Detroit Broomball Club

Detroit Broomball Club Full-Ice Rules of Play

The following abbreviated rules are provided courtesy of the Baltimore Broomball Club and are the same rules that they adhere to.

The Game

A game consists of two (2) 18-minute halves and a 3-minute half time played on a sheet of ice.  A 6’x8’ goal is positioned at both ends of the ice with a semi-circle crease (the same one used for hockey). 

Each team shall be allowed one time-out per half during regulation that is 30 seconds in length.  Unused time-outs do not carry over to the next half or overtime.   For playoff games that go into overtime, each team will be given one 30-second time-out.


When play begins a team is made up of 6 players: 1 goalie and 5 attackers, and must have one woman on the ice at all time (usually 2 defensemen, 2 wings and 1 center).  It is a team’s choice if they want to play with 6 attackers and no goalie. 

  • The 5 MUST BE COMPRISED OF AT LEAST ONE WOMAN, however attackers may switch positions at will as long as they are playing within the rules.
  • All attacker substitutions can happen at any time so long as player(s) leaving the ice surface are within 5 feet of the bench and are out of the play before the change is made.
  • If during a switch, a player entering or leaving the game deliberately plays the ball or makes contact with any opponent while the player retiring is still on the ice, a bench minor will be assessed.  If either player is stuck by the ball accidentally, play continues with no penalty.
  • Goalies may only switch positions during a stoppage of play, but a goalie may be ‘pulled’ for an extra attacker at any time. 


When a ball enters the goal from the front, passing between the goals posts and going completely across the goal line, a goal is awarded.  Players can use their feet to pass and move the ball, however, the ball cannot be intentionally directed in by an offensive player’s foot or other body part.  Any ball illegally directed into the crease will result in an automatic whistle.  If the ball strikes an attacking player’s foot/body prior to entering the goal and there is no distinctive directing motion, the goal will count. 

Zones / Offsides

Games are played using the “floating blue line” concept. That is, once the ball has crossed the blue line in the offensive zone, the red line now becomes the designated off sides line. Essentially, the blue line disappears as the off sides marker.

  • The ball must completely clear the blue line before the player’s feet and any other attacking player can be in the zone and considered on-sides. As long as a player has one foot on or behind the blue line, that player is not off-sides.
  • If an offensive player enters the offensive zone before the ball, a whistle will be blown and off-sides will be called.
  • Once the ball has entered the offensive zone on-sides, all players may go freely in front of the blue line.
  • The zone then backs up to the center redline. The attacking team is onsides until the ball completely crosses the red line. The attacking team then has to retreat to the blue line and wait for the ball to again cross and return to being on-sides.

SERVING A PENALTY:  When a player is assessed a penalty, he/she must serve that penalty in the penalty box, not on a team bench.  The player must also sit on the provided bench and may not stand until the last 10 seconds of the penalty time.  When the penalty has expired, the player must be changed by way of the returning to the ice and then changing at his/her respective bench.

HIGH STICKING: If you attempt to play the ball with your stick above standing shoulder height you will be assessed a two minute penalty for high sticking. A goaltender may play the ball while in the crease with a high stick providing that the play is not ruled dangerous or that the goaltender does not contact another player. If contact occurs or dangerous play is deemed by the official, a minor or major penalty shall be assessed.

GENERAL RULE: Player A can’t contact Player B with his/her body to impede Player B’s movement. (this is checking or interference depending on the location of the ball)

TRIPPING: A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on any player who shall place their broom, foot, arm, hand, elbow, or leg extended in such a manner to cause their opponent to trip or fall from the front, side or behind.  Any player that leaves their feet and contacts an opponent and causes them to fall shall be assessed a minor penalty.  A player who causes injury to an opponent by means of leg tripping (extending the leg) shall be assessed a major penalty plus a game misconduct.  A player shall be assessed a minor penalty for tripping if they leave their feet, dive, or recklessly swing their broom and cause the ball carrier to trip or fall.  A major plus a game misconduct shall be assessed if the act causes injury.  (NOTE:  Contacting the ball first does not negate this rule.)

CHECKING: Player A is going down the boards in possession of the ball. Player B comes toward the player and contacts Player A. This also holds true in open ice. In both instances, it is a check.

Rule book wording: When a player checks an opponent who is in possession of the ball, by using their hip or body from the front, diagonally from the front or straight from the side. If incidental contact occurs while players are attempting to play the ball, the incidental contact shall be ignored.

(DBC definition of “incidental contact” – When two opposing players are pursuing a loose ball with neither having a clear advantage, or when one gains possession immediately before the arrival of the other, any reasonable contact that follows will be considered incidental.)

CHECKING FROM BEHIND/HITTING FROM BEHIND: Rule book: A minor plus a misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who body checks or pushes an opponent from behind. A major penalty plus a game misconduct shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent as a result of a check from behind or who checks or pushes an opponent from behind head first into the boards or goal frame.

BOARD-CHECKING: Rule book: A minor or major penalty shall be assessed by the official based on the degree of violence of the impact in which a player checks, cross-checks, elbows, charges or trips an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be violently thrown into the boards. When a player is injured as a result of “boarding,” the official is required to assess a major plus a game misconduct penalty on the offending player.

INTERFERENCE: Rule Book: A player who interferes or impedes with the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the ball, or who intentionally knocks a broom out of an opponent’s hand or prevents a player who dropped their broom or another piece of equipment from retrieving possession of it shall be assessed a minor penalty.

Contact is not necessary for interference to occur. Waving of arms in front of the goaltender shall be assessed a minor penalty. Players may guard or shadow another player but cannot deny any player the right to move into an open space on the ice. Any player physically making contact with the goaltender while in the crease shall be assessed an interference minor penalty unless the ball is in the crease first and the player is attempting to play the ball. No player shall create a “pick” to afford a teammate protection from a defender at any time. A minor penalty shall be assessed for said violation.

A defender has the right to occupy the space that they have established without penalty. A goaltender may not interfere with a player without possession of the ball. Any violation shall result in a minor penalty.  (NOTE: “defender”, not “player” or “attacker”.)

The common infractions seen in DBC that will be called for interference:

  • The push-off/forearm shiver- one person raising their forearm to prevent an opponent from making the play.
  • The screen- an attacker using their body to create a lane for their teammate.
  • And the less common stick kick.  When a loose stick is kicked away from an opponent.

SLASHING: When a player slashes or attempts to slash (comes down on top of the stick of another player) another player, a minor or major penalty will be assessed. A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who slashes a goaltender who has covered the ball while in their crease.

CREASE VIOLATIONS: All defending players are allowed to be in the goal crease before the ball and may make a save during regulation time regardless of the position of the goaltender. No defensive player shall cover the ball in the crease other than the goaltender. A crease violation shall be called on any attacking player who breaks the plane of the goal crease with their body or broom while their team is in possession of the ball.

HAND PASSING: You may pass the ball with your stick or your feet, but not with your hands except behind your defensive blue line by batting it to a teammate.  A legal hand pass must begin and end behind the defending blue line. The ball may be stopped and controlled by the hand, but may not be carried or held to the body of the player. No players, other than the goalie freezing the ball, may pick up the ball.

ICING: Icing is in effect when both teams are at full strength on the ice. Icing shall be called on the defensive team if from behind their defensive blue line they shoot, pass, kick or bat the ball intentionally beyond the goal line extended of the opposing team. Icing shall be called immediately when the ball crosses the goal line extended. If a goalie attempts to/makes a play, icing is waived off.

Icing shall be nullified and play shall continue if:  a player of the team icing the ball touches, deflects or tips the ball before it crosses the goal line extended; the shot is made from the face-off; the ball touches an opposing player or any part of their equipment before crossing the goal line extended; the opposing team, in the opinion of the official, was capable of playing the ball before it crossed the goal line extended, the ball is played by the goaltender or the goaltender makes a move to attempt to play the ball; the ball enters the goal and scores; or the offending team is able to reach the ball before it crosses the goal line extended.

IMPORTANT: Icing is waved off if team committing the icing is shorthanded, i.e. penalty killing.

Icing notes:  If a player could have reached the ball, but stopped running, icing could be nullified.  If the ball would have hit a player but they ducked, icing could be nullified.  If a player swung at it, but missed, icing could be nullified.  PLEASE NOTE:  Per the rule book, the goalie does not have to be in the crease.  But if he/she “makes a move to attempt to play the ball”, icing is nullified.