Season ending fun day in February of 2020 at the Vankleek Hill Arena with teams invited from the Finch Minor League. Pictured in blue, VKH Rockets U12;in red Finch U12. Registration for the 2021-2022 youth broomball season in Vankleek Hill is now open. Submitted photo

Vankleek Hill Rockets Youth Broomball holding registration for 2021-2022 season

Vankleek Hill Rockets Youth Broomball is back for the 2021-2022 season!

Formed in 2018, Vankleek Hill’s minor broomball league was forced to cancel play for 2020-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With minor sports once again permitted under Ontario provincial public health guidelines, organizers and players are eager to return to action this season.

“Last year we went through the motions of getting ready with a return to play plan, but then everything got shut down by the time we would have started,” recalls Dawn MacDuff, one of the organizers of the youth broomball league. “We are very excited to be able to play this season.”

The league has reserved ice time at the Vankleek Hill Arena each Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., beginning on October 30. The first session, which will take place October 23, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., as the Vankleek Hill Arena has a hockey tournament schedule for the afternoon.

Registration is now available and forms can be obtained through this link. Registration fees are $170 for U9 play and $200 for U12 and U16.

Play at the Vankleek Hill Community Centre will follow all public health guidelines, including hand sanitization and mask wearing when indoors. The Federation of Broomball Ontario requires all players over the age of 12 years to be fully vaccinated as of November 25. Those regulations have affected participation in the Under 16 league.

“We do have some (U16) players, but this year we’re primarily concentrating on U9 and U12,” MacDuff said.

During its first season in 2018-2019, Vankleek Hill’s youth broomball league began with 15 players. That number doubled for the 2019-2020 season, and is expected to be about the same this year, or slightly higher.

“Once they come there’s very few who have dropped out – the majority stay and love it,” said MacDuff, who noted the registration costs and time commitments are much lower than for minor hockey.

Organizers spend a great deal of time on improving the skills of players, many of whom played the sport for the first time in 2018. There are competitive games as well, and players get to travel to out-of-town tournaments.

“The first few weeks we will be going through a practice plan, with at least two weeks of different skills and drills,” MacDuff said. “After that we will have scrimmages and from there we’ll select teams and try to make them as equal as possible.”

More information on Vankleek Hill Rockets Youth Broomball can be obtained by sending an email to [email protected]. Vankleek Hill Minor Broomball also maintains a Facebook page, which offers information on registration, as well as sales of used equipment for budding youth players.

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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