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But their most competitive team is the Nomadic Hordes. The Hordes won their first national championship earlier this year, a big accomplishment for such a young program, Schradin said. He also organizes the annual DC Broomball Invitational, which features teams from around the country competing for the Congressional Cup.
Even members of Congress have played broomball. House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., recalled playing the game during his undergraduate years at Miami University in Ohio, where more than 4,500 students participate in the largest collegiate broomball league in the country.
Fellow Miami alumnus Justin Schachner discovered broomball in his freshman year and has played on and off in the 12 years since. Playing broomball is a bit embarrassing, he said, but that adds to the fun.
“There’s sort of a camaraderie in that we all do something we don’t want to tell people about,” said Schachner, a consultant at KPMG. “When you come into work with a bruise on your hand, you lie about it because you know it’s dorky and ridiculous.”
Most appealing for some, you don’t have to be the greatest athlete to excel at broomball.
“Just because you’re really athletic or fast, that doesn’t mean you’re the better broomball player,” Schachner said. “The ice really evens that out. And even the good players will fall down. Everyone can look stupid in this game.”
Schachner added that because few people have much experience playing broomball, new recruits aren’t intimidated the way they might be with tennis, soccer or football. The sport becomes a fun way to socialize with friends rather than a stressful experience where people don’t feel skilled enough to play.
DC Broomball offers two leagues: South, the more competitive and experienced group, meets at Tucker Road Ice Rink in Fort Washington, Md., and North, the low-key recreational league, plays at Rockville Ice Arena. Leagues meet for three seasons a year — fall, winter and spring — and each season is six weeks of games and two weeks of playoffs. Registration costs $110 and covers ice time and equipment, which beginners can borrow until they decide to invest in their own shoes, mask and stick.