The Rules of Broomball

This short and concise guide will help you quickly understand the rules of broomball, so you can start playing and enjoying this sport in no time.

By following them, you will know how to play broomball, have a great experience, and enjoy the game.

The Rules of Broomball
The Rules of Broomball

Broomball Game Rules

  • At the start of the game, each team stands on opposite sides of the rink, away from their respective benches.
  • Each broomball game starts with a face-off.
  • A face-off at the center of the rink occurs after each goal.
  • Players must pass the ball using just the broom.
  • Players should not kick the ball with their feet. Also, players are not allowed to dribble.
  • Players must hit the ball with the broom for the goal to be considered legitimate.
  • A goal is not scored when a ball is redirected into the goal by any part of an offensive player’s body.
  • Players must keep the broom below waist level when hitting the ball.
  • Players are allowed to use their stick to take the ball off their opposing teammates.
  • Players can stop or control the ball with their feet, but they should not pass it using their feet to another teammate.
  • In the game, when the goalie catches the ball, they are required to pass it back within three minutes.
  • The goalie must handle the ball within the crease.
  • When a goalie goes outside of their crease, they are not allowed to do the things that only goalies are supposed to do. They lose their privileges.
  • A broomball game consists of two periods of twenty minutes each.


  • Minor penalty means that the player is removed for two minutes off the ice.
  • Major penalty means that the player is removed for four minutes off the ice.
  • Misconduct penalty means that the player is removed for eight minutes off the ice.
  • Game penalty means that the player is suspended.
  • A player that receives two misconduct penalties is ejected.

Minor Penalty

The following are considered minor penalties:

  • High sticking – any time the stick comes above the waist
  • checking, boarding, or cross-checking – players can not use their body to physically displace an opponent who possesses the ball.
  • throwing the broom
  • interference – players are not allowed to block or impede the progress of another player
  • tripping or elbowing – players should not use their arm, hand, stick, or other parts of their body to keep an opposing player from playing
  • hitting the ice repetitively with the broom
  • holding another player
  • removing the helmet during the game
  • inappropriate behavior
  • delay of a game

Major Penalty

The following are considered major penalties:

  • checking a goalie
  • charging – players should not knock down other players
  • throwing the broom or other pieces of equipment at the ball or on the rink

Misconduct Penalty

The following are considered misconduct penalties:

  1. verbal aggression towards the referee or other officials
  2. if the referee’s decision or warning is ignored and repeated by the player

Game Penalty

The following are considered game penalties:

  1. fighting
  2. injuring an opponent
  3. unsportsmanlike conduct
  4. usage of obscene gestures

Scoring Rules

  • A team is awarded one point every time it hits the ball past the other team’s goalkeeper and into the goal.
  • A goal does not count if a player raises their broom above waist level.
  • A goal does not count if a player kicks the ball with their foot or any other part of their body.
  • A goal does not count if a player carries the ball on their broom instead of hitting it.
  • A goal does not count if the ball goes out of bounds before crossing the goal line.
  • A goal does not count if the ball is hit by a player’s broom above shoulder level.

Winning Rules

  • The team that scores more goals wins the broomball game.
  • If the game ends in a tie, a shoot-out will be played to determine the winner.
  • In the shoot-out, five players from each team participate – the goalie and four other players. The four non-goalie players each attempt a penalty shot from the designated penalty shot line. If a player scores a goal during their penalty shot, their team is awarded a point.
  • If the game is still tied after the shoot-out, the game continues in a sudden-death format where one player from each team takes a shot at a time until a winner is determined.


  • Goalies can make shoot-out shots.
  • Each player on a team – both those on the ice and the bench – must take a shot before any player can take a second shot.
  • Each player will take the shot from 5 yards in front of the goal line. All the other players must stay behind and away from the player who shoots.
  • The player cannot dribble the ball or fake a shot before taking it.
  • During the shoot-out, the referee may instruct the player to take the shot from a designated spot.

Referee Rules

  • Broomball games have two referees, one on each side of the rink.
  • The referee has the authority to enforce all rules and make decisions regarding gameplay.
  • The referee can apply penalties.
  • The referee can eliminate a player from the game.
  • The referee’s decisions are final and cannot be disputed by the players.
  • Players must respect the decisions and instructions of the referee at all times.
  • Each referee should position themselves on opposite sides of the ice, between the goal line and center line of their respective half of the ice, about 10 feet away from the boards.
  • Referees should avoid standing directly against the boards to prevent being hit by the ball and affecting play.

Broomball Team Rules

  • Each broomball team consists of six players: one goalie, two defenders, three attackers with two forwards, and one center.
  • Each team can have a minimum of four players to start and finish a game.
  • Each team must select a captain to represent them. The captain is the one that discusses with the referee.

Player Substitution Rules

  • All players who are not on the ice are substitutes.
  • A substitute can replace any active player on the ice during the match. However, it is important to note that a player who is serving a minor or major penalty cannot be substituted.
  • A substitute can enter the game at any time.
  • A substitute can enter a game when the player is completely off the rink.
  • Goalies can also notify the referee when a substitute might enter the game.

Broomball Rink Rules

  1. All games must be played on ice or snow. Broomball can be played on snow, as long as the snow is packed and firm enough.
  2. A standard broomball rink is typically 85 feet wide and 160 feet long. The dimensions can vary depending on the location and level of play.

Broomball Equipment Rules

  • All broomball players must wear helmets. Helmets are mandatory and must be worn throughout the match.
  • Goalies must wear a helmet with a full face mask. Players in this playing position need more protection.
  • It is recommended that goalies wear gloves. However, this is not mandatory.
  • Players can wear other types of protective equipment like gloves, mouthguards, chest protectors, shin pads, knee pads, or elbow pads. Shin and elbow pads must be worn under clothing.
  • All players must wear broomball shoes or clean-soled running shoes. Cleats, heavy boots, or other shoes that do not have a smooth surface are not allowed on the broomball field. Sandals are also not allowed on the rink.
  • The players’ shoes must be clean. If the shoes are dirty or have mud, a forfeit may result.
  • Players can only play with specially-made brooms.
  • Players must not wear jewelry during the game. Players should remove the jewelry before the game.
  • Players are not allowed to use modified equipment.
  • The broomball game must be played only with a broomball ball.
  • Players can exchange broomball equipment but only outside the rink.
  • Players cannot wear ice hockey equipment such as goalie pads or arm blockers. The only piece of equipment from ice hockey that is allowed is the helmet.

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About the author: Madalina Salceanu

MadasFounder of, Madalina Salceanu channeled her passion for sports in a blog about sports apparel and equipment. Madalina likes to research daily and discover the latest sportswear trends. Keep reading...

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