Broomball is a variation of hockey with a couple of twists. It is played in a more casual setting compared to hockey and requires much less equipment. The goal of the game is the same, scoring more goals than the opposing team. Broomball can be used as a good introductory sport for those who are interested in playing ice hockey. It will also have you prepared with some of the equipment used in hockey if you chose to play later on.
The equipment worn by players in broomball is a dressed-down version of hockey equipment. For example, skates are not worn but replaced with rubber-soled shoes. Things like padding are recommended but not required, and some players prefer to wear pants instead of traditional hockey shorts.
In terms of the equipment used to play the game itself, a small ball is used instead of a puck, but the goals are fairly similar to ice hockey. Brooms are used instead of sticks, giving players an easier way to make contact with the ball.
The ball used for broomball is fairly small and usually a bright color. This makes it easy for players to locate the ball while it rolls around on the ice. The broomball is similar to the one used for the game spikeball and is made out of rubber. If inflated correctly, the ball can bounce to a decent height. An official broomball costs about $20.
A broom is used to not only shoot the ball towards the net, but to also fight off defenders as you attack the ball. The broom is designed similar to a hockey stick, but the blade portion is not as wide. It is wide enough to fully contact the ball but gives little room for error. It is called a broom because of its resemblance to a house broom, it just does not have the bristles on the end. A broom to be used in broomball can cost around $60.
Just like any other sport, your equipment needs to be carried somehow. For broomball, most hockey bags will suit you well. Since the gear you will be wearing is similar to ice hockey, it will fit perfectly in this gear bag. It has a big main compartment along with pockets to store things like tape, a mouthguard, and some balls. A gear bag will cost you about $50-$100.
Gloves are important for your safety in broomball. They protect your hands and wrists from many possible injuries. Falling on the ice and getting hit with your opponent's stick can hurt, but wearing gloves will prevent major injury. Hockey-style gloves are heavily padded and still allow you to get a good grip on your broom. A nice pair of gloves will cost about $100.
A helmet is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can have for a contact sport. In broomball, you may not get hit a lot, but you should still protect your head in case of an accident. A helmet with a face guard will prevent a ball or broom from hitting you in the face and causing injury. It will also prevent a head injury caused by a fall or other collision while out on the ice. A helmet can cost between $50-$100.
Tape is essential in almost any sport, including broomball. Hockey tape specifically helps add grip to things like your broom. You can also use this tape to fix any equipment issues such as loose pads or ripped gloves, jerseys and socks. Hockey tape comes in a variety of colors that can match with your team. A roll of tape will cost about $5.
To play a game of broomball, you absolutely need an ice rink. It can be indoors, outdoors, professional, or even set up yourself. A solid sheet of ice is necessary to play, no matter where you find it. Typically you will need about 200 feet in length to play a regulation game of broomball, with about 90 feet of width. If you are not being formal, simply set up your nets as you please and enjoy the game.
Jerseys are important as they allow players and fans to differentiate between both teams. Make sure that all of your teammates have the same color jersey on. Broomball jerseys are typically long sleeved and thick, similar to hockey jerseys. Since broomball is often played casually, you do not need to have numbers for each player, but color coordination is a must. A broomball jersey can be purchased for about $10-$50.
Padding is important when playing an ice sport, especially in areas you are frequently using. Since you will be moving around a lot while playing broomball, you should protect your legs. Knee pads offer support to the upper leg and can fit both under or over your pants. They are designed to stretch so that you can still have freedom of movement with your lower body. A set of knee pads will cost about $20.
A mouthguard is helpful in broomball when you collide with an opponent or the ice itself. The main purpose of a mouthguard is to protect the teeth, as they can be negatively impacted when you move around at a rapid pace. It will prevent chattering and damage to the teeth while you are playing. Mouthguards are fairly cheap and easy to use. They cost about $20.
In order to successfully play a game of broomball, you need two nets. Regulation hockey nets are the most commonly used, but any others are also usable. If you do not have access to a net, an alternative can be two cones. The net acts as the area where a team can score while on offense. A hockey net will cost you about $150.
Most broomball players tend to wear pants instead of hockey shorts. They serve the same function as you can still wear your pads underneath your pants while you play. Since you are not wearing skates, it is much easier to wear pants during a game of broomball. A durable pair of nylon pants suitable for broomball can cost about $30.
A ball pump is essential for many sports, and broomball is no exception. This pump allows you to keep the ball at the correct level of inflation throughout the game. It can also be used to prepare backup balls in case the ball in play is lost or punctured. You use the pump by inserting the needle into the ball and using the handle to add air to the ball. A ball pump costs about $20.
Just like in hockey, broomball players should also wear shin pads. They do not have to be hockey-style shin pads, but protection to the lower legs is recommended. Some players choose to use soccer shin pads as they are lightweight and still get the job done. Shin pads mainly protect against the ball from striking you in the leg and potentially causing an injury. Shin pads cost around $50.
Wearing the correct footwear for broomball is very important. You will not be wearing skates on the ice, but instead, a heavy-duty shoe that has a rubber outsole. This outsole has tons of grip that allows players to make their way up and down the ice at a good speed. Most broomball shoes also have padding on the sides to protect the ankle area when playing. A pair of broomball shoes can be purchased for about $100.
Shoulder pads are the most common piece of equipment when it comes to broomball. Most players choose to wear these protective pads in order to avoid taking damage from collisions. They help when using your arms to battle defenders and allow you to get hit with the ball and not get hurt. A standard set of shoulder pads for broomball cost about $50.