Aside from the ball there are a few other
pieces of equipment that prove to be necessary when one desires
to play a game of broomball. However, this page will only
cover the stick and the shoes. This two items have great conceptual
designs behind them.
The broomball stick has a long shaft(usually
46 inches tall) with a hard head at the base, usually plastic.
This head usually has a triangle-like shape, and has a thin
side as well as a wider flat side. The 2 most popular sticks
are wood or aluminum. Wood is popular for it's low cost, and
aluminum for its light weight, which lends itself to providing
better ball control. (Image courtesy of http://www.broomball.com/).
This stick is something to get very excited
about. It is made out of alloy instead of aluminum, it weighs
only 516 grams and can withstand 636 pounds of pressure. It
costs $85, but is worth it considering what can be done with
it. It is strong enough so you can play without worrying about
it becoming bent, yet light enough so you can deliver real
power shots. This is important when applying force to the
ball. Most metalloid shafts come in an octagonal shape to
better mold with the players hands.
As I touched on in the ball
section of my page the edge of the stick provides more force
per square inch to the ball thus allowing the ball to reach
greater velocity. The flat edge is usually used for passing
or "scooping" the ball. Here are some diagrams of
the head. (Images courtesy of http://www.broomball.com/).
As you can see the overall design is the same
with some aerodynamic differences between the top and bottom.
The world speed record was set with the top head design.
I would observe that the broomball shoes are
probably the most underappreciated items design wise. I, however,
find the design fascinating. The shoes are constructed to
provide optimal grip to the ice. This is done by a layer of
spongy material, with lots of little dots or lines (that are
also spongy) over the bottom of the shoe.(Next
3 Images courtesy of http://www.broomball.com)
Side view of the shoes. Not spongy layer.
This, and the dots, are the sole designs that
Ihave seen the most. They are simple yet effective.
I actually wasn't aware that they made soles
like this. This design seems to prove effective however if
one thinks about it. The larger holes appear they would make
a vacuum between the top of the hole and the ice allowing
the shoes to really grip the ice via suction.
As time goes on, and the popularity of the
game increases I'm sure we will see a lot more advances in
the way of equipment. But, as you can see the equipment is
very effective and very efficient. Whereas a stick is required
to play, unless you are goalie, the shoes are optional. From
experience, however, I can tell you that a fast team with
shoes can dominate the game because of improved mobility.