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2005 Calgary Hitmen teddy bear toss
Spokane Chiefs teddy bear toss.

The teddy bear toss is a popular Christmas season promotion most common at ice hockey games. Fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears or other stuffed toys to the game, and to throw them onto the ice when the home team scores its first goal. The toys are gathered up to be donated as presents to hospitals and charities. In many cases, the players themselves personally donate some of the bears to children at area hospitals.[1][2] The Hershey Bears claim a world record of 34,798 stuffed toys in a single game.[3]


The concept originated with the Kamloops Blazers in 1993, thanks to marketing director Don Larson.[4] The first recorded teddy bear toss occurred on December 5, 1993, when a goal by Brad Lukowich prompted fans to throw over 2,400 bears onto the ice.[1][2] The tradition spread quickly through the Canadian Hockey League, and around the world; excluding the National Hockey League, which discourages anything thrown on the ice.[1][2]

Notable gamesEdit

The Calgary Hitmen set a then record of 28,815 stuffed toys in a single game, on December 6, 2015, with a sell-out crowd at the Scotiabank Saddledome.[5][6][7] The annual event has collected almost 350,000 bears in Calgary as of early December 2018.[2]

On December 3, 2017, the Hershey Bears collected 25,017 stuffed animals.[8] In the following season, Hershey beat the previous mark by collecting 34,798 stuffed animals on December 2, 2018.[9] The event also inspired philanthropists in Hershey to pledge cash donations per toy collected.[2]

The teddy bear toss spread to Australia on June 28, 2014 at the Medibank Ice house in Melbourne. The Melbourne Ice collected 306 toys as part of the Canada Day celebration events.[10]

On December 27, 2017 Luleå HF brought the tradition to Sweden, with a 3–1 over Mora IK.[11] Bears were donated to a hospital in Södra Sunderbyn, the Woman's Journal in Lulea, and other charities.[11]

Other sportsEdit

The teddy bear toss spread to Italian basketball and made its Lega Basket Serie A debut in 2014.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b c Pinchevsky, Tal (2016-12-21). "How the teddy bear toss became hockey's furriest -- and most fun -- phenomenon". ESPN. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  2. ^ a b c d e Ground, Stephen (9 December 2018). "The Teddy Bear Toss: From Kamloops to Hershey". The Hockey Writers. The Hockey Writers. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  3. ^ Fisch, Zack (2018-12-02). "Watch the Hershey Bears break teddy bear toss world record as 34,798 hit the ice for charity". PennLive. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  4. ^ Donnelly, Adam (2016-12-05). "Kamloops Blazers teddy toss tradition for local fans". CFJC Today. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  5. ^ "The Brick Teddy Bear Toss". Calgary Hitmen. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  6. ^ Parker, Lisa MacGregor and Brendan. "Hitmen fans break records in annual Teddy Bear Toss". Global News. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
  7. ^ Pirie, Jason (2015-12-05). "Stallard goal makes teddy confetti, Hitmen down Broncos". Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  8. ^ Cantlon, Kyle (2017-12-04). "Fans make it rain teddy bears in Hershey". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  9. ^ Wyshynski, Greg (2 December 2018). "AHL's Hershey Bears set Teddy Bear Toss record, collecting 34,798 toys". ESPN. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  10. ^ Brook, Eric (2014-07-02). "Sydney Bears Crash Melbourne Ice's Teddy Bear Picnic". Hewitt Sports. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  11. ^ a b Jonathan Larsson (28 December 2017). "Oväntade bilderna – det regnar in nallar" (in Swedish). Expressen. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  12. ^ Ferraro, Raffaele (2014-12-12). "Teddy Bear Toss: Istruzioni per l'uso" (in Italian). La Giornata Tipo. Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  13. ^ Degrassi, Roberto (2018-12-16). "Alma Trieste perfetta: vola a 110 e travolge Avellino" (in Italian). Il Piccolo Trieste. Retrieved 2018-12-17.