History of Broomball
Broomball is traditionally a winter sport (though we play year-round) played in ice arenas and community parks throughout the United States, Canada, and a few other countries. It is a game very similar to hockey in its formation and rules, but also incorporates some soccer strategies. The game is played on a hockey rink with two teams consisting of six players on each side (a goalie, two defensemen and three forwards). Similar to hockey and soccer, the object of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team. A player uses a stick (a shaft with a molded broom-shaped head) to maneuver a six-inch diameter ball up and down the ice. Instead of skates, players wear sneakers or specialized broomball shoes to gain traction when running on the slippery surface.
Your head is the most important thing to protect in Broomball or any high impact sport. Hockey Helmets provide the most coverage, and protection from all things Broomball. Also, don’t skimp on the face coverage – get a cage. Can you technically play with a bike helmet? Sure. Is that going to do as good a job keeping you safe? No.
Hockey Helmets like CCM and Bauer can be purchased at any sports store or online. We recommend going to a store like Dick’s first to learn what helmet you like best, and what size to go with, and then do some price comparisons online.
Pads – Falling will happen, balls will be shot hard at your body, and sticks will inevitably make contact with limbs. In order to make the game as pleasant as possible, we recommend the following pads.
Leg Protection: When thinking about protecting your legs, you want to focus on your shins and your knees. Your shins will be the victim of many slap shots and rogue sticks, while your knees are more likely to be destroyed by the ice if you fall. Also, as your skills develop, they prove helpful when sliding intentionally on the ice.
An affordable option for your legs are soccer shin guards, and volleyball or rollerblade knee pads. They are simple, and allow for flexibility when running. You can also go with a combined shin and knee pad like what is sold at https://broomball.com/hagan-h-6-knee-shin/
Arm Protection: Gloves are the most important part of arm protection. It is highly recommended that you use a padded glove to protect your fingers from slashing and shots. You can go with really any hockey, men’s lacrosse, or broomball glove to protect your hands. Since these can be pricey, check out Play It Again Sports: https://www.playitagainsports.com/home to find used gloves.
Another part of your arms you may feel inclined to protect are your elbows. Really, any elbow pad that offers flexibility will do, but an affordable option can be found here: https://broomball.com/super-flex-knee-elbow-pad/
Body Protection: Some players also choose to wear chest protectors, or hockey padded shorts. Men, don’t forget a cup…
Broomball shoes are one of the most helpful tools on the ice. They allow you to run with more confidence than your sketchers allow. Everyone prefers different shoe brands but the main ones to look for are Hagan, Acacia, or DGel. Unless you are planning on playing outdoor, avoid the shoes with the holes in the soles.
There are a few elements to think about when buying a stick. First: stick length. What position are you playing? If you are playing offense your stick will be shorter and geared towards shooting, than a defender whose focus is on stretching further to stop or steal the ball. Some players choose to buy lacrosse stick shafts and cut them down to the length they want.
Next, you want to try out a variety of heads before you buy something that doesn’t work for you. Heads now come with curves to make harder passes, and to shoot with a hockey hook shot, but these don’t work for everyone. Try out a variety of options before selecting the one that works best for you.
Midwest Broomball sells stick parts separately so you can purchase and assemble a “Insert your name here” stick.