About Broomball

Broomball is a unique sport resembling a combination of ice hockey and indoor soccer.  The game is played on an ice rink with two teams of six players (typically 3 offense, 2 defense, and a goalie), with the object being to score goals against the other team, similar to hockey.  Broomball goals are larger than hockey nets, players wear specialized broomball shoes instead of skates, and use what we call a "broom" to control a ball -- all of this equipment is specially made for the sport of broomball.

Rules & Gameplay...
Broomball is similar to hockey, but differs in some important ways.  While concepts like "offsides" and "icing" are in effect, they're somewhat different than hockey rules, and there are several rules surrounding the use of the feet & hands that don't apply in hockey.

For more information check out our basic and detailed rules pages.  Go here for basic strategy.

A History Lesson...
The widely accepted history of broomball is that, during the 1890s, the sport originated in Montreal, Canada, where streetcar employees played on frozen surfaces during lunch breaks, using actual brooms to strike a ball in an attempt to score in the opponent's goal, much like hockey in concept. As early as 1910, broomball had spread to other parts of Canada, where it was often played at winter carnivals.  It basically remained an informal recreational activity until 1966, when the first state tournament was held. Since then, the popularity of the sport and the level of competition have grown significantly.

Broomball is often played on frozen lakes and any other ice surfaces that players can find, but it is officially played on a hockey-size rink. Though it's a unique sport, skills acquired in more common sports translate to broomball fairly easily. Broomball rules and strategies are most closely related to hockey, but the rule differences and unique equipment makes the sport very different.  Beginners often just wear tennis shoes, such as in our beginner league, but experienced players typically wear specially made broomball shoes, which have a rubbery sponge bottom that provides more traction on the ice.  Though Canadians used actual brooms when they started the sport, over the years players began shortening the bristles and wrapping them as tightly as possible with tape, as well as began shortening the wooden shaft.  Today's specially made "brooms" consist of solid plastic or rubber heads (with no bristles) attached to shafts made of wood, graphite, aluminum, or metal alloys. Finally, the ball is a specially made hollow plastic ball slightly larger than a softball.

The Future...
Broomball's popularity continues to grow in Greater Cincinnati, throughout the United States, and around the world. The sport is now played in well over a dozen countries across four continents.  Players from the Cincinnati Broomball Association have traveled to Las Vegas, Davenport, Orlando, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Cleveland, Syracuse, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Miami University, Charlotte, Dayton, Rochester, and Victoria B.C. to compete, playing against teams from as far away as Japan and Australia.  So what does the future hold for international broomball?  We recommend visiting the site of the International Federation of Broomball Associations to answer that: www.internationalbroomball.com

To learn more, visit the other pages on our site (including our "Links" page) as well as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broomball
Subpages (3): Equipment Rules Strategy