(Compare to Men's A/B leagues)
The Open Division is considered the most competitive division of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, with 40 teams competing to have their team name inscribed on a piece of pond hockey history: the Golden Shovel. This division is for men and women age 18 and older. Some open division teams carry former NHL legends, Division 1 hockey players or high school greats. Teams hold up to 8 players with 4 players on the ice at a time. Each team is guaranteed four games: 2 on Friday and 2 on Saturday. 24 teams will advance to the Golden Shovel round on Sunday to compete with only one team emerging triumphant.
40 teams - 8 pools - 24 teams will advance: The top team in each pool plus 16 wild cards (calculated by most points, ties in point total are broken by highest total number of goals scored followed by goal differential) will advance to Championship Sunday.