As winter term moves onward, some Carleton students are finding solace in the newest installment of the classic winter sport broomball.
When the weather finally permitted, students took to the ice to begin one of Carleton’s favorite IM sports, and one of the most adored traditions on campus. The start of broomball season is marked by many a student eager to spend his or her nights out on the Bald Spot’s ice rink.
One such student is Dan Read ’12, the co-captain of one of two presently undefeated teams, BAMBI.
“Broomball is something that I don’t have back home in Washington state, and I wanted to try it out,” he said. “It seemed very Carleton-esque in that it doesn’t take itself too seriously."
“My favorite part of broomball is how passionate people get about it. For a lot of the people winning games means a lot. But the best part is that it’s all done against the backdrop of people stumbling around on ice chasing a ball.”
For most students, broomball serves as a refreshing break from the pressures of student life – and is also a great way to spend more time with friends during months where, instinctively, most want to stay inside.
“I don’t have much time to do sports with friends, and having a team enables us to compete and spend time together,” said Kyle Markwalter ’13, who plays on two different teams.
The Carleton broomball league is designed for all types of players, with a soft-core division and, for the more competitive types, a more hard-core one. Although broomball is designed for fun, there are safety concerns given that the sport involves running around on ice. All players must wear helmets at all times, and rules designate how high one’s stick can be raised.
While the rules are designed to keep everyone safe, mishaps do frequently occur over the course of a game.
“My favorite part of it is when a whole group of people all take off after the ball and they all crash into each other, without any of them getting it,” Markwalter said.
Every year new sets of freshmen get introduced to the sport as well. Students freeze and fall down, united by their desire to be a part of Carleton’s vast and exciting history.
One such newbie is Grace Newman ‘15, who also plays on the past-and-present 2nd Musser team BAMBI, which stands for Bad Ass Musser Broomball Intramural.
“It left me with a lot of bruises, but it was a lot of fun,” she said of her first game.
When asked why she wanted to participate in the league, Newman added, “Because it’s a Carleton thing. It’s just what you do.”
Such is the attitude of many first-year students. But this year, with the lack of both cold and snow, many are finding their dreams of playing for the first time ruined.
eally unfortunate because often times you don’t have much free time to play, and then the whole rink melts and you don’t have the opportunity to anymore, even when you really wanted to,” Zach Richmond ’15 said.
The problem of a sporadic winter is one of the greatest difficulties of organizing and maintaining the league, according to organizer Tongji Qian ‘13.
“Weather gave us lots of troubles these past two years, because it was very unpredictable at the end of the winter term,” he said. “We basically had to ‘speed up’ the league and go for playoffs way before winter term ends. This season looks exactly so.”
But unpredictable weather is not the only tricky part to maintaining an exciting league. As with all IM sports, there remains the problem of teams exiting the league due to various constraints.
“We would love to see every team who signed up at the captain’s meeting at the beginning of the term stay until the end of the season, instead of forfeiting most of the games and ending early in the season,” Qian said. “After all, it is a sport where people meet each other and have fun.”
Still, he and the other broomball czars remain confident of Carleton students’ ability to overcome climatic difficulties.
“We conquer Minnesotan winter,” he asserted.