Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Broomballs

Let's talk broomballs. Worldwide we have had issues this winter with broomball durability. Here are my recommendations. The Dgel and Forest Ice indoor and outdoor broomballs are very similar in constructions, size and quality. The basic difference between the outdoor and indoor rubber broomballs is that the blue balls are designed with a latex that will be softer in cold weather. I do not suggest using the outdoor rubber balls below temperatures of 20 degrees Fareheit. Below 20 degrees F, all rubber balls freeze and will break at anytime. I suggest a handstitched broomball for temperatures below 20 degrees F. In particular I suggest one of the 3 orange handstitched broomballs. They are all very comparable in size, construction and quality.

Indoors I recommend the Dgel or Forest Ice indoor balls. The indoor balls are the preferred balls for indoor competitive play. That being said, for recreational play, I recommend the handstitched balls for indoor use as well. The handstitched balls are a downsized soccer ball. They do bounce more than a rubber broomball, but the advantage on a recreational level is that they normally do not hurt as bad if you are hit by one.

Inflation of a handstitched ball is very important. They need to stay properly inflated. If the handstitched balls lose air, the bladder inside will spin and the ball will be shot. I suggest inflating to a point where you can still push your thumb into the ball. Firm inflation, but not so firm as to stress the seams of the broomball. The firmer the ball the more it will bounce which can make the ball difficult to control on the ice.

Inflation of the rubber broomballs is important as well. Again, an over-inflated ball is difficult to control on the ice. You should inflate the ball to the point that when you bounce it hard on the ground, the ball should rebound no higher than about 3-4 feet. If you stand 10 feet away from the boards and throw the ball against the boards, ideally the ball will only bounce one time off of the boards.

The Acacia rubber broomballs are not a good option for outdoor broomball. We suggest this ball for recreational indoor broomball and gym broomball. The blue Acacia ball is also recommended for recreational play. It is designed with a higher content of rubber and tends to bounce more than the other handstitched broomballs.

Finally, the manufactures do not warranty broomballs. I hope the information above helps you make the right choice as well as maintain them during their difficult and brutal lives.

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