To Host 2018 Senior Provincial Championships
By PAUL AYRES – TRENTON BROOMBALL ASSOCIATION
The Trenton Broomball Association (TBA) will host the 2018 Ontario Senior Provincial Championship March 23-25 at the Duncan McDonald Community Gardens. It will feature the best teams from across the province vying for the right to represent Ontario at the Canadian Senior and Mixed Championships in April in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
As many as 55 teams and 1500 athletes will participate in various divisions. They include Elite Men, Elite Ladies, Master Men, Master Ladies, Intermediate Men and Intermediate Ladies, as well as the ever-popular Co-Ed division.
Quinte West City Council and the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce hope and expect the three-day event will provide a significant boost for the local economy.
Broomball goes way, way back. About a thousand years ago, battle-hardened Vikings engaged in a brutal sport called Knattleikr. Although details of the game are mostly lost to the ages, it’s known that it was played in the frozen Icelandic countryside and that entire villages were in on the action. Today, many believe Knattlekier’s closest descendant to be the sport of broomball, albeit a markedly less violent version! The other emerging consensus is that modern-day broomball originated in Canada, as participants wanted to play hockey without skates.
The first recorded broomball games in North America were in Perdue, Saskatchewan in March 1909, although there is some evidence to suggest that broomball was being played in the small town of Massey, Ontario prior to this date. These games were played on a football field as early as the 1890’s. Broomball spread internationally over the following decades and by the 1980’s organized broomball was being played worldwide in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Its growing popularity is a reflection that that it is inexpensive to play, easy to learn, and just plain fun. Broomball today is played on lakes, ponds, gymnasium floors and ice hockey rinks. The rules and strategies are similar to hockey. Players wear padded sponge-rubber shoes to enhance traction on the slippery ice surface. The object of the game is to strike the ball with a specially designed broom into the opponent’s net.
Most organized broomball is played in hockey rinks, and the main difference from hockey is that offsides in broomball are at the centre red line, instead of the blue lines. Broomballers run on the ice surface. “Hockey sticks” are specially-designed brooms, and the “puck” is an inflated ball.
The International Federation of Broomball Associations (IFBA) is the world governing body for the sport. Its headquarters are located in Canada and the day-to-day operations of the IFBA are run by a board comprised of volunteers from around the world who are elected by the sport’s member associations. Broomball has witnessed continued growth globally to build on its firm foothold in North America.
The Canadian Broomball Federation is a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, one of the first such national broomball bodies to achieve this and it is expected that many other federations will follow.
Canada and the United States are the “powerhouse” nations of the sport, with their teams often battling in prestigious tournaments held annually in the two countries. The Quinte Region was for a long time a hotbed of broomball activity with leagues in Belleville, Trenton and Colborne. In recent years, however, leagues have come to exist only in Colborne and Grafton.
To try to kickstart a resurgence in Quinte-area broomball, a three-person committee consisting of Doug Galt, Dave Emmons, and Paul Ayres formed the new Trenton Broomball Association in March 2017.
All three have extensive officiating and administrative experience at all levels of the sport – locally, provincially, and nationally. The committee’s goal was to start a league for young people between the ages of 5 and 19, as the best way to rebuild the sport in the region. The plan is to raise funds for the project by hosting the 2018 FBAO Senior Provincial Championships in Trenton. The Trenton Broomball Association then hopes to offer the sport to young people in the area at little or no cost to them.
The mission statement for the TBA: “The Trenton Broomball Association is a provincial sport organization that will provide leadership and guidance in developing and promoting the sport of broomball at all skill levels for children, women and men.. The goal of the TBA’s youth program is to develop and promote the ideals of responsibility, hard work, sportsmanship, teamwork and fellowship within a safe and positive environment.”
The TBA’s vision statement: The Trenton Broomball Association, which represents an amateur recreational sport, will establish a unique competitive environment, thereby encouraging respect, fun, fitness and life-long social relationships for years to come both on and off the playing surface. The individual growth of our community’s children is enhanced through the spirit of competition, discipline and fair play. These goals will be accomplished by providing structured programs designed to educate participants and parents in all aspects of the sport. The TBA is committed to providing youth programs that maintain the highest standards and which guarantee a fun, positive experience for everyone involved.”
Teams competing in the Provincial Championship must first qualify in a regional qualification tournament. After the Provincial Championship, teams can earn the right to represent their province at the National Championships hosted in different provinces annually by the Canadian Broomball Federation.
The province of Ontario is divided into four (4) major regions for broomball. The regions are:
West – Windsor through to Chatham and surrounding Areas
Central West – London through to Owen Sound
Central East – takes in an area from stretching from Barrie through to Kingston
East – includes Ottawa and the whole of the Ottawa Valley west to Kingston
Spectators attending the Ontario Senior Championships March 23-25 at Trenton’s Duncan McDonald Community Gardens will be treated to fast-paced action, with full body contact in some divisions We look forward to seeing you there for an admission fee of only $15.00 for the full three days of action.
The Trenton Broomball Association is proud to offer this exciting sports event in Trenton, and we ask for your support in our attempt to rejuvenate this great sport in our community. Please join us!