What is Ice Bowl®?

The Ice Bowl is a collection of disc golf events that are held each year in January and February with an overall mission of raising funds to fight hunger. Related goals include having fun and connecting the disc golf community in a positive way to the community at large.


I’d like to promote an Ice Bowl® in my community. What do I need to do to get started?

A. Decide which charity to support. Moving forward, we are emphasizing Ice Bowl’s historical charitable purpose: to feed the hungry. Therefore, check out local food banks, food pantries, or larger multi-faceted charities that have feeding the hungry as one of their missions.

B. Select a date or dates with in the Ice Bowl Corridor of January 3-March 3 that you would like to run your Ice Bowl¨. You might check with neighboring communities to minimize scheduling conflicts.

C. Check with the government entity (usually a Parks Department) that oversees the park or the manager of a private course for permission to use the course.

D. Fill out the online registration form at icebowlhq.com or the downloadable registration form that can be emailed, faxed, or snail mailed. Here’s a link:


We never get any ice where we live. Can we still hold an Ice Bowl® and why?

Absolutely! When Ice Bowl began in 1987, we called it as a day of disc golf solidarity in the middle of winter. Sunbelt states were encouraged to participate for that reason, and also, for the irony. Even though the name may not fit your wintertime climate, when you are raising money for a local charity and let the media know about it, your chances of getting some positive publicity are good. Several of our top fundraisers are from states where winter is usually not that big of a deal.


What have other Ice Bowls done to raise funds? 

There are several ways to raise more money for your events, but they usually fall into one of these two broad and often overlapping categories: (1) finding sponsors and (2) getting money from tournament participants.


Finding sponsors is never easy, but potential sponsors are more likely help out when they know that the main purpose of the event is to raise money for charity. The most direct way to get money for your Ice Bowl charity is by asking for it from businesses and individuals. Putting together a sponsorship form is important, especially when approaching businesses. Although the money you’re asking for may go entirely to your charity, a company chooses to sponsor events because they want exposure for their company and/or products. So, your sponsorship proposal should offer them exposure through logos on flyers, banners at the event, and inclusion in any advertising you may do. St. Cloud, Minnesota used a sponsorship form (download it below) enroute to collecting over $14,000 last year. Another effective pre-event fundraising is soliciting small donations from individuals. Saint Cloud also created a pledge sheet as a way to solicit smaller donations from individuals. Click here for the sponsorship form and here for the pledge form.

There are some corporations that support local charitable causes. Check with your employer to see if they will match your donation or Google for “corporate matching gifts” and see what you can find. Also, if you apply by December 1, 2014, your charity may be eligible for a $1000 grant via the Wal Mart Foundation. To make application, go here.

Other Funding Ideas

Often getting cash from sponsors is hard, but sometimes businesses, including restaurants and bars, sporting goods stores, other retailers, and individual disc golfers will donate gift certificates and/or merchandise that can be brokered into charitable donations at the event. For instance, if there were enough donated schwag, it could be used to “pay out” the winners, thus allowing the entry fees to go to the charity. Some Ice Bowls have auctioned off merchandise, most successfully when the donated items are rare disc golf discs.

Other communities sell closest to the pin tickets where the person who wins gets first choice of the prizes. The CTP contest can go on all day. To get more people to play, it’s not a bad idea to limit each person to one prize. This kind of CTP contest is especially effective if the first prize is very valuable and also if there are lots of lesser prizes.

Donated items can also be turned to cash via a raffle. Again, having a desirable object of some value, such as basket or sport team tickers, etc., as the top prize will sell more tickets. A good thing about a raffle is that tickets can be sold before the event and at the event until the drawing is made.

Another fundraising idea that has been used extensively is selling mulligans. Some Ice Bowls limit the number that can be purchased or how or when they can be used. However, some Ice Bowls have placed no limits on mulligans. A few years back, Memphis encouraged would-be winners to “buy a victory,” and it happened, which greatly benefited their charity.

Some Ice Bowls run a series of warm-up tourneys in which the profits are directed towards Ice Bowl charities.


How do we have fun or more fun? 

One thing that has remained constant in disc golf through its 35 years of existence is that disc golfers are experts at having fun. Because there are many opportunities for more serious competition within the sport, the emphasis with Ice Bowl has been primarily about fun and charity. Thus, less-formal, creative, and even “goofy” formats for these winter events have often been used. So, try something different! Play the course backwards. Create new tees. Try a new kind of doubles or triples or team golf. (One Ice Bowl tried blindfolded doubles.) Others have used the card game RIPT to spice things up. Competition is, of course, important but it’s good to remember that it’s only January/February and there is a full competitive season coming up.

Having communal feasts at Ice Bowls has proven very popular; with chili as the main course most of the time. Some Ice Bowls have chili contests and give out prizes. Other have sold the chili or asked for donations, which went to the their charity.

Ideally, an Ice Bowl should be perceived as a great opportunity to have a whole bunch of fun, to do some good for the world, while getting some positive PR for disc golf in your town.


Our community finds it more fun when the golf is competitive and by the rules. Should we run an Ice Bowl¨?

Although we find that a PDGA-sanctioned Ice Bowl is a bit of an oxymoron, if this is your orientation, then the PDGA’s Competition Endowment Program should prove attractive. The usual requirements for sanctioning are still in force and there are other stipulations. One of them is that the $2 PDGA per player fee is donated to the event charity and must be matched by the event. A minimum of 25% of entry fees must be donated to event charity, which must be a 501 (c) (3) entity. For full information about this program, go here.


How can we get the media aware of what we are doing? 

Prepare a news release to be distributed at least a week to 10 days before the event. Follow this up with phone calls three to five days before tee-off. For TV stations, contact the weekend assignment editor. Faxing or emailing news releases saves time and money. Another avenue is the public service announcement (PSA). A sample news release and a PSA can be downloaded at the address below. Be sure to utilize both print and online versions of newspapers (including free weeklies) for free calendar listings. For a sample news release, go here.


May we run an “Ice Bowl® without a charitable outreach? 

No. We require that all disc golf tournaments that use the name “Ice Bowl¨” to raise money and/or food for a recognized charity, ideally one that helps fight hunger. In other words, if you are not interested in charitable fundraising, you will not be granted permission to use Ice Bowl¨ as part of your tournament’s name.


How much does it cost to register an Ice Bowl? May we still hold an Ice Bowl and not buy any merchandise?

There is no cost to register your Ice Bowl® and there is no requirement to purchase any Ice Bowl merchandise. Yes, that’s right, we ask for no other investment for you to run an Ice Bowl except for your time in organizing the event, raising money for a charity, and filing an Ice Bowl report form when it’s over.


How can I buy some cool Ice Bowl discs, shirts, headgear, and minis?

Indicate on the registration form that you want a merchandise order form and when it’s ready, we’ll send you one.


May we make or create our own Ice Bowl® clothing or discs, using either the official logo or one of our own?

Ice Bowl® is a registered trademark owned by Disc Golf World, Inc. Please contact Rick Rothstein at rick@discgolfworld.com about licensing possibilities. Once you register your event, you are licensed to use the words “Ice Bowl” and this year’s logo to publicize your event.


What about insurance for my Ice Bowl?

We cannot provide insurance. One solution that several events utilized in 2012 was registering their events with the PDGA through its Competition Endowment Program. (See #5 above.)


What is this Ice Bowl Contest?

The Ice Bowl Contest awards prizes to those Ice Bowls that raise the most money for charity. To be eligible, an Ice Bowl must register its event as an Ice Bowl¨ with Disc Golf World; support an approved charity; and report the results (attendance, weather, donations, and verification of the donations) of your Ice Bowl to Disc Golf World by April 15, 2014.


Where can I learn more about the history of Ice Bowl?

There are several stories, summarizing Ice Bowl at icebowlhq.com. Also, you can go here to view photos and other media on Facebook. Here’s a link to a Brief History of Ice Bowl.


Where should I go with questions? 

Contact Rick Rothstein the Ice Bowl Instigator at 816.471.3472 or 888.237.6884 or icebowl@discgolfworld.com. Or visit us at 509 E 18th St, KC, MO 64108. Also, once an Ice Bowl is approved, the TD has access to the back end of icebowlhq.com, where many useful documents reside.