What is Broomball?

a unique SPORT

Broomball is a unique sport resembling a combination of ice hockey and indoor soccer. The game is played on an ice rink with two teams of six players (typically 3 offense, 2 defense, and a goalie), with the object being to score goals against the other team, similar to hockey. Broomball goals are larger than hockey nets, players wear specialized broomball shoes instead of skates, and use what we call a “broom” to control a ball – all of this equipment is specially made for the sport of broomball.

how to play BROOMBALL

Broomball is similar to hockey, but differs in some important ways. While concepts like “offside” and “icing” are in effect, they're somewhat different than hockey rules, and there are several rules surrounding the use of the feet and hands that don't apply in hockey.


The CBA uses the rules established by USA Broomball. The lists below are not comprehensive. Please contact us if you have any questions.

  1. Balls hitting the net and dropping to the ice remain in play. (The ceiling is out).
  2. An incoming substitute is not eligible to play the ball until the departing player is off the ice. Penalty: minor for too many players on the ice.
  3. A penalized player returning to the ice may not play a ball coming from the defensive zone until controlled outside the defensive zone by another player from either team; result is a face-off (not a minor). Note: The player may also carry the ball from the defensive zone themselves.
  4. If a team starts with less than six players on any face-off, an incoming player… (see previous).
  5. No immediate whistle on high sticking penalty. (Delayed like other penalties).
  6. A player taking a shot is responsible for contact to an opponent’s body made above the shooter’s waist. Note: This is a different penalty than slashing, high-sticking, or dangerous play, any of which could be called instead, depending on the circumstances.
  7. A player may carefully push or kick a dropped broom to its owner if it does not interfere with play (including another player’s progress). Note: Players may hold only one broom.
  8. The defending team may hand-pass behind their blue line in any direction, with the pass starting & ending behind the blue line. The goalie must hand-pass behind the goal line; of course, the ball may go any direction when deflecting a shot, so the ref will need to use judgment in determining whether the goalie was hand-passing or just deflecting the ball. [Refs, please err in favor of the goalie.]
  9. Administer hand-pass at point of stoppage (except lose offensive zone). Note: This is different than most face-offs, which go back one zone from where the infraction occurred.
  10. A shot on goal by a team that is off-sides causes an off-sides whistle.
  11. No attacker may be stationary in the goal crease when the ball is outside of the crease – the result is a minor. Note: ‘Stationary’ will be considered three seconds.
  12. A kick into the crease goes back two zones (to outside offending team’s blue line), unless made from the defensive zone, in which case the other team maintains the offensive zone. Note: This is different than most face-offs, which go back one zone from where the infraction occurred.
  13. Icing is shall be called with the exception of the short-handed team during a power play.
  14. Icing is not waived if the goalie makes a play on the ball unless the goalie touches the ball.
  15. Icing is also waived if the ball touches the crease, or if, in the judgment of a referee, any player (except the goalie) could have played the ball to prevent icing.
  16. A “flagrant” minor is a major (i.e., a full 5 minutes). “Flagrant” is in the judgment of the referee, but is generally considered to be intent to injure or so reckless that the player should have realized the high likelihood of injury.
  17. Disrespecting a referee is a misconduct penalty, though referees have the option to give a lesser penalty.
  18. Broomchecking, meaning a momentary stick-check coming up from under an opponent’s stick for the purpose of preventing the opponent from playing the ball, is allowed below the shoulders as long as the ref does not judge it to be a dangerous play.
  1. Co-ed teams may not have more than four men on the ice. This currently applies to: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Leagues. NOTE: This “rule” has been in continual discussion; therefore, we recommend that captains clarify before every season.
  2. Abuse of CBA or rink property is a 10-minute misconduct; if the CBA or rink property is broken in the process of being abused, the player must pay for or replace it.
  3. Each team is given one time-out per game.
  4. Games may end in a tie, unless a winner MUST be determined for play-off reasons (meaning a consolation game may end in a tie), in which case a 5 min sudden-death overtime with 4 on 4, no goalie. In co-ed games, one of the 4 players must be a female. If there is no score during the 5 minute period, it becomes 3 on 3, no goalie (1 player is a female for both teams).
  5. In the final minute of a running-clock game with a score differential of 2 or less, if any rule violation is made by a tied or leading team and it forces a stoppage of play, the offending team will be forced to use their time-out if the other team has already used their timeout. If both timeouts were already used, then the referee will reset the clock at the face-off so no game-time is lost. Note that such a stoppage does NOT go hand-in-hand with a delay of game penalty, which will still be enforced based on the rulebook. Icing is excluded from this rule because the goalie can choose to play the ball, preventing a stoppage of play.
  6. Examples:
    1. Team Glacier is winning 3-1 over Team Penguins. Neither Team has used their time-out. Team Glacier trips Team Penguins in the final minute. The tripping penalty is called as normal. Because Team Penguins still has their time-out, they may choose whether or not to stop the clock, so the referee does NOT stop the clock unless Team Penguins calls their time-out. Note: No delay of game penalty has occurred.
    2. Team Glacier is tied 1-1 with Team Penguins. Team Penguins has used their time-out, but Team Glacier has not. Team Glacier illegally hand-passes the ball in the final minute and forces a stoppage of play. Because Team Penguins cannot stop the clock, the referee forces Team Glacier to use their time-out. Note: No delay of game penalty has occurred.
    3. Team Glacier is winning 9-8 over Team Penguins. Both teams have used their time-outs. Team Glacier intentionally causes the ball to leave the rink in the final minute. Because Team Penguins cannot stop the clock, the referee resets the clock so that, at the face-off, it picks up at the time that the ball went off the ice. Note: Team Glacier is called for a delay of game penalty per Rule 6, Section 8, Article 1 (page 21), which states that intentionally causing the ball to leave the rink is a minor. NOTE: If unintentional, then there is no penalty and no resetting of the clock because no rule violation occurred, even if it take the referee all of the remaining seconds to obtain a new ball. If this does not seem “fair” to you at first glance, then ensure that your team is winning before the final minute of the game.


Here are the basic “modes” you should be in while playing broomball. Please contact us if you have any questions!

  1. With the ball: Your first, best option is usually to pass to an open teammate. The ball moves faster than your opponents, so passing to an open teammate is rarely a bad decision.
  2. Without the ball: If your teammate has the ball, move to a space where you can see a clear lane from you to the ball and get ready to receive a pass. The lanes and spaces are continually moving, so you must keep moving as well.
  3. Spacing: Do not “bunch up”. When moving across another teammate’s space, you should call out “switch” so they move in the other direction, toward the space you vacated. This is an art that underlies most offensive strategies, which can include misdirection and other tactics to create scoring opportunities.
  4. Ball is being passed to you: Anticipate what you’ll do upon receiving the pass, such as trying to see the pass or move that you’ll make once you receive the ball. Note: The most important thing, though, is actually receiving the ball, which often means you have to move to the ball (not stand and wait for it) to avoid an opponent cutting off the pass.
  5. You just passed the ball: After sending the pass, immediately break to an offensive opening where the receiver of the pass can quickly pass back to you. This is called the “give & go”, which is one of the harder plays for the defense to stop.
  6. Keep the end of your stick on the ice (not held up in the air). You can receive the ball and pass it faster this way.
  7. Involve all five attackers. Your teammates playing in the two traditionally “defensive” positions need to come up at least to center ice and get involved in your offense. If they don’t, you’ll be trying to score with 3 players against 6 (including the opponent’s goalie). On many high-scoring teams, the two “defensive” players run the offense, generating a lot of assists by passing to open teammates closer to the net.
  8. Take “one-time” shots when possible. If you’re in a good position to shoot and the ball is passed to you, swing at it. Sure, you might take a bad shot, or even miss the ball, but when you do connect, the goalie won’t be ready for it. If you stop the ball and line up your shot, it will usually be more accurate, but the defenders, including the goalie, will have time to get in position to block the shot, or even prevent you from taking it.
  1. Stay on your feet! Falling or diving is dangerous, can lead to a penalty, and is not a good default option because it generally takes you out of the play. That said, there are a few exceptions, which are effectively a “last resort”:
    1. Diving to block a shot or knock the ball away after you have already been beaten on a breakaway
    2. Diving to intercept or deflect an opponent’s pass
    3. Diving to receive a pass to you (usually in the neutral or offensive zone)
  2. If the other team has the ball, you should always be close to one of their players. Play man-to-man coverage on this person until they leave your zone.
  3. TALK! This is a highly underrated defensive skill. Tell your neighbor that someone is coming into their zone. Yell for help if there are two people in your zone. Warn the goalie if someone is all alone on the weak side. And, goalies, take charge of your team — you often have the best view of the ice and of developing opponent plays.
  4. Move your feet on defense, and try to follow the opponent’s center of gravity (not the ball) when covering someone man-to-man. If you simply lean and stretch with your stick, the offensive player has two advantages:
  5. You are immobile and probably off-balance, making it easier for him/her to make just one move to get past you;
  6. S/he can make a pass and run past you because your body is out of position and/or you’re focused on the ball instead of the opponent’s center of gravity.
  7. And both of these generally leave you “in the dust” scrambling to get back into the play. Note: Learn to run backwards on the ice and you’ll have a great tool on defense.
  8. All players should get back on defense quickly. No matter where you are on the ice or what your position is, if the other team is breaking with the ball, sprint into your defensive zone. If they slow down, you will be there ready to make the play.
  9. Remember that it is legal to use your hand to bat the ball down to a teammate if both of you are behind your defensive blue line. In other words, if the ball is in the air near your goal, bat it diagonally down towards a teammate near the boards.