Words matter; they have power. So we’re going to let these words speak for themselves: extreme archery, bubble soccer, ultimate Frisbee, cricket, touch rugby and, believe your eyes, quidditch. Montréal’s recently opened, and amazingly named, Ministry of Cricket (and Other Homeless Sports) has cornered the market on several uncommon-to-outlandish sports and activities that are, in a word, wicked.
Located opposite Montréal’s Marché Central shopping centre, the Ministry of Cricket (and Other Homeless Sports) is comprised of three indoor, dividable turf fields capable of accommodating a multiplicity of sports on its 14,000 square feet. In addition to the aforementioned fun and games, the Ministry is also home to field hockey, lawn bowling, flag football and more conventional sports like baseball and soccer. As the name suggests, the space was born out of need.
“About three years ago, [my friends and I] were looking for somewhere to practice our sport, cricket, and there was nowhere,” explains Ministry of Cricket owner Angus Bell. “And it was the same for certain other sports, so we decided to create a multisport event centre and it’s just grown and grown.”
And indeed, if there was ever a sport that needed a place to call home, it’s extreme archery.
“Extreme archery is by far the most fun activity in Montréal,” enthuses Bell. “It’s a lot like paintball but without the pain. You’re running around to dramatic music, hiding behind inflatable castle walls firing foam-tipped arrows at each other. There’s also axe-throwing in it, because it’s fun to throw an axe at a target, but it’s much more fun to throw an axe at your friend or boss.”
With a capacity of 80 to 130 depending on the sport or event, the Ministry is especially well-suited to large groups, and hosts team building activities with titles like Game of Throws, The British Invasion and Full Metal Whackit. Bell says one of the (completely understandable) favourites with the wedding party crowd is bubble soccer.
“Everybody wants to do bubble soccer because it just makes people laugh,” says Bell. “We get a lot of groups coming up from Boston, New York and Toronto for their bachelor parties.” (Did we mention they have a bar onsite? They do.)
Lastly, Harry Potter fans take note, the Ministry of Cricket is home to a certain special something you just won’t find anywhere else in Montréal.
“One of the other great group activities for team building, [starts laughing] or alternative birthday parties for hipsters from the Plateau, is quidditch,” says Bell. “We have all the equipment, and we actually have a quidditch coach on staff so people can get flying lessons, and we are starting a new quidditch league. And the only place you can do it is at the Ministry.”