Student Newspaper at Michigan Tech University since 1921

Published Weekly on Tuesdays Office Located in Walker 105

A quick history on Broomball

When one thinks of Michigan Tech’s annual Winter Carnival, “broomball” often comes to mind as one of the most favorited winter traditions among students and alumni. Students from many different teams, groups, and organizations patiently wait for the start of the season each year as they clear local store shelves of brooms and duct tape.

Traditionally, each year the two best teams from the previous season start off the craziness at the Ball Drop, which is the first game of the broomball season. It brings out many spectators, including MTU’s mascot Blizzard and the always entertaining Husky Pep Band.

If you’re new to broomball, you may be wondering just what kind of crazy sport this actually is. Broomball is a game played similarly to hockey. It’s played on ice, but players use brooms wrapped in duct tape rather than a hockey stick, and a ball instead of a puck.

The game is said to have originated in Canada, with the first recorded game taking place in Saskatchewan in 1909.

While professional broomball leagues around the world play with specially made sticks and fancy grippy shoes, Michigan Tech students keep it classic by playing with traditional tape-wrapped brooms and wearing tennis shoes.

After spreading to America from Canada, broomball is now played throughout many US states and other countries throughout the world, like Sweden, Japan and Germany. The sport is becoming so popular that the International Federation of Broomball Associations is considering trying to make broomball an event in the Winter Olympics.

Tech’s unofficial school sport seems as if it has been around for ages, but in reality, official IRHC Broomball didn’t start on MTU campus until the 1990s. The game was originally played on a singular rink on campus, which was located where the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts stands today.

Once construction began on the Rozsa Center in 1997, the rink was moved to its current location on Walker Lawn. 2003 saw the addition of another rink and scoreboards to the playing area. Today the broomball playing area boasts three rinks, scoreboards, and a cocoa shack, where spectators and players can grab a drink to warm up with after spending some time in the cold Houghton air.

IRHC broomball at Michigan Tech currently has six different leagues for students to join: one for each of the residential halls – East Wads, West Wads, McNair, and DHH, the Women’s league, and the Off-Campus league. Within the leagues, players create different teams that then play against other teams within their same league.

Each league also has the opportunity to vote for a team to receive the Golden Broom Award, which is an award given to a team in each league that showcases the best sportsmanship throughout the broomball season.

Each player votes for one or more of the teams within their league that they believe showcased the best sportsmanship, and then the award is given to each team at the end of the season.

If you haven’t checked out broomball yet during your time at Michigan Tech, do so! There are games almost every night, now and throughout Winter Carnival. Watch your friends play and cheer on your fellow Huskies as they participate in one of Michigan Tech’s best traditions. If you’re on a broomball team, best of luck!

Leave a Reply