Broomball begins at Brenton Skating Plaza11/21/2012
Now that the Brenton Skating Plaza is open for the season, it’s time to get the broom out and sweep a dozen friends together to play some broomball.
While the roots of the game stem from Canada, over the years, the alternative ice sport has gained popularity and credibility throughout the world. National broomball associations are still working for inclusion of the sport into the winter Olympic Games. But on the local level, it’s a sport played for fun and camaraderie.
“We have advanced players who are very competitive and novice players on new teams,” said Robbin McClelland, Brenton Skating Plaza manager. “We see a lot of people who played at Iowa State and want to continue playing post-collegiately.”
Teams of up to 12 are currently forming for the outdoor Brenton Skating Plaza Sunday Night League. Play begins on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 8:30 p.m. and continues weekly through the winter building toward League playoffs at the end of February.
A tournament is traditionally held during the Des Moines Winter Games the first weekend in February. As the season progresses, some of the more competitive teams will work to rack up victories in league play, earning a place in the local league playoffs.
Many players learn as they go, and some come with truly nothing in the way of experience or equipment, and that’s OK, McClelland said. Players can rent or own the equipment needed, which consists of the “broom” and helmets.
“Helmets are required, so we have them for rent,” said McClelland. “We also rent the brooms, but most people who’ve done it for a while have their own.”
The “broom” is an aluminum or wooden stick with a molded, plastic, broom-shaped head. Players use the stick to hit the ball into the opposing team’s net, like in hockey, but no ice skates are used, which is why it’s easier for new people to become involved — no skating skills are needed.
Some players will wear special shoes to help with traction on the ice, but they are not required. Unlike hockey, where players like a smooth, wet surface on the ice, broomball players prefer it smooth, but dry for better traction.
The Brenton Skating Plaza league is open for registration until Nov. 25. Players can sign up individually or as a team. As six players are on the ice at a time, a minimum of six is required to form a team. With 45-minute games, though, having eight or more players allows for substitutions, keeping all players fresh for the entire game.
For more information, or to register, click on the broomball link at www.brentonplaza.com or call 515-284-1000. CV
Indoor broomball leagues are also forming at the Metro Ice Sports Facility, 5100 N.W. 72nd St., in Urbandale. The indoor league runs from Dec. 23 through March 17 and plays on the Urbandale rink from 7 – 10 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, contact the Metro Ice Sports Facility at 515-276-7200, or click on the broomball link at www.metroice.com.