Floorball Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of Floorball, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

How to Play Floorball

Floorball, a type of floor hockey, is a fast paced, indoor, limited contact sport, first popular in Scandinavian countries.

Floorball History

The game of floorball was created in the 1970's by North Americans who immigrated to Scandinavia. The game is believed to be started in Gothenburg, Sweden. The sport began as a recreational activity played in schools. In the 1980's floorball spread to Finland, Norway, and Sweden, and evolved from a sport children played in school to a more developed game. Soon, countries established national associations, and the International Floorball Federation (IFF, Floorball's governing body) was founded in 1986. Currently floorball has been played in almost 80 countries, and 49 countries have floorball associations recognized by the IFF. The IFF hopes that the growing popularity of the sport will help floorball gain entrance into the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Floorball Rules

Floorball is played by two teams of six to a side, including goalkeeper. A game of floorball is usually officiated by two referees. Floorball takes place indoor, on a rink that varies from 18-22 meters wide and 36-44 meters long. The rink is bordered by 50 cm boards with rounded corners. The goals are 160 cm wide and 115 cm high.

The object of floorball is to score points by hitting a ball in the goal past the goalkeeper using a hockey like stick. A floorball game consists of three 20 minute periods. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins. Time is stopped for goals, penalties, and timeouts. Each team gets one 30 second timeout per game. Shoulder-to-shoulder contact is allowed, but ice hockey like checking is against the rules. Players can not play the ball higher than knee level. They are also not allowed to use their sticks to raise another player's stick. Infractions lead to two minute penalties, but can be made up to five minutes at the referee's discretion. When play is stopped it is restarted with a faceoff or free hit. If a match ends in a tie, play is continued, and the first team to score wins.

Floorball Tips

One can work on honing their floorball shooting and passing skills by setting up an object i.e. a cup, cone, or box, to serve as a target, five meters away, and attempt to knock it over by hitting the ball with their stick.

Floorball Equipment

A floorball player needs a pair of shorts, a shirt, socks and indoor sport shoes. Players are allowed to wear shin guards, eye protectors, and protective padding for vital areas. All players except for the goalkeeper carry sticks. A floorball stick is short compared with ice hockey; the maximum size for a stick is 105 cm. Goalkeepers wear protection, padded pants, a padded chest protector, and a helmet. It is common for goalkeepers to also use kneepads and gloves. The game is played with a floorball that weighs 23 grams, with a 72 mm diameter. The ball has 26 holes in it; each of which are 11 mm in diameter, similar to a wiffle ball.