Ballon Ballai Report

posted: 2007-01-20
After much spurring and goading it was great to see so many seasonnaire teams on Tuesday night. As more familiar faces arrived it was clear that the pre match tension was building. Almost every company that wasn't working had entered a team.
Now for those who are looking at these pictures and wondering what the heck is going on.
I guess the easiest way is to describe Ballon Ballai.
In England it is called Broom Ball. Think of it as ice hockey with the entire arsenal of sharp / hard objects removed. The puck is replaced by a kid's football, the hockey stick by a soft broom and ice skates by normal shoes. The rules promoted noncontact although in the more heated matches this rule was slightly bent.
The main rink was divided into two with a large inflatable sausage which ended up collecting many a player as they attempted to change direction while frantically waving their broom in the direction of the ball / opposing player.
As the first two matches were French on French it was interesting to see how easy it was to run on what is in essence a large piece of ice. Being completely flat with many striations left by the practicing kids ice hockey team made for good straight line traction.
The first English team to take the ice was the team L'equipe and it was immediately evident their opposition had vastly more experience.
Undeterred by their orange team shirts and with ability that would have put Bambi to shame Oli, Toby, Beth and Emma fort tooth and nail for the 5 minutes. Unfortunately due to their inept goalkeeper (me) they lost 1-0.
Mark Warner summer Lakitira team didn't fair much better again being beaten 1-0.
The Crystal finest boys /New Gen trainee girls team held their opponents to a draw. This led to the equivalent of a penalty shoot out.
One girl from each team starts from their own goal and it's the first one to score a goal in the opposing net. Contact between the girls is per se frowned upon but this didn't stop the New Gen girl from cutting up her opposition as they passed on the half way line. While the French girl was left floundering the Crystal team went through to the next round.
One of the most awaited games was between the blacked out Kaluma team and Jimbo Bitches
from the Jump. Sporting eye black, dressed head to toe in black and looking more inplace at a black panthers demonstration you could tell they meant business. Not even the garish one piece ski suits worn by the jump girls could stop their 2-0 defeat.
But the writing was on the wall for the Kaluma victors who all looked like they were on the verge of a heart attack. This was more evident in their second match they were easily beaten 4-0.
But the team of the night was definitely Scott Dunn. With Gareth at the helm they decimated all comers and managed to get into the quarter finals before being beaten in a penalty shot out. In the first round G was being marked by a little 12 year old girl who on several occasions looked like she was about to be squashed by her much larger opponent. Luckily G's finesse with a broom meant the spectre of a sobbing child was averted and lead his team to a 2-0 win. Their second round match was a much closer affair and it was left to the girls to score the winning penalty goal.

Following the success of the event I have had many requests to organise a Ballon Ballai tournament for the English seasonnaires on a more suitable night (probably a Wednesday night). Watch this space for any news.
Donít forget to follow the lead of the Jump team and dig out all things ìretroî and slightly offensive for Bad taste night on Tuesday night.