FARGO — Jace Holm was intrigued when he walked into a gym class at West Fargo high school to find a new game set up.

To Holm, a hockey player, it looked a lot like his natural sport. There were brooms and balls out with big goals.

"I thought it was just a gym class sport," Holm said. "I figured it would just be a game we played in gym."

The sport they played that day was broomball.

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Invented over 100 years ago in Canada, the sport has started catching on in the United States.

It's a mix of both hockey and soccer," Holm said. "So you're running on the ice, you're not skating. Obviously the hockey aspect, you're playing on a hockey rink, the nets are just a little bit bigger."

"We play non-checking here, I mean it's a recreational sport," said USA Broomball marketing director Al Stauffacher. "We say, even though we have some serious teams, no one is getting hammered into the boards. Everyone's got to wake up and work the next day."

Over the weekend, USA Broomball is in Fargo for the organization's national championships. It's the second time in four years the city has hosted the event.

"Fargo has been a great host city for us," Stauffacher said.

While it's been hosted here before, the city is hardly a hotbed yet.

Holm said when he started playing in local leagues, there were 12 teams involved. Since then, it's actually dropped to eight teams.

"There's not much growth, there's more of a decline than growth," said Holm, who is directing the tournament.

However, he thinks there is a way to get the sport to a more popular place.

"Trying to get the college kids interested is going to be key," Holm said. "Because there is a lot of people who go to the three colleges here that have a hockey background or a soccer background."

The games continue on Saturday and Sunday at the Southwest Youth Arena and West Fargo Sports Arena.