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Expat Life

Successful Broomball Season
Text and photos Andrew Mullen

Even though there were delays of the games due to some spells of warm weather, the Moscow Broomball League managed to finish its playing season outdoors, as befits tradition. 17 teams (11 men’s teams and six women’s teams) competed this year on the ice at the German Embassy to see who would be the best. Twice a week roughly 250 men and women put on their hockey gear, took up their veniki, and went out for 60 minutes of fun on the ice.

For those who have never seen Moscow Broomball, it is somewhat similar to the Broomball played in the rest of the world, which generally uses the IFBA (International Federation of Broomball Associations) rules, but there are differences. The “brooms” are quite different. The brooms in the Moscow Broomball League are made from the local veniki, and tape and string are used to shape them into a stick not unlike a field hockey stick. The nets and balls used in the Moscow Broomball League are much smaller than those used in IFBA. The Moscow Broomball league currently plays on the frozen-over tennis courts of the German Embassy, whereas IFBA tends to be played on a larger ice surface. More information can be found at the League’s Website (

Johann [the player in the black jersey] strikes again!

The 2008-2009 Season

The 43rd season of the Moscow Broomball League came to a close last Tuesday with the final one-game playoff between the Finn Lions and the Pazhalstasticks, playing in possibly the most thrilling and emotionally charged game of the season. The powerhouse Finn Lions defeated the Pazhalstasticks to take the Gold medal for the second time in three years, with the Pazhalstasticks, who just seemed to get better with every game this year, earning the Silver. The German Eagles, last year’s Gold medalist, took the Bronze in the exciting final game of the regular season against the Pazhalstasticks.

The Suomi tradition of excellence was carried over into the Women’s league, as the Finnladies took the Gold medal, being the only undefeated team in either the Men’s or Women’s league this year. The Valkyries, who are a serious contender in any season and last year’s Gold medalist, took the Silver and the plucky Chicks with Sticks earned the Bronze medal once again.

Even though the games have finished and the medal winners have been determined, the season is not truly over until the Broomball Ball takes place. This year on March 14th at the Leningradskaya Hilton, the Moscow Broomball league once again held its annual Ball in order to toast the team and individual winners and celebrate another great season of Broomball...

...and look forward to the next season.

Oliver’s War Dance

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