Corvus Design Blog

January 7, 2011

Unique Winter Games – Ditchball @ the University of Manitoba

I posted a photo of a game of Ditchball when I was talking about how Winnipeg embraces winter. I asked a (landscape architect) friend to fill me in more about it, so for those who are interested:

Please see this link (the very basics of Ditchball) that provides a basic description of ditchball.  Please note that as this is on the U of M website, it is the “official” rule book (well, as official as it gets).  Despite the rather simplistic description of “ Aggressive tackling [as] the primary strategy both on offense and defense”, the landscape architecture team that dominated the sport in the 1980’s did in fact assign players to positions and did have passing strategies to get the ball to the goalie.  Protective equipment was not worn in the first years of the game but it became a requirement during this period as the results of broken bones and concussions.
The only rule is that you have to pass the ball to your goalie.  While protective gear must be worn, no other equipment is allowed. (addition: we found some additional rules here: rules)
There are also a number of videos on YouTube: A Brief History of Ditchball (You will find links from this video to a number of other very informative videos)
CBC did a TV news piece on the game in the late 80’s when the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba officially opened the games. I am going to email a friend of mine to see if I can get a copy of the piece.  It was hilarious.
Doing an internet search for ditchball will also turn up some good links.

(addition: we found a facebook group with more photos and info: My Pain My Game: Ditchball)

If you choose to adopt this game in your community… be careful! =)