12 March 2011
Hockey with a broom or broomball
The history of the game
The object of the game is to score goals into your opponent's goal/net. Tactics and plays are similar to those used in sports such as ice hockey, hockey with a ball, roller hockey. A typical game of broomball is broken up into two or three periods by 20 minutes. In some tournaments, if the scores are tied after regular time, an additional overtime period is played to determine a winner. In the overtime period (in most cases), six players, three on each team, play five minutes without a goalie. The team to score more goals in the overtime period is declared the winner. The shooter starts plaing the ball from center ice. Broomball games are controlled by two on-ice referees. Both referees have the same powers to call all penalties, off-sides, goals, and so on.
Referees are generally required to wear black and white vertical-striped jerseys, with a red arm band on one arm. They use this arm to signal penalties throughout the game.
Players hit a small ball around the ice with a stick called a “broom”. The broom may have a wooden or aluminum shaft and has a rubber-molded triangular head similar in shape to that of a regular broom. Players wear special rubber-soled shoes instead of skates, and the ice is prepared in such a way that it is smooth and dry to improve traction. As in hockey players generally wear a full face cage in addition to thick padding on the legs, thighs, chest and shoulders.
From the canadian variant moscow broomball differs by a stick. They are made locally from the straw brushes used by Moscow street-sweepers in summer, giving the sport its name. The straw brush is tightly packed and shaped before being wrapped in many layers of silver duct tape, forming a rigid club somewhat resembling a hockey stick. Broomball sticks are much shorter, however, and are wielded one-handed. A wrist loop is attached to avoid losing the stick. Broomball sticks vary quite widely in length and shape according to the user's preference (and to some degree his ability in shaping and taping the straw). Some have large flat heads almost like miniature ice-hockey sticks, while others are curved into hook-like shapes designed control the ball much like in ice or grass hockey. Goalkeepers do not use a stick, and must remain on their knees at all times. They are allowed to catch the ball in their hands (although ice hockey-style oversized gloves are not used) and throw it down the pitch.
There is a Moscow broomball league of 14 men's teams and 7 women's, with matches held every winter from December/January onwards - as long as the ice outside holds. The season closes with a formal Broomball Ball event in celebration of the game, season and players.
Demonstration match in Kirov
Derogation from the rules was the formation of the teams. There were both men and women on the ice. While in Moscow they play in separate leagues. In Kirov they played one hour, three hperiods by 20 minutes. During this time, viewers watched a lot of hockey nuances such as scathing attacks, curious collision and falls. And ofcours there were goals. Broomball players were quite pleased with the game itself and the ice playground where they want to come back next winter.
Nikolay Koshcheev, the President of Kirov Regional IPA: “Probably, we will conduct broomball finale next winter where about six teams will participate”.
Russian team will be amoung them for sure. Russian players will start preparing for the tournament after they decide who can run fast on ice and play with a stick. According to the experienced broomball players Finns are undefeated now.