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Articles: Floorball


Floorball is a type of indoor floor hockey, which is contested between two teams of 6 players. It is played with a hollow plastic ball with holes in it to keep it light weight. Players use a stick that ends in a flat part used to push the ball or shoot it at a goal. Shoulder to shoulder contact is allowed but actual checking, physically hitting or pushing an opponent with any part of the body, is not.

The game has its origins in Canada in the early 20th century. It was regularly played in school gymnasiums and indoor halls. The sport started to appear in Nordic countries in the early 70’s and developed into its modern form. The first rules were established in 1979, with the formation of Sala IBK, the first floorball club in the world. The rules were written down in 1981.

Today, the sport is very popular in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. The sport is growing in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the United States. As of 2014, there are professional leagues in Finland and Sweden

The sport of floorball

Floorball is played by both men and women at all levels, and there are various competitions for junior and senior levels. A floorball team consists of 5 outfield players and one goal keeper.

The game is played on an indoor court that is 36 to 40 meters long and 18 to 20 meters wide. At each end, there is a goal measuring 1.60 meters wide and 1.15 meters high. The goals are placed 2.85 meters inside the rink from the back walls. The rink has a centre line dividing it into two halves. Players use a stick that cannot exceed 1.14 meters in length nor a weight of 350 grams.

Players wear a pair of shorts, a shirt, socks, and indoor athletic shoes. It is permitted for players to wear protective equipment such as shin guards, eye protectors and protective padding; however most do not, but in some countries, protective eye-wear is compulsory for junior players.

The ball used in floorball weighs 23 grams, and has a diameter of 72 mm. The ball has 26 holes, each being 10 mm in diameter, and over a thousand small dimples to reduce air resistance.

How a game of floorball begins

The game starts with a coin toss to determine which team will be at which end. Each team will assume its planned formation; the game begins with a face off, where the ball is dropped on the centre point between two opposing players. The team that wins the ball generally plays the ball backwards from the centre point, and then starts to organise a structured attack. The defensive team will then try and press the offensive team, without leaving any gaps in its field.

The rules of floorball

Floorball is played out of three 20 minute thirds. When the ball is not in play, the clocks are stopped. Play is free, but players are not allowed to raise their sticks above the knee. Unlike ice hockey, body checking is prohibited and leads to a 2 to 5 minutes exclusion penalty. Players who commit infractions are punished by 2 to 5 minutes penalties where they have to sit in the penalty box for the allotted time, and the team has to play short-handed. In case of extreme infractions, a 10-minutes penalty can be awarded or even permanent expulsion from the game. When fouls are awarded, the team can take a free hit from where the foul occurred.

At the end of the regulation hour of play, if the game is tied, then there is an extra 10 minutes sudden death. Floorball is governed by the International Floorball Federation, which was founded in 1986 in Sweden.

Flow and tactics in floorball

Floorball is frenetic and the game can ebb and flow with both teams exchanging the lead several times during the match. When the teams are evenly matched, coaching can come into play in the last minutes of the game, as the coaching staff use the team’s allotted time-outs to take advantage of tactical weaknesses they have seen in the opposing team. Coaches can shout instructions from the side-lines in a manner very similar to soccer.

Floorball competitions

The pinnacle competition for national sides is the IFF world championship; this competition is held every two years, with the men’s contest in even years and the women’s in odd years. Following from that, there are several continental competitions. For club sides, there are several big tournaments around the world: from the Canada cup and the Czech cup, to the Champions cup and the Euro Floorball cup.

Depending on their size, the tournaments are structured as a straight knock out or, as most, by 2 stages; a round robin stage followed by a knock out stage.

There is no set path into professional floorball, it is merely a matter of a player practising and playing until they are recognised to have achieved a high enough standard to be picked up by one of the professional teams.

Betting on floorball

Betting on floorball is still relatively limited since the sport is still in its infancy. Some betting exists in the countries in which the sport is popular, but even that is restricted to big competitions and games. Bets tend to be a straight bet on match winners.