Marlboro College

NewsA Unusual Game Combines Sport and Spectacle to Unite Marlboro College Community

Many colleges rally around spectator sports like football or basketball, but at Marlboro College, broomball gets the entire campus involved. Loosely based on ice hockey and played on ice with brooms, a playground ball and street shoes (no skates allowed), broomball might seem too obscure to inspire campus solidarity. However, the college’s annual Broom Bowl tournament is the most anticipated event of the spring semester.

Anyone can play broomball, one reason why half the college’s 330 students join a team, with many others braving the cold to cheer them on. But these inventive liberal arts students have added their own twist: in broomball Marlboro-style, it’s not only about winning, but how you look when you play the game.

There is stiff competition to dream up inventive team names and wild outfits to match, like the Bubble Wrap Brigade, Heart of Dorkness, Trailer Trash and British Invasion.

For every team bent on scoring that winning goal, there’s another intent on capturing the game’s Golden Broom trophy for best costumes on ice.

“Marlboro likes a spectacle versus an event, and broomball is definitely a spectacle,” says Randy Elliott-Knaggs, director of the Outdoor Program. Ever since the broomball tradition began in the 1980s, it’s become something of a “rite of passage for students,” he says, with faculty and staff members regularly joining in the fun on and off the ice.

The 2005 Broom Bowl will take place on February 4, 5 and 6. A celebratory Polardip Plunge will take place in the pond with shore-side sauna on the following Saturday, February 12, weather permitting. Click on the link below to see photos from last year's Broom Bowl.


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