It”s like hockey but with brooms. So goes the poor man”s explanation of broomball. But in reality, it”s so much more. Broomball is a fun, fast paced game which lets you enjoy many of hockey”s pleasures without having to learn to skate.

Getting started playing broomball is pretty simple. Most people just wear their tennis shoes, although more experienced players often wear special shoes with additional gripping to help them maneuver better on the ice. Brooms can come in all shapes and sizes, but the most effective combines the head of a broom with the body of a hockey stick for a powerful shooting weapon.

The game plays out very similar to hockey with goals set up on each end of the ice (they are usually taller and wider than a standard hockey goal) with the object being to put the ball past the goalie and into the net. The game is played with a hard rubber ball that is slightly larger than a baseball.

Moving around on the ice can be a little tricky at first and will likely result in a few nasty spills. Even those who are experienced skaters will find the transition to wearing shoes on the ice a difficult one. The initial slipping and sliding will result in some frustrating moments while you”re getting accustomed to the playing surface. Because of this and the high intensity level of the game, it”s wise to put on as many pads as you can while you play. Elbow pads, knee pads and even shin guards from your soccer glory days should save you at least a few bumps and bruises.

One of the trickiest parts of broomball is finding free ice to play the game on. Because broomball takes up so much space, it”s not practical to attempt to play at a free skate or open ice time. Students can, however, participate in a league twice a year through the Intramural Sports department.

Love for broomball has also lead to the formation of the University Broomball club, a group of 15 players who play the game on the club sports level. The club was founded by people who enjoyed playing Intramural broomball but felt that the season was too short and wanted a chance to play the game more often.

Members of the club, which was started last school year, have traveled across the country to play tournaments in Minnesota, New York and Ohio. The club is open to anyone and according to its president, Engineering junior Adam Wilson, the appeal of broomball is universal.

“Broomball is so great because anyone can play. With a little bit of practice you can be one of the best at the sport. It”s also so great because once people play, they are hooked,” Wilson said.

So why not saw off one of your mother”s brooms, take to the ice and give broomball a try? You might be bruised but you won”t be disappointed.

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