About Broomball: The Game, Equipment, and Rules
The Game - Broomball is played with an inflated ball, a stick with a hard plastic end, with six players on the ice for each team.
Legal Equipment - There are companies that specialize in Broomball Equipment. One of which is: D-GEL
Teams must wear jerseys with numbers on the front, back, chest, or shoulder. These numbers must be at least 4 inches high. Shoes must be worn by all players and must be commercially produced (i.e. Forest Ice, D-Gel, Acton). Full length sweat pant-like Broomball pants also need to be worn.
Sticks must also be commercially produced. The broom must not be altered illegally in any way. See your local rules for legal alterations. The shaft of the broom must be wood, aluminum or graphite. The head of the broom must be between seven and nine inches in height (from the handle attachment to the tip of the broom). The width of the head must be between four and six inches, with the tip, or base of the broom, being no less than two and a half inches. Tape may not cover up a cracked stick. Any bent or cracked shaft can be found unsafe and removed from the game by the referee.
A CSA approved hockey helmet, elbow, and shin pads must be worn in indoor play, while many different types gloves may be worn from hockey gloves, to lacrosse gloves, to work gloves, or no gloves at all. Junior age players must wear full cages on their helmets.
Goalies must wear a full cage or goalie helmet, along with shin pads, and usually choose to wear hockey body armour, blocker, and the same sort of gloves worn by the other players on their catching hand. The same regulation stick is used by both players and goaltenders.
Time - A Broomball game consists of two periods. There are two 18 minute, stop time periods, with a two minute break in between.
Off-side - Off-side is called when a player from the team in possession of the ball enters the offensive zone before the ball. The center red line is the 'in/out' line in Broomball, as the blue line is used in hockey.
High Stick - Typically a high stick is anything above the shoulder. Some leagues and tournaments mark it above the waist. A high stick results in a two minute penalty.
Penalties - Penalties and infractions are virtually similar to hockey penalties.
Icing - Icing occurs when the defending team clears the ball from inside their zone and across the opposing team's goal line. No touch up icing is in effect so the whistle is blown as soon as the ball crosses the goal line. Icing is still called when a team is short handed as well.
The Rink - The rink should be as close as possible to 200 feet long and 85 feet wide. Corners are rounded in the arc of a radius of 20 feet. The net is 6 feet high and 8 feet wide in USA play. Internationally, smaller, hockey-sized nets are used.
The Ball - Official Broomballs are labeled with the words "Official Broomball." For Indoor play the ball is a made of a hard orange molded rubber that is slightly larger than a softball and is about 5" in size.
Players - A team must have at least six players: goalie, right and left defense, center, and right and left wing. A maximum of twenty players, including goalies, may dress and play in a game. When making substitutions, the player coming off the ice must be within arm's reach before the substitute enters the ice.
***Rules taken from www.broomballteams.com***
How long has Broomball been around?
The origins of Broomball have been traced back to the early 1900’s. Some sport historians recall, creative rail workers who found Broomball as a sport discipline to be a fantastic, recreational past time during the winter months in the early 1900’s. Around the same time period in Saskatchewan, as in the east, the sport was played outdoors on frozen ponds, lakes and rivers or areas conducive for icy surfaces the size of today’s ice arenas.
Verifying claims of the sports original roots have been difficult. The town of Barrie, Ontario has documented information of locals getting together on Lake Simcoe between the years of 1903 to 1905 for a fun men’s competition. However, it is believed the sport actually started between native bands passed onto the settlers who inherited the sport through camaraderie and friendship.
Broomball became a new dynamic into the world of sports. Paraphernalia to play the game during this period included people wearing gum boots for traction and using mom’s kitchen broom to control a small inflated ball or something similar like rolled up tape.
When did the sport become "Official"?
The huge interest in the new found sport fast became a full contact team sport taking on the same pattern as ice hockey. It was clear in 1975 during a tournament in Montreal dubbed the “National Broomball Tournament”; a regulatory body was needed to facilitate future sport expansion. In 1976, through the efforts of members from the Alberta Broomball Association who met with Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, representatives from these areas formed the Canadian Broomball Federation as the National Sport Governing Body for the sport of Broomball in Canada.
What is Broomball like today?
Since the inception of the CBF, the sport has developed significantly with the introduction of technical programs, safer regulated equipment, and rules of the game administered by qualified referees. Competition includes men, women and mixed categories at all ages. Canada is also leading the way for juvenile development in the sport and has introduced programs for 19 and under in all categories of recognized competition.
The sport is fast, exciting and very entertaining at the of elite competition level. The CBF realizes the importance of focusing on the youth of today by adopting the National Coaching Certification Program in the late 80’s. Unlike the pioneers of the game, today’s elite athlete is trained by a certified NCCP coach making the sport of Broomball a very demanding cardio vascular team sport for the participants to appreciate. Canada has a flourishing membership of 19,000 registered members and another 15,000 participants at various recreational levels and age groups including the elementary and secondary school systems.
The Canadian Broomball Federation has provided the leadership in the sport internationally which is now enjoyed in 16 countries around the world and regulated by the International Federation of Broomball Associations of which Canada was a founding member. A World Championship is scheduled every two years on the even year. Past international events have been hosted in Canada, USA and Italy.
***Research provided by the Saskatchewan Broomball Association, Quebec Broomball Federation and Retired player Harry Squibb from Ontario. ***