Broomball: A Tech Tradition

With three dedicated rinks, scoreboards, and live webcams, broomball has become one of Tech’s top traditions. According to this site, broomball began on campus in the early 1990s. Do you still have your broom? Comment below about your broomball experience.

Itching to get back in the game?
The 11th annual Alumni-Student Broomball Tournament is scheduled for Winter Carnival (February 7-8). Register here by January 16.

Editor Update — Feb. 10, 2020
Thanks to notes from many alumni (see below), we can report that, yes, broomball has been played by Tech students as far back as the 1950s. IRHC Broomball began in the 90s and continues to thrive. See how you can support a great broomball experience for our students.

16 Comments on "Broomball: A Tech Tradition"

  • Wendy E ('86)
    January 14, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    I started at Tech in fall of 1982, and I played plenty of broomball in those years!

  • Chris Boehm
    January 14, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    I started at Tech in the fall of ’86, and I remember playing broomball then, in organized leagues. It may not have been for Winter Carnival, tho.

    January 14, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    We had teams in the late 1970s from East Coed Hall!

  • Scott Cambensy
    January 14, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    The story indicates that broomball started in the early 1990’s. I played my only year in the dorms which was 1991. It was a lot of fun if you could find a group of people that understood passing, simple give and go concepts, how to use the boards, etc. Usually the same people I played hockey with. It was on a rink where the Rozsa Center currently stands. It seemed way to well established for saying that was the beginning in the early 1990’s.

  • Tom Boyd '74
    January 14, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Broomball was played in the early 1970’s as one of the Winter Carnival events.

  • Rich Schmitz
    January 14, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Broomball was a Winter Carnival competition in the late 1960’s. I know because I was the goalie on the winning team in 67 or 68. We won the “championship game” in a shootout. It was played on the ice at Dee Stadium with brooms tightly taped with black hockey tape. My broom, with date carved into the handle,was taken home as a keepsake and thrown out by my mother as “trash”.

  • Karl K '86
    January 14, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    I will add to fellow alum comments that broomball was alive and sticking in the early eighties. I also participated from ’81 through ’83. There were multiple rinks set up across from Co-Ed hall (McNair) in the parking lots. I recall being paid one of those winters to spray the rinks overnight to keep them in good playable condition.

  • Dianne Smith
    January 14, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    I played broomball From 1979-1983 at Tech!! It’s been a tradition for far longer then the 1990’s!!

  • Bob Baker
    January 14, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Indeed, Broomball was a Winter Carnival event during my time at Tech during 1966 to 1970!

  • Joe Masterson '70
    January 14, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    I know that broomball was played in the mid to late 60’s. I still have the scar over my eye from falling on the ice at Dee Stadium during a game. Walked back to DHH before I found out how bad the split/cut was. Very little blood because of the cold.

  • Mark A Anderson '60
    January 14, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Blue Key initiated Broomball as a Winter Carnival event in either 1959 or 1960. My last winter quarter was in 1961 and the sport was in full swing. Ask Bill Opie, he was in charge of the Key in one of those years and probably has a better memory than me. In the early years the event was held at Dee Stadium and we played cross wise on three rinks. I still have a 8mm movie of a kid named Hamilton taking a round house swing at the ball, losing his footing and doing a full 180 degree cartwheel to land on his butt. In 1958 we initiated the dog sled races to replace the “ice show”. Looks like they are still in swing. Also it was real broomball played with a sawed off hardware store broom that was taped up with electrical tape and soaked over night in water and left to freeze solid. When you got cold cocked with one of those you remembered it for a while. The first games were played sans much safety equipment and the new gear that is used today was unheard of.

  • JT Shupe
    January 14, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    I think the issue we are all having with the statement on the History site is it implies that broomball at tech began in the late 90’s. What I think it’s saying is that the IRHC league started then. I know when I ran broomball I ran it for Co-Ed hall, not DHH or Wads, they had their own leagues… then we all competed at Winter carnival.

    Would be nice if the history page got cleared up a bit with a bit more of actual history of broomball at Tech.

    Great memories, except for the pre-helmet days when we had to call the ambulance for a Californian student who didn’t know how to move on ice split his head open one night…

  • Dave Broberg
    January 14, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Broomball was going strong as a winter carnival event when us dinosaurs attended. I was there from 69-73 and we played broomball but we had to get the triceratops of the ice because they would hog the ball.

  • Bob Wright
    January 14, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    In our dorm house (Rammit Inn) we poured varnish into the broom straw to make the bristles stiffer and heavier, then wrapped with duct tape for extra whomp. I still have a scar on my eyebrow from someone’s backswing (hi Mark) in winter of 1977-78.

  • Todd Ambler
    January 15, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Played in ‘86 through ‘90 on teams made up of people from our dorm (go DHH!). Rink was where the Rosa Center is now. Still have the jersey. Only real rules at the time was how many inches of bristles needed to show below the duct tape on your broom. That and no using it as a bat against other players. Was pretty rough but a lot of fun.

  • Stephen L. Williams ('86)
    February 11, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    I started at Tech in the fall of ’82 and the Broomball league was highly organized with a lot of participants. There were 2 or 3 rinks where the Rosza Center stands now. It was also one of the Winter Carnival Events where the games were played at the SDC rink. What a great time! After watching my daughters play at Tech now, what strikes me the most is how the safety of the game has changed for the better. There are now helmets, pads, trained refs and real ice which considerably slows down the momentum of charging opponents. When we played there was rarely ice (mostly packed snow), no protective equipment and body checking was allowed. I remember barely being able to walk after some of those contests!

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