Hitting the Ice

Similar to hockey, each team tries to score goals in the other's net.

Similar to hockey, each team tries to score goals in the other’s net.

Children can enjoy a favorite winter sport in Pelham

Story By Grace Thornton

Photos Contributed

When Amy Waites’ son Bricen turned 12, she knew exactly where to go for a slick birthday party.

It had to be broomball.

“It’s fabulous. It’s really fun,” says Waites, whose son is a sixth grader at Chelsea Middle School.

Broomball, a hockey-like sport played on the ice, doesn’t require skates. It’s played instead with a small rubber ball and curved plastic brooms.

The object of the game, like hockey, is to score goals in the other team’s net. In a real game, there are two teams of six consisting of a goaltender and five others. Some think it got its start when people tried to play ice hockey without skates.

It’s popular in Canada, and many say it originated there.

But it’s made its way south, and the United States is now considered a “powerhouse” nation for the sport.

It’s becoming pretty popular in Pelham, too.

“You play with your tennis shoes on, so you don’t have to be able to skate to play,” says Jackie Bridges at Pelham Civic Complex, which has rinks that can be booked for broomball parties. “It’s very popular, especially with junior high and high school age kids.”

But any age can play, she adds. A typical broomball party costs $275 an hour, and Pelham Civic Complex provides all of the gear. Up to 48 people can play at one time.

“We like about a week’s notice to book one if we can,” Bridges says. “It’s great for church groups and other kinds of parties.”

Like Bricen’s birthday, Waites says.

“It was a huge double birthday party with his friend Brody,” she says. “They had a great turnout. All the kids loved it, and the parents too. We got out there and played with them.”

Bricen hadn’t known what to expect, but he was really happy with it, Waites says.

“It’s slick, so you have to be careful, so it’s a little bit more fun for older kids who don’t mind falling a lot,” she says. “But, it’s really fun and definitely worth the money.”

Mike Bingel agreed. He’s been bringing a Cub Scout group, Pack 321 out of Bluff Park, every year as an annual Christmas party.

“They love it,” Bingel says. “Most of our kids are first through fifth graders, but siblings and parents come too, and everybody gets to go out there and be stupid and crazy on the ice.”

For more information about broomball, visit Pelhamciviccomplex.com/ice-arena/broomball. People can also contact Bridges at 205-620-6448 or jbridges@pelhamonline.com.



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