Home' LOTL : 01-Nov-2010 Contents 26 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
You can always nd something quirky in
Canberra. In this case it wasn't a girl, but a
sport called broomball. Due to the broom
reference, it's sometimes confused with curling. e
only commonalities between the two sports however,
are that both are played on ice and players don't wear
skates. Instead, broomball players wear suction-
cupped, foam-soled shoes which allow them to run
on the slippery rink.
e game originates in Canada and is played on
an ice-rink. It's a cross between eld hockey and
ice hockey. e brooms or sticks are about 1.2m
in length with a rubber wedge-shaped head. Each
team has six players on the ice -- a player in the goals
(goaltender), two players in defence (defenders)
and three players in the forwards (the attackers).
Two teams compete to score goals by hitting a
small ball into the opponent's net. e team with
the most goals at the end of the approximately 40
minute game is the winner.
With game times starting at 7am on a Sunday
morning in winter, you're also a winner if you avoid
hitting the snooze button and make it out of bed
at all. I asked Mary what motivates her to slip and
slide around on ice whilst the rest of us are still
catching zees. Mary explained it's part scienti c
and part passion. " e ice is fresh and hard-
packed rst thing in the morning, so it's at
its best quality early in the day. With Phillip
being the only ice-rink in Canberra we also
have to ght for ice time."
Mary says she "can't imagine not playing
the game. If I don't play for a couple of weeks, I get
restless and can't wait to get back on the ice."
Mary started playing broomball by accident in
2003 when she was dragged from the spectator
stands to ll-in for a team member (I hope she
wasn't wearing a skirt). Since then she's been
hooked. She plays defender which in eld hockey
is similar to full back. Body contact is very much a
part of the game.
Mary loves the game's raw gameplay and
energy. She explains, " e adrenaline, competitive
aggression and possibility of being pushed and
shoved around is what gets me back on the rink
week a er week."
In 2009, the mixed team that Mary
plays with, e underbirds, won the
winter 2009 competition. Mary was
ranked second for the highest number
of total goals scored by a female during
Also in 2009, Mary competed for a
position on the Australian All Stars team at
the national selections in Adelaide. e team is
an all-women's team who will represent Australia
at the World Broomball Championships in
Austria in November this year.
Mary is one of six women in the country selected
and the only one from the Canberra region. "It
took some time to register that it was my name
that was called. I was surprised and over whelmed
with excitement. From the rst year I attended
the Nationals in 2003, I thought it'd be great to
be part of the All Stars team." Since then, it's been
Mary's goal to make that team. Now she has, she's
preparing to play her best games to date.
e World Broomball Championships will
bring together 10 teams from across the globe,
including Canada, Japan, the USA and various
Unfortunately, because broomball isn't
recognised by the Australian
Mary and the Australian team can't
apply for grants funding. e cost for equipment,
jerseys and travel will be expensive. Mary and the
Australian team are organising events to support their
trip and are looking for sponsors.
To offer sponsorship or support for Mary and the
Australian Broomball team's World
Championships, contact Mary Bishop at
For information about broomball go to:
Get swept away
Helen Stevens reports on one girl's journey to broomball fame.
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