Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mr. Floorball looks back at 2011

This is Mr. Juha Mikkola also known as Mr. Floorball and his retrospective take on 2011 in terms of Floorball.

1. Floorball gains Olympic Recognition
This is not one that the North American Floorball Community can take direct credit for, but it's something that our work here hopefully helped push along. The International Floorball Federation has done an amazing job in this area. IOC recognition is key as we work to market floorball to sports hungry North America. I hope and expect it to bring much more attention to the game!

2. Borje Salming visits Toronto as an ambassador for the Canada Cup
One of the best Toronto Maple Leafs of all-time and a Hockey Hall of Famer visited Toronto to be an official ambassador for the Canada Cup Floorball Championship. Mr. Salming appeared on TV, Radio and Print networks talking about floorball and why its a great cross over training tool for hockey players. It's incredible to think that in 2004 the Canada Cup was just 6 teams: now it is an event worthy of Mr Salming himself with 62 teams and over 1000 players participating. We hope that everyone in North America involved with floorball participates in 2012.

3. Team Canada finishes 3-1 at the U19 World Floorball Championships
North American floorball has not enjoyed a lot of International success (yet) but 2011 showed glimpses of the excellent talent that exists on North American soil. Several Canadian and US teams did well but the most impressive for me was our Canadian U-19 Men's team at the World Floorball Championships in Weissenfels, Germany. Playing with a team made up of nearly all Canadian born and bred players, who all trained in Canada, and a fully Canadian coaching staff, the squad finished with 3 wins and 1 loss just narrowly missing the medal round on goal differential. Canadian brand floorball was on display for the world to see: strong battles in front of both nets, quick transition and a never-say-die work ethic. With three Canadian Hockey League junior players on the team they proved how high level hockey players can transition quickly to competitive floorball. 

4. Hockey Canada partners with FloorballPro
Canada is without a doubt the strongest hockey country in the world and to have Hockey Canada officially endorse FloorballPro as their Official Supplier of floorball equipment is a major milestone. More important for us is the fact that Hockey Canada believes in floorball and the skills that young hockey players can develop by playing floorball when they are off the ice. They have brought the sport into their Skills Academies and Centres of Excellence. In 2012 we hope to see minor hockey organizations underneath Hockey Canada's umbrella embrace the game further, by launching off-season leagues for the game and implementing floorball into their off-ice training regimen.

5. Unprecedented media interest in floorball
The North American media showed more interest in floorball than ever before, with major television and newspaper coverage in Canada focusing on the game and helping spread the word to the masses. Highlights included televising the finals of the Canada Cup (Both men and Bantam junior divisions) on Rogers TV, an incredible column in the Toronto Star, an article on The Score's website, nationwide TV coverage on CBC, multiple profiles on (including one with Steven Stamkos) and many more, including Rogers Sportsnet with Borje Salming. Newspapers from Nova Scotia to British Columbia covered the game, its equipment and its surging popularity.

The best thing about 2011 is to know that it's just the beginning. The floorball community in Canada and the United States is developing fast. The number of players, organizers, referees and coaches is growing and there are more clubs, leagues, schools and hockey teams playing than ever before. We are nearing the tipping point for floorball. Everyone involved with the game should push in the same direction and increase their involvement with the game. 2012 will be a year that floorball breaks through in more communities than ever before!


Juha Mikkola

We at Floorballcentral hope Juha will be back with a fresh outlook upon 2012 too soon...
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Research suggest that eye-injuries are more common in Floorball as compared to Tennis, but less common as compared to Squash (similar to Racquetball).
To minimize this risk of injury Floorballcentral recommend: Use certified protective eye-wear (mandated in many European areas for the youth). Do not lay down on the court. Follow the rules strict on stick height.

Also if you get addicted to this sport - do not blame us!