Battle on the ice

Carrie Circosta

Broomball gains popularity with KSU students

Sophomore architecture major Chris Diehl, of the Lakers faces off against freshman exploratory major Eddie Kolycheck, of the Killer Penguins in a broomball game Sunday evening. Broomball games are played on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights at the Ic

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Nick Kulesza lives for broomball.

“You could say I’m almost obsessed with broomball,” said Kulesza, sophomore computer science major. “Seriously, it’s like the highlight of my semester.”

Kulesza has been playing broomball for two semesters. His first semester he did well, with 10 goals and one assist, and his team was undefeated in the regular season. He learned about the sport through a group of friends.

“I play for the Aviators,” Kulesza explained. “Our roster is unique in that we are all cadets in the Air Force ROTC program.”

Kulesza, captain of the Aviators this semester, explained the game is very physical and everyone is responsible for his or her own protection.

“(Broomball) is hockey for people who can’t skate,” said Nichole Frye, sophomore architecture and environmental design major. Frye also heard about this sport from friends and said she loves it because she’s obsessed with hockey.

But there are some differences between hockey and broomball.

“The rules are the same, except instead of a puck you use a ball,” said Sean Johnson, sophomore communication studies major. “Instead of hockey sticks you use a wooden stick with a rubber wedge type thing at the bottom. And you don’t wear ice skates; you just wear normal sneakers.”

Johnson has been playing broomball for two semesters, and his team is called the Ice Monkeys. Johnson said it costs a team $200 to play, and each team plays six games. Then the top teams compete in playoffs.

The teams are put into either a blue league or a gold league. The blue league is recommended for teams that have three or more semesters experience, and the gold league is recommended for teams who have fewer than three semesters experience. Kulesza said there are eight teams in blue and 16 in gold.

According to the Kent State broomball rule book, there is a maximum of 15 players on a team and during a game, two females must be on the ice at all times. Games are played on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights at the Ice Arena. The game consists of a three-minute warm-up and two 15-minute halves.

No fighting is allowed any time during a game, according to the rulebook. Any player in a fight will receive an automatic game disqualification and another member on the team has to be in the penalty box for five minutes. This also involves any person who joins the fight after it started.

The Ice Arena provides all brooms, balls and helmets with masks. The equipment has to be checked in and out with a valid Kent State University I.D. Johnson said that teams are also provided jerseys to wear if the team doesn’t choose to make its own uniforms.

According to the general information sheet, captains receive for their teams, www.kentbsr.com/broomball.html is the official Web site for Kent State broomball. A student can access schedules, game scores and any information or news.

“All in all, broomball brings together a plethora of players from all backgrounds,” Kulesza said. “Fraternities, student organizations, or ROTC cadets – there’s hardly anything more enjoyable than going to a broomball game and rooting on your favorite team.”

Contact features correspondent Carrie Circosta at [email protected]