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We don’t need skates!

11/19/2014

Broomball sessions will be held Nov. 23 and 30.

Broomball sessions will be held Nov. 23 and 30.

It was bound to happen eventually, though delaying the arrival of snow a little longer would have been preferred.

Yes, sometimes you want it to dump on you quickly so you can get used to being wet for the next couple of months, but the silver lining is the validation that comes with being able to stay inside constantly.

“Oh, I’d love to come out, but the roads…”

But the snow hasn’t started sticking just yet, so instead of complaining about the impending whiteout that will hit anytime between now and May 2015, why not get out and have some fun? And there’s no better winter sports alternative than broomball.

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“Broomball appeals to me because it is a competitive sport that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” said Tony Hansen, broomball enthusiast. “On the ice, people are yelling for passes, trying to score goals, and ultimately win the contest like any competitive sport. But the whole time you are running on ice trying to keep your balance while hitting a ball around.”

Hansen loves the competition and won’t deny that occasionally he will really get into the game. But afterwards it is all laughs when chatting with teammates about the pile of people in a corner, he said.

Those who have ever had a passing interest in playing broomball would be wise to get in on the action this Sunday or next. For the first two Sundays of the ice skating season — before actual league play begins on Sunday evenings — Brenton Skating Plaza is offering $5 access and $5 gear rental.

“The first few games of the season are always about getting re-acclimated to trying to play a sport where you have very little traction,” Hansen said. “It takes a couple of weeks to get used to running around on the ice, swinging at a moving ball and trying to pass accurately.”

In the previous seasons, broomball league was held at 8:30 p.m. However, this year games will begin at 6:30 p.m., and teams are excited about the change, according to Robbin McClelland, Brenton Skating Plaza manager.

Otherwise, expect more of the same this season.

When dealing with a small sport gaining traction, it may take a couple years to see noticeable growth, but it’s there, says Hansen. Des Moines is active city as far as recreation league sports go, and people will seek out new activities as the seasons change.

“The format has worked well for the past several seasons, and the players seem to like it,” said Hansen. “Last season we did a few exhibitions during intermissions at Iowa Wild games, so we’ll hopefully do a few more of those this season.”

“It is a lot of fun being outside in the wintertime and playing this sport with your team,” Hansen said. “You don’t even need to buy any equipment, as the rink has loaner helmets and brooms for new players. Come give it a try, and you’ll be hooked.” CV

David Rowley is an Iowa native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a master’s in film journalism from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Brenton Skating Plaza Opens Nov. 21 at noon.
Tree lighting and Santa at 6 p.m. A food drive for the City of Des Moines Holiday Food Project will also be held during the entire weekend.
Open broomball sessions are Nov. 23 and 30 from 6:30–8 p.m., $5 per player
League play begins Dec. 7. Cost is $80 per player or $850 per team with a 12-player limit per team. Must be 18 to play.

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