Winter Sports Series: Broomball

Children playing broomball


The ground has been covered in snow and ice for the better part of the last few months, creating a monochromatic landscape that can sap the fun out of our daily routines.  As this winter drags on (and on, and on…) it is important to remember to do one thing… HAVE FUN!  This final installment of the winter sports series will explain how you can recreate with 6-11 of your best friends, classmates, 4-H’ers, or scouts; by playing the noble sport of broomball. 

Broomball is a winter sport that is over 100 years old.  The oldest records of the sport come from Perdue, Saskatchewan in 1909.  It is believed to have been started by people playing ice hockey without ice skates.  For this reason, the gameplay is very similar to hockey.   

Broomball is a team sport typically played on a hockey rink.  Teams consist of five players and a goalie, who sometimes wears extra padding, depending on the league.  The remaining players use wood or aluminum-handled rubber brooms to push, pass, and shoot a 6-inch ball into their opponent’s goal.   

For safety reasons, we do not play broomball on the ice at Upham Woods.  Instead we play in an open field where there is sand or snow to cushion a fall.  The sticks have foam blades and padded shafts and the players are required to wear a helmet.  Broomball is a favorite activity for many winter groups because it allows students to develop teamwork skills while being introduced to a fun new way to exercise! 

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