What is broomball and how do you play?

By Kristina Proffitt

Broomball is a popular winter sport in Canada, but it can be played anywhere there's an ice rink.

Ultimately, broomball is very similar to hockey, with a hint of soccer thrown in there. The game is played on a hockey rink with two teams, each consisting of six players. Each team has a goalie, two defensive players, and three forwards.

Players use sticks (similar to hockey sticks but with a broom-shaped head on the end) to push the ball down the ice. Like hockey, you win the game by scoring more goals than the opposing team. Unlike hockey, players wear special rubber-soled shoes instead of skates.

A typical game of broomball consists of two periods, with an additional third period for overtime. Overtime lasts five minutes and goalies are not allowed. The team that scores the most goals during overtime wins the game.

Broomball was first played in 1909 in Massey, Ontario and has gained popularity over the last ten years. There is now an International Federation of Broomball Associations headquartered in Canada. Organized broomball is played not only in Canada, but also in Australia, Japan, Sweden, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.

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