BY Kevin Perrigo
Lets start with the negative…because there was hardly any negative. When I took over the Can-Am, the first thing I did was change the rules completely over to USA Broomball which includes the scoring system and overtime. Any team playing in USA or Canadian events would never have to question any rules because we are unified across the board when we play in the States (same if we entered Canada and their rules). There were some local rules that were still implemented due to those rules being used in the local league. The tie breaker system was also a little funky but again, it is what they have used in the past.
PositivesLet’s go back to the rules, there were a lot of rules that were changed and to head in the direction of USA Broomball. The baseball glove was eliminated from the keepers. Icing was no longer touch up. Those two rules alone are big changes for the local teams but as were out of teams learned to adapt to true USA Broomball rules, the out of town teams adapted to the remaining rules that will hopefully be changed out for next year (dumping the ball into the other end of the ice from the entire neutral zone and not just the red line…eliminates the spacing to getting into the attacking end, where face-offs are located). But the events willingness to change was a major plus.
New tournament director Curt Wood was fantastic. He collaborated on every part of the tournament with everyone from different event coordinators to the local townspeople to sponsorship. Curt made sure the event was extremely organized upon arrival, had unique raffles, had all scores online, refereed, was always available to chat with all teams and players, etc. Curt was the face of the tournament and is definitely the real deal. Curt was always asking, what else can we give to the teams? He was always thinking about each team and probably the reason why all teams stayed in the building to watch games and chat between each other. The atmosphere was tremendous and fun.
The players and teams from Massena are no joke. They have a talented pool of players. They have their own style of play and they do it very well. They can compete with anyone and if they expand their play beyond Massena, they will win events. Also,even though it was not required for the local teams to chat with the outside teams, they spoke to everyone and made teams feel welcome. It was great to see them laugh and joke with everyone.
All teams at the event could compete. Only 2 games were blowouts and they were both against the same team who looked to be relatively new to broomball. A bounce here or there could have seen different teams in each of the A and the B semi final. Of course the Ottawa Nationals will always show their class in play. However, teams were still able to hang in there and play them tough. The more teams can play against teams like Nationals, the more they learn and can pick up things from the them. Playing them should always be a positive.
The ice surface was excellent all weekend long. It was far and away the best ice surface I have played on all year. Not sure how they got it perfect all three days in a row (skaters were on before hand), but they got it right.
EJ Thorn continues to be a solid figure in broomball. Showing up to run video on games, wins a B division championship, and can also sit down and chat with you about broomball all across the country as we did at lunch on Saturday. He is a great representation of broomball.
This event will get 12 teams easily next year and max out. Curt will now be able to start selling the event immediately instead of the last minute when he officially took over. I can see a wait list here. Neat town, older style rink with character, hard working tournament director, will get both Canadian and American teams. All these things add up to a solid event.
Great Job all around!
Kevin PerrigoOwner/Manager of Operations
Syracuse Indoor Sports Centerwww.syracuseindoorsportscenter.comSalt City International Invitational – Director315-451-1800