Broomball Tradition Sweeps Marlboro Students Once Again
MARLBORO, VERMONT – For a school rated 17th in the nation by the Princeton Review for “Intercollegiate sports unpopular or non existent,” students at Marlboro College are more than serious about one sporting tradition on campus.
For nearly 15 years, students have spent winter months at the school preparing for and playing in an unusual sporting tradition – broomball.
The broomball tradition began at Marlboro in either 1988 or 1989 when a group of students decided to use duct tape to wrap around the bristles of brooms to push a square ball around on the school’s ice pond. The game looks much like ice hockey, with many twists. One of those twists is that students came up with creative team names and wore costumes to match their team theme.
"It started out simple, with the focus on costumes but gradually became more competitive,” staffer Randy Knaggs said. "Everything that succeeds at Marlboro has a little spin. Marlboro likes a spectacle verses an event, and broomball is definitely a spectacle."
" It's hard to have any skill at the game, but the costumes make it fun,” student Forrest Gardner said.
" The way big universities treat football is the way Marlboro treats broomball," student Colin Meckel said.
The way the game is played at Marlboro is that individual teams chose from the get go whether or not their main goal is to be judged on costumes or competition. Teams are made up of 12 players and the game is played on the school fire pond.
This year’s broomball tournaments are set for Feb. 8 and 9. Some team names being used this year are: Gonads in Strife and Sweet Beavers. Names of the past included: Trailer Trash and Bubble Wrap Brigade. Costumes followed suit.