Broomball returns to Plattsburgh State this semester after disappearing over a decade ago. The game is played on ice by two teams who attempt to push a soccer ball into the opponent’s goal with a broom. Players are also not permitted to wear skates.
PSUC Recreational Director Karen Waterbury, who graduated from Plattsburgh State in 1987, played the sport during her time as a student.
Waterbury explained why she decided to bring broomball back.
“I’m always looking to add new intramural sports and recreational opportunities for students,” Waterbury said. “It’s very popular on other campuses if you go to UVM or Oswego. They have big leagues of kids playing.”
However, Waterbury said at least one thing will be different this semester. Teams will play half-ice games, which means two games will be played on the rink at once. Waterbury has arranged for this at the PSUC field house.
“I talked with the athletic director and the rink director to see if we could get some decent times. We just went for it,” she said. “ I don’t know why it was ever taken away. I’ve only been in this position for three years, and I don’t know what happened to it.”
Waterbury had attempted to bring broomball back in spring of 2017, but it was not successful.
“We kind of had it going on last year, but students didn’t know what they were signing up for,” the director said. “We are trying to do a better job marketing it…we sent out a YouTube video to the students to show what it is.”
Some problems faced by the athletic department in promoting this sport was the confusion surrounding what broomball actually is, or that some students dismissed the sport as nonsense.
PSUC student Jonathan Jimenez was not open to try broomball just from hearing about it.
“I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds really silly,” Jimenez said. “Why play hockey with brooms and no skates?”
Nevertheless, PSUC students who have actually experienced broomball agree it’s a great game.
Conor McNamara, the intern for Karen Waterbury and member of the lacrosse team, supports the game fully. McNamara played a part in resurrecting broomball at PSUC.
“I’m actually organizing all the broomball,” McNamara said. “Last year we only had three teams, but this year we already have seven teams. We’re doing pretty well.”
McNamara said all the players signed up at this time are male, but the sport is co-ed, and all are welcome to participate.
McNamara has received a lot of positive reactions from broomball’s return.
“This is actually one of my friend’s favorite intramural sports,” he said. “Last year there was only a semi-final game, but even then, it was fun to play on the ice.”
Waterbury sees broomball staying at PSUC for good in the future with little doubt it will disappear again.
“I see its popularity on campus; we just have to catch the fever.”
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