Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cheap Chinese Sticks?

Lately our automatic robots that provides us with news and other Floorball information has started to highlight several new Floorball sticks from China and other places. Some messages state that they are made out of carbon but many of these does not look like very advanced sticks. The price is often also almost unreasonable low, but these are not consumer sites - as you have to order like 1000-2000 sticks, balls or Floorball masks, at a time, so this is for retailers only.

We do not know - we have not asked - but we do not think that these sticks have been certified by the IFF and we further suspect that the producers have not sent these sticks to the SP, the Floorball testing institute in Sweden either.
We do not automatically say that this means that these new "unheard of" and cheap sticks are bad. We would love to try one.. But we think, one ought to questions sticks not approved through the SP. OK, quality on products from China and other big producing countries have risen at a very fast pace over the last years. And yes most of the best branded sticks could even possibly be made at the same factory in some cases. But who would dare to order 1000 stick of an unknown quality?

Let us now say that a larger SUMO-size retailer decide to do so on a market where Floorball is at least decently known. What happens? Is this a threat towards all the other established brands out there? Maybe it is. Let's then suggest that a bunch of these sticks does not match the quality of the more established sticks? Could that hurt Floorball? Maybe and maybe not, perhaps it would be a good thing for Floorball too with higher penetration in the market? And would the established brands then feel something?

We think this perhaps highlights the problem with only one testing institute for Floorball sticks at the SP institute in Sweden.
One day - we think - there should be viable alternatives to get a stick certified at more parts of the world - and not just in Borås, Sweden. The best would probably to have one guy relocated from Borås to check out sticks where they often are made... in Asia.

The next thing, boils down to the name. As you already know Floorballcentral would like to rename its blog to Speedhoc-central or Flashhoc-central instead (whatever) since we feel these names more intensely describe the sport - and one-name-for-us-all would be a great place to collect the number of different Floorballnames out there. Hey, You do not say Sähly one more time please... ;-)

This is not only about to gather the names under one umbrella. It is also about protection. It means that the sport should have one Registered BRANDNAME, as well as one registered Logotype, and Trade Marks and Registrations and Copyrights all over that the very same brandname and logotype - like Coca-Cola does it.
To protect the current brand names that are forced to have their equipment licensed and tested by the SP - but also to protect the sport from more toy-like sticks taking a larger chunk of the future larger retail market in more general Super stores.

Or is it perhaps better to give this part of the future market away to non-certified toy sticks, with no money feed back to the sport? Maybe there is other ways to deal with this too?

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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!