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University of Iowa News Release

 

Dec. 13, 2007

UI students are swept up by broomball

Broomball, a winter sport usually played in northern states, is finally making its way south to Iowa.

After two years of overcoming such obstacles as founding the club, spreading the word and gathering necessary equipment, co-founders Mark Fox, Tim Dunham and James Shoemaker are happy that broomball is officially recognized as a University of Iowa Division of Recreational Services sports club.

The competitive game played on ice is similar to hockey except that broomball players wear shoes that improve traction on the ice. And instead of a puck, broomball players use a small ball.

"Broomball is unique to the University of Iowa because many of the members have never played hockey," said Fox. "The members claimed to be intrigued by the sport and decided to give broomball a try."

Bystanders at the Coral Ridge Mall, where the UI club team holds practices and competitions, are also intrigued by the sport. Broomball rules closely follow hockey rules, with some exceptions, such as use of hands in stopping the ball. At least six players per team must be on the ice at all times.

"We always generate a small crowd of people when we first get on the ice," said Fox. "I don't think people know how to react to it because they have no idea what it is."

Fox and Dunham both played the sport before founding the UI club, however, no background knowledge is necessary. Helmets are required for safety reasons. Brooms can be acquired through club members, and the Coral Ridge ice rink also stocks brooms.

Fox has memories of broomball as a teenager, playing outdoors on the ice in Minnesota. Since his brother was the president of the Iowa State broomball club, Fox was occasionally asked to play when the team was in need of additional players. Through this experience, he met Dunham, who regularly played for the club.

Broomball practices are held at the Coral Ridge Mall ice rink with practice times varying. Competition times also vary, and are held approximately once every two weeks at the Coral Ridge Mall ice rink. The club dues are $30 per season, and anyone is welcome to join.

In the near future, Fox and Dunham hope to begin an annual Cy-Hawk series where the Hawkeye club will play the Iowa State broomball team.

Fox said he hopes that this club will "not only be known as a fun diversion from the demands of school, but also as a competitive sport that can represent the UI in USA Broomball sponsored tournaments."

The UI club currently has only a few members, but hopes to add more this winter. "Broomball in Iowa City has just begun," Fox said. "I think I speak for the whole team when I say that we are all excited to see the popularity of the club grow over the next few years."

For information on how to join, contact Mark Fox at mark-fox@uiowa.edu or 612-916-9956, or Tim Dunham at timothy-dunham@uiowa.edu or 641-485-5093. For additional information, visit the UI Division of Recreational Services Web site at www.recserv.uiowa.edu/programs/clubs/broomball.htm.

The UI Division of Recreational Services serves the recreation needs of the university community, and offers a variety of programs for all ages, serving UI students, UI faculty and staff and members of the surrounding community. For more information, visit http://www.recserv.uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu; Writer: Jennifer Ferm

OTHER INFORMATION: http://www.usabroomball.com