Moscow broomball is a sport similar to ice-hockey played by non-Russians in Moscow. It is known by its players simply as "broomball", but is called Moscow broomball elsewhere to distinguish it from the similar sport of the same name played in Canada.
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.
Broomball is a recreational ice game originating in Canada and played in certain other countries. It is played in a hockey rink, either indoors or outdoors, depending on climate and location.
Moscow Broomball is played on a tarmac tennis court that has been flooded with water and allowed to freeze. Snow that falls on the court is pushed to the sides to create a bank that helps to contain the ball. Fenced tennis courts are preferred for the same reason, but not all courts in Moscow have this amenity. Goals of wood and wire-mesh are erected at each end of the court and a centre-spot for restarting after a goal is provided. The balls used in Moscow broomball are small soft plastic children's balls ("Disney balls"), slightly larger than a tennis ball.
Players wear protective gear to cushion falls onto the ice, mostly equipment intended for ice hockey. Padded shorts, elbow pads and leg guards are vital and no one is allowed on the ice without a helmet. Leg length hockey socks are worn over the knee and leg guards to provide increased friction compared to the smooth plastic of the pads – without these a player on his knees will slide a long way. The whole ensemble is then fastened into place with liberal quantities of packing tape. An ice-hockey helmet with a face cage is also worn.
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team.
Second in importance only to the knee pads are the broomball shoes. These are "sneaker" type shoes with thick soles of very soft rubber, to provide as much grip on smooth ice as possible (still not much!). These are obtained from suppliers in Canada catering to the "mainstream" variety of broomball played there.
Finally, each player (with the exception of the goalkeeper) carries a stick. These are made locally from the straw brushes used by Moscow street-sweepers in summer, giving the sport its name. The straw brush is tightly packed and shaped before being wrapped in many layers of silver duct tape, forming a rigid club somewhat resembling a hockey stick. Broomball sticks are much shorter, however, and are wielded one-handed. A wrist loop is attached to avoid losing the stick. Broomball sticks vary quite widely in length and shape according to the user's preference (and to some degree his ability in shaping and taping the straw). Some have large flat heads almost like miniature ice-hockey sticks, while others are curved into hook-like shapes designed control the ball much like in ice or grass hockey.
Duct tape, also called duck tape, is cloth- or scrim-backed pressure-sensitive tape, often coated with polyethylene. There are a variety of constructions using different backings and adhesives, and the term 'duct tape' is often used to refer to all sorts of different cloth tapes of differing purposes. Duct tape is often confused with gaffer tape. Another variation is heat-resistant foil duct tape useful for sealing heating and cooling ducts, produced because standard duct tape fails quickly when used on heating ducts. Duct tape is generally silvery gray, but also available in other colors and even printed designs.
Field hockey is a team game of the hockey family. The earliest origins of the game date back to the Middle Ages in Pakistan. The game can be played on grass, water turf, artificial turf or synthetic field as well as an indoor board surface. Each team plays with eleven players, including the goalie. Players use sticks made out of wood, carbon fibre, fibre glass or a combination of carbon fibre and fibre glass in different quantities to hit a round, hard, plastic ball. The length of the stick depends on the player's individual height. Only one face of the stick is allowed to be used. Goalies often have a different kind of stick, however they can also use an ordinary field hockey stick. The specific goal-keeping sticks have another curve at the end of the stick, this is to give them more surface area to save the ball. The uniform consists of shin guards, shoes, shorts, a mouth guard and a jersey. Today, the game is played globally, mainly in parts of Western Europe, South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and parts of the United States. Known simply as "hockey" in many territories, the term "field hockey" is used primarily in Canada and the United States where ice hockey is more popular. In Sweden, the term "landhockey" is used and to some degree also in Norway where it is governed by Norway's Bandy Association.
Moscow Broomball follows the typical layout of a ball-and-goal game like football or hockey – get the ball into the opponents' goal – and there are few rules beyond that, other than for safety. Feet may be used to stop the ball but not to propel it (this rule is interpreted liberally) and other than that only the stick may be used. In most games using a hand to fish the ball out of the pitch-side snow bank is accepted after a couple of attempts to play it with the stick.
Hockey is a sport in which two teams play against each other by trying to manoeuvre a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick. There are many types of hockey such as bandy, field hockey, and ice hockey.
Broomball is a contact sport. The player with the ball – or attempting to get it – may be tackled or barged; a common occurrence is for the tackling player to be sliding across the ice on his knees or chest and knock his opponent's legs from under him. Because of the low grip on the ice tackles do not need to be especially vicious to send players flying, to the delight of spectators. Players may hit the ball – with their short sticks wielded in one hand – from any position including face down on the ice. In fact, sliding prone with the stick held out in front is a fairly effective defensive manoeuvre.
Goalkeepers do not use a stick, and must remain on their knees at all times. They are allowed to catch the ball in their hands (although ice hockey-style oversized gloves are not used) and throw it down the pitch.
The lack of grip on the ice means that stopping and changing direction are extremely difficult. It is not uncommon for a player to fail to stop a ball that is passing only a few feet away, with plenty of warning, and instead to simply fall over as he struggles to start moving in that direction. Spectators agree that broomball is an extremely humorous sport to watch.
Broomball matches are played in three twenty-minute "periods"; players change ends for each half, and again during a "quick change" ten minutes into the final twenty-minute half. Most teams maintain a tradition of drinking together after the game and sometimes at the breaks during friendly matches.
Broomball teams consist of five players plus the goalkeeper. Substitution is allowed, but only at a natural break in the game – usually when the goalie has control of the ball and calls a change for their side. The opposition can also change at that time, but not initiate a change. Refereeing is performed by players from the league with three referees normally required.
Broomball in Moscow exists largely as a result of support by the embassies of several countries, particularly Britain and Germany, although foreign nationals in Moscow for commercial or other reasons now form the majority of most teams. There is a Moscow broomball league of 14 men's teams and seven women's, with matches held every winter from December/January onwards – as long as the ice outside holds. The season closes with a formal Broomball Ball event in celebration of the game, season and players.
A sports league is a group of sports teams that compete against each other in a specific sport. At its simplest, it may be a local group of amateur athletes who form teams among themselves and compete on weekends; at its most complex, it can be an international professional league making large amounts of money and involving dozens of teams and thousands of players.
Broomball has been played by expatriates in Moscow for several decades, but Russians have never been permitted to play. This is because non-Russians are almost invariably diplomatic or commercial personnel on a three-year posting – with the continual turnover of players on every that this implies, the standard of play remains fairly accessible and hence new arrivals in Moscow can quickly become valued team members. The league organisers fear that if Russians were allowed to play they would soon be able to field a team of players with years of experience and the teamwork developed by a consistent roster that would destroy the dynamics of the league. This issue is put to the vote each year.
In 1989 the game was drifted to Finland with diplomats. In Finland the game gained expeditious growth in a few years and skill level was relatively high among Finnish players. At its best there were 14 active teams in the national league in the mid-90s. During that time a Finnish team travelled yearly to Moscow to battle for the world championship of Moscow Broomball being many years the winner. Unfortunately the game died down in Finland at the end of the 1990s and the last organized league was played in 2000.
A similar version has also been continuously played at Michigan Technological University since the early 1990s on both outdoor and indoor rinks, with the rules differing in that official broomball shoes are illegal, but a regulation broomball is used. It is unknown whether this represents a growth of Moscow Broomball or whether it was a parallel evolution.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university in Houghton, Michigan. Its main campus sits on 925 acres (374 ha) on a bluff overlooking Portage Lake. Michigan Tech was founded in 1885 as the first post-secondary institution in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and was created to train mining engineers to operate the local copper mines. Science, technology, forestry and business have been added to the numerous engineering disciplines, and Michigan Tech now offers more than 130 degree programs through its five colleges and schools.
Bandy is a team winter sport played on ice, in which skaters use sticks to direct a ball into the opposing team's goal.
Floorball is a type of floor hockey with ten players and a goalkeeper in each team. Men and women play indoors with96–115.5 cm-long (37.8–45.5 in) sticks and a 22–23 cm-circumference (8.7–9.1 in) plastic ball with holes. Matches are played in three twenty-minute periods. Floorball was included in the World Games for the first time in [[2017World Games|2017] in Wroclaw, Poland. Sweden were the first World Games gold medal winners.
Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. Players use the head of the lacrosse stick to carry, pass, catch, and shoot the ball into the goal.
In many team sports which involve scoring goals, the goalkeeper is a designated player charged with directly preventing the opposing team from scoring by intercepting shots at goal. Such positions exist in hurling, shinty, association football, Gaelic football, international rules football, handball, field hockey, bandy, rink bandy, rinkball, floorball, roller hockey, ice hockey, ringette, water polo, lacrosse, camogie and other sports.
A hockey stick is a piece of sport equipment used by the players in all the forms of hockey to move the ball or puck either to push, pull, hit, strike, flick, steer, launch or stop the ball/puck during play with the objective being to move the ball/puck around the playing area using the stick.
Street hockey is a variation of the sport of ice hockey where the game is played outdoors on foot, or with inline or roller skates using a ball or puck. Both ball and puck are typically designed to be played on non-ice surfaces. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team by shooting the ball or puck into the opposing team's net. Street hockey in pickup form is generally played under the following guidelines since there are no "official rules" for local pickup hockey:
Hockey is a popular game possibly depicted on walls in Egypt. Drawings of what looks to be hockey have been found in an Egyptian tomb that was 4000 years old. Hockey is a popular game in India and Pakistan. It was played for hundreds of years before other countries like England modernised it. Hockey is similar to an ancient game played in Scotland called shinty. Hockey is often played at schools in the UK but its origins are unclear. Later came ice hockey, which developed in Canada. It was found that its origin is in Indian Punjabis’ game “Khido Khundi”.
Floor hockey is a family of indoor hockey games. 5 variations exist: three variations in the style of ice hockey, and the other two in the style of bandy, one of which is called floorball in English speaking regions. Two of these variations involve the use of wheeled skates and are categorized as roller sports under the title of roller hockey. Quad hockey uses quad skates and looks similar to bandy, while inline hockey uses inline skates and is of the ice hockey variation. All styles and codes are played on dry, flat floor surfaces such as a gymnasium or basketball court. As in other hockey codes, players on each team attempt to shoot a ball or puck into a goal using sticks, usually with a curved end. Floor hockey games differ from street hockey in that the games are more structured, and two use wheeled skates. The variations which do not involve wheeled skates are sometimes used for training children to play ice hockey and bandy in a training format known as dryland training.
Power Hockey is a competitive, fast-paced hockey game based on the use of a power wheelchair. The foundation of the sport derives from ice hockey and floor hockey, but with adapted rules to enable people with disabilities, who use a power wheelchair, to play and be active in a competitive team setting. The sport is also referred to as Electric Wheelchair Hockey or Electric Wheelchair Floorball in various parts of the world.
Rink bandy and rinkball are variants of bandy played on significantly smaller ice rinks. While a bandy rink is about the same size as a football pitch, rink bandy is played on ice hockey rinks.
Spongee or sponge hockey is a cult sport played almost exclusively in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, by thousands of players in dozens of leagues. It gets its name from the puck that is used: instead of the hard vulcanized rubber puck that is used in regular ice hockey, a soft sponge puck is used.
Roller hockey, rink hockey or quad hockey is a team sport that enjoys significant popularity in a number of Latin countries.
Ball hockey is a team sport and a variation of the sport of ice hockey and a specific variation of the game of street hockey.
In ice hockey, players use specialized equipment both to facilitate the play of the game and for protection as this is a sport where injuries are common, therefore, all players are encouraged to protect their bodies from bruises and severe fractures.
Pads are protective equipment used by batters in the sport of cricket, catchers in the sports of baseball and fastpitch softball, and by goaltenders in ice hockey, bandy and box lacrosse. They serve to protect the legs from impact by a hard ball or puck at high speed which could otherwise cause injuries to the lower legs.
The goaltender or goalie is a playing position in indoor or box lacrosse. More heavily armoured than a field lacrosse goaltender, since the invent of indoor lacrosse in 1931, the box lacrosse goalie has evolved into a much different position than its field lacrosse cousin.