Rules of Broomball | How it is Played?

It won’t be wrong to say that this game is driven from Ice hockey, but becoming itself separate is due to the fact that it has different rules and brings different levels of excitement.

Like ice hockey, it also originated in Canada and is played on hockey rinks. The good thing is, it can be played both indoors and outdoors depending on the weather.

Rules of Broomball

Today, the game has become significantly popular in countries like Sweden, Canada and the United States. The game may look similar to ice hockey, but soon we’ll figure out how its rules are different from ice hockey and how we have different equipment in Broomball.

Object of Playing Broomball

Like field hockey and ice hockey, it requires physical fitness and agility. Moreover, the chilly conditions can freeze you and make your movement difficult.

The object of the game in such cold conditions is to score as many goals as you can – yes we have goalposts here as well like hockey – and defend your goal post whenever you lose possession of the ball. In the end, the team with the most goals is declared the winner.

How to Play?

Broomball is a game similar to hockey but it is played on an ice rink. It is a team sport in which two teams compete against each other and both teams try their level best to score as many goals as they can in the given time. There are broom sticks used to hit the ball in the opposition’s goal post and the whole play is guarded by different rules.

To learn about the common infringements that may occur during a Broomball game, number of players featured by a single side and legal goals, make sure you read everything till the end.

General Rules of Broomball

  • Each team can select 6 players for a match, including a goalie (goalkeeper).
  • Only 4 of them (including the goalie) can remain in the field while others can serve as substitutes.
  • Everytime a goal is scored, the game starts with a faceoff.
  • Players use broomball sticks to pass the ball and hit goals.
  • You can’t swing your stick above your waist height.
  • You can kick the goal but can’t score a goal with a kick.
  • Any ball ricocheting off the players body and going inside the goal won’t be considered as a goal.
  • You can’t shove off or physically hurt your opponent by any means.
  • In case of a violation, the game restarts from the same point by the non-offensive side.
  • Goalie can’t hold the ball longer than 3 seconds.
  • The ball can be knocked on ice or stopped with hands but you can’t pass the ball with hands neither can you hit the goal with bowl in hands.

Time Duration of a Broomball Game

Each game consists of 20-minute running time. Time taken during injuries or any such incident won’t be counted in these 20 minutes. At the end of the game, the team with the most goals wins the game. The draws remain draw except the finals and playoffs.

Broomball Playing Field

Broomball can be played on Ice hockey rinks as well but the difference is there are no such markings like we have in Ice hockey. All we have is two separate goalposts in which players have to score goals.

Similarly, for goalposts, no certain measurements are specified yet. As per our research, we can say that they also remain the same as we have in ice hockey.

Broomball Playing Equipment

Broomball is played with a broomstick, which is not really different from hockey sticks and the same kind of ball.

Broomstick: The standard length of broomball stick is 46 inches and the weight around 8 oz.

Broomball: Standard broomball balls are 5-1/2″ Diameter & 9.0 oz (255 g) in weight.

Moreover, players are allowed to wear certain protective equipment to protect themselves from sticks and powerful hits or balls coming in their way. Although deliberate attempts are prohibited to do so, protective gear gives players a sense of protection. Commonly used equipment are:

  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Body pads
  • Rubber soled show which help players to run on ice

10-point Mercy Rule

If any team during the game takes lead of 10 points, the game will be halted and the leading team will be declared winner.


Following offenses lead to penalties:

  • High sticking (above waist height)
  • Tripping
  • Interferences with the non-possession player
  • Inappropriate behaviour
  • Holding your opponent by any mean

In case of a Draw

In knock-outs or finals where having a winner is mandatory, penalty shoot out takes place. In penalty shoot out, three players from each team have a go at the opposite penalty shoots. The same as we have in field hockey. If the match still remains drawn, then one more penalty is given and the winner is chosen once one of them has the lead.

Difference Between Ice Hockey and Broomball

Area of Comparison Ice Hockey Broomball
Played in Ice rink Ice rink
Played with Hockey stick and ball Broom rackets and ball
Hand use Not allowed Allowed to a certain extent
Underneath equipment Played with skating shoes Played with simple shoes
Set of rules Strict set of rules Less rules and a casual sport
No of players in field allowed 6 4


Law and order in the game is maintained by the two on-field referees who award goals and give unbiased verdicts throughout the game on all kinds of fouls and goals.

Famous Broomball Tournaments

Broomball is only played at national level in countries like Canada and USA where it is the most popular. It is yet to be made part of the Olympic and is played at international level when a few teams meet against each other in the Broomball World Championship.

Governing Body

The International Federation of Broomball Associations (IFBA) was established in 1998 who govern the laws of the game. The headquarter of the federation is based in Canada and is responsible for promoting sport globally.