What is Floorball?

Every team in a game plays with two defenders, three attackers, and a goalkeeper.
Every team in a game plays with two defenders, three attackers, and a goalkeeper.

Floorball is an indoor game similar to hockey, played in an area of 40 by 20 meters bordered by boards 0.5 meters high. Each team in a competitive floorball match has five players with sticks and a goalkeeper who carries no special equipment. The goalkeeper has a helmet and a distinct jersey. A floorball ball has a circumference of preferably 8.7 to 9.1 inches, with the stick being 37.8 to 45.5 inches in length.

Origin of Floorball

The early development of floorball started in Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s. The game is very popular in countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, and Finland, among others. These countries have developed floorball over a long period making the sport quite popular and developed. The game is gaining popularity in many other countries. In the United States of America, Malaysia, and Ireland, the sport has become famous. By the year 2014, there were over 300,000 registered floorball players across the world. The game has key professional tournaments s such as Finland Salibandyliiga and Sweden Svenska Superligan. International Floorball Federation (IFF) governs this sport. Several key sports events include biennial World Floorball Championships and the annual Euro Floorball Cup for club teams. The World Floorball championships hosts both divisions of both men and women for the competitions.

Team Makeup

Every team in a game plays with two defenders, three attackers, and a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper can hit the ball with any part of the body and can hold it for a period of three seconds. Upon breaking the rules, a player leaves the game temporarily. During a match, a player should not hit the ball with the hand or head. A player must never jump during the match, nor receive the ball with both feet off the ground. A two-minute penalty occurs if a player takes a shot with a stick above the waist. Players face penalties when they encounter the ball above the knee. The rule is that when shooting, the stick must remain below the waist level. Checking, a technique of disrupting the opponent with the ball, is prohibited. Measured shoulder-to-shoulder contact among players is permissible during a game. Sometimes, the game starts with a face-off or a free-hit. This normally happens when a player commits an offense or the rules define the ball as unplayable. Additionally, the game starts with a face-off when a player incurs a serious hurt, or after a failed shot at a penalty.

Floorball Rules

Basic rules for the sport came into operation in 1979, after the formation of Sala IBK in Sweden. This club was the first in the world when floorball was still a very new sport. Three years later, official rules for the game took effect. These rules, however, may vary from one country another. For instance, in some countries, the goalkeeper can hold a stick during the game while in other countries the goalkeeper cannot hold a stick. Floorball is considerably a new and at the same time an evolving sport. Floorball will feature in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics as a new sport, furthering its development.


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