday seems to always fall during the tournament.

And finally, enjoy this article about the tournament from the NPR show, Only A Game.


—Jean Schulz

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