What is broomball? Wikipedia describes it as a recreational ice game originating in Canada (no surprise) and played around the world. It’s a lot like ice hockey in that it’s on a sheet of ice and it’s 5-on-5 with goalies. However, it’s unlike hockey in that you don’t wear skates and you use a broom instead of a hockey stick, hittng a ball instead of a puck. I’ve played in two broomball seasons in Boston with Social Boston Sports (league champs both years). It’s a really fun sport but it’s incredibly awkward due to the fact that you can’t slow down or change directions, lest ye fall on yer arse. Walking away with a limp and a dozen extra bruises isn’t uncommon.
I heard about this group who plays pickup broomball after work one once a week. It’s $5 and you get to play for an hour with whoever shows up. We had 6 players per team plus two goalies and it was the first time I’d ever played broom ball on the full length of the ice, what a workout! In the SBS league we play sideways on the rink so there’s much less running around. I wore my heartrate monitor for the first time and I was shocked to see that over the 45 minutes of broomball (including breaks) my heart rate averaged 147bpm with a minimum of 85bpm and a maximum of 187bpm! My competitive side definitely came out and I ended up scoring 2 out of the 4 goals. It was definitely comparable cardiovascularly to how we played during the SBS leagues only less resting today because we had fewer players and an entire sheet of ice to cover instead of just between the sideboards. After having sweat through both my fleece and my jeans I’d say that it was a great workout, and an absolute blast. I should definitely try to work this into my weekly fitness routine like these guys: