Having experienced Canadian broomball for the first two times (96 World Victoria BC, and 98 Gold Broom Saskatoon SK) and after playing all the stellar teams that had come to Minnesota for The International, I found myself craving that International type tourney atmosphere again. Luckily, I began working for the City of Rosemount in 1996 as it’s Community Center Manager, and the Parks and Recreation Director at that time was eager to bring adult sports into his new ice arena.
After much consultation with influential Canadian organizers such as Terry Forbes, Pierre Laforrest, and Don Gray, we decided to pattern an event in Rosemount after the Gold Broom. All CBF rules at that time, as well as rules unique to the Gold Broom were put into place (including full contact and the GB 5 min for fighting rule). 5x7 goal frames were purchased, and away we went!
The inaugural event included Atlantic Republic, from the Maritime Provinces, The Manitoba Hawks, and the top two American teams at that time, Hansen Sports and Jaro’s/CH Anderson. Hansen Sports captured the very first North American, and the tournament has now become the longest consecutive running broomball event in the world (to the best of The Mag’s knowledge) with over 200 different teams having participated, and players from at least 20 states and 6 different provinces! Somehow it survived the Covid purge that wiped out so many annual occurring tourneys.
The format and rules have changed several times. The fighting major had to be abandoned after a particularly nasty bench-clearer in 2001 (Blue v Rapid Fire). Contact was eliminated in 2008 (participation was withering with it in place). CBF rules were eventually replaced with USA Broomball rules, and tourney HQ shifted from Rosemount to Augsburg in 2009 (with a stop in New Hope in 2010). The Midwestern division was also added in 2001, after watching the power teams trounce B and C level teams, who had showed much courage in entering.