Broomball

Broomball is the best way to beat winter blues, as this popular ice sport offers you a great mix of ice hockey and soccer. This game can be played both indoors and outdoors, depending on the weather of course and it requires two teams consisting of six players each, wherein one is the goaltender and the remaining five players play on the rink. The objective of the game is simple, score more goals than your opponent. Every time the ball is hit to the opponent's net you score a goal. Played on an ice rink, players use spongy-soled shoes, instead of skates.

Originating from Canada, broomball was the favorite pastime of street car workers, back in the 1900s. Though, recent evidence has dated the sport back to the 10th century, when it was played in Iceland. Eventually the sport came into USA, and the first few games were played in Minnesota. In the US initially, broomball was played with 10 players on each side. Only by 1980 did the number of players come down to six. By this time broomball had spread to other countries as well, such as Japan, Germany, Sweden and Australia to name a few.

The game involves the use of a stick, referred to as the broom, which is manufactured with a rubber triangle attached to a wooden or an aluminium shaft. The broom is used to maneuver the ball, which is six-inches in diameter, along the ice. You are required to wear rubber-soled shoes, and not skates, which are worn for ice hockey. According to the International Federation of Broomball Associations, the game has a set of strict rules which need to be followed. The game is divided into two halves, each of duration, 18 minutes, and with both teams consisting of three forwards, one goalie and two defensemen each. The game begins with a faceoff and then both teams attempt to score goals with the ball.

Now that you know how it is played, what you need to do to get started with broomball is a team, a place to practice and enough time and perseverance to learn the game. Ask around your neighborhood, and collect around 8-15 people who would be interested. Inexperience should not be a deterrent as the game can be easily learnt. Regarding the equipment, all you need are brooms, the ball and two goal cages. If you are playing indoors, a soft orange rubber ball is suitable while a harder blue rubber ball is required for an outdoor game. Two goal cages, as used in hockey or football, are required for each of the team to score their goals. Practice makes perfect, so meet up with your team as much as possible, and remember to have fun while you learn to play.

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