Up North: Broomball gaining traction in the Northland
It may not look like your standard sporting event on ice, with no skates, no hockey stick, and no puck. However that doesn’t matter for members of the Twin Ports Broomball organization, who come out every Wednesday to enjoy the sport.
“I’m having a good time. You usually get about pretty even teams. Dean, makes sure we get it pretty even in terms of skill wise. So it’s not running around. Hit the ball, try to improve our game and get some exercise,” said broom baller Matt Baulieu.
The games take place at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center, but even if you’re not acclimated to the game, don’t worry. For $8 new players are given shoes, brooms, and protective equipment upon arrival.
“A friend of mine got me into it, and as the first time I played it’s a lot of fun. Definitely takes more skill and what it looks like when you’re watching, trying to make contact with the ball running around. I mean, if you get the right shoes it’s like running on gym floor. So that definitely helps you to get a nice pair of shoes on you,” added Baulieu.
Players planning to attend can also warm up together at Clyde Iron Works at 6:30 P.M. before the ball drops for a one hour game, starting at 8:15 P.M. All in an effort that organizer Daryl Spencer says is a game he wants to see grow in the Northland.
“We average12, 14 players a night. Sometimes we get 20 players a night. A lot of our players have really gotten better. A lot of players have moved on to playing higher levels. So it’s been really fun. We’ve definitely promoted the game and gotten more people in the sport and it’s just a great workout,” said organizer Daryl Spencer.
Great exercise, fond memories, and even some filthy goals are all reasons that this sport has also started to gain some national recognition.
“It’s just a really fun sport there. There is a world championship of broomball. There’s a national championship this next weekend. So there is high level broomball, but in general, no Super Bowl is played for fun. And that’s what we’re doing is playing for fun. But you can go on from here and play at high levels it’s just a very a sport that anybody can play.”
“Soccer players do really well, hockey players do really well, lacrosse players do really well. You can kick the ball. I talked talk to you about earlier, but you have to score with your broom. But I don’t know, I fell in love with it in college and I still love it to this day,” concluded Spencer.
For more information on Twin Ports Broomball, head to their Facebook page.