Friday, August 3, 2012

More on the Olympic road map... at lightspeed

The Swedish Innebandymagazinet continue with their articles on the “Olympic Floorball dream” and its almost hard to keep up in a swift way with the information posted on the subject right now.

One article is based upon an interview with a Swedish IOC official, and also official, in the Swedish National Olympic organization. The text provide an image that paints a picture that is slightly discouraging about the immediate Olympic chances for Floorball. But it is also worth to point out that the subject for this interview say: - it is right to keep the dream alive.. One may wonder if it is perhaps first and foremost a political view or a more serious message?

The much more positive interview is done with the IFF chair, Mr. Eriksson. He paints a rather optimistic picture but admits that there are a few hurdles that the sport must overcome. But he also say that several of the harsh demands put in place are not met by all the other sports -already being able to get in on the Olympic shortlist - either.
Mr. Eriksson is asked about other strong contenders for the Olympic dream and he emphasizes that he may only speculate as he mentions karate, wall climbing and wakeboard.

The IFF chairman further makes the important notion that several IOC officials today, including the vice president, are from countries where Floorball is a very strong sport and as he meet with them - there is no need to explain the sport of Floorball.

Mr. Eriksson use the proposed new license system that the IFF will have in place from 2013 for its member nations as an example on how Floorball must develop to have the best chance to become an Olympic sport.
Floorballcentral will maybe write a separate post on this and how this might affect a country like the USA and if not some actions, to meet this system, ought to be on the agenda?

OK, let us now try to forget all the nitty gritty and instead try to understand the big picture of what new sport the IOC wants in the Olympics.

Innebandymagazinet, or the people they interview say often something in style with “for the Youth” as they talk floorball and the olympics...

We think this definition is wrong. Sport is not only about youth (because that changes over time), it is not always either about any specific attribute that is very physical, it is instead about one of the the most basic thing a human, often a young human, may strive for, and we call this identity.

You want to tell the world who You are. Many athletes are not doing a sport - they are a sport or the sport is a large part of their identity. This starts already in young years. With this comes a portion of gender too in as a positive attribute.
A popular, fun, and often tough sport brings on identity. That is fine - but you do not need identity for yourself - for identity to work you and your identity must connect with a community and the trick is maybe to show the IOC this..?

One track to do this - could be to use the role models in Floorball. Role models that build the larger community by sharing a part of their own identity.

Here is the list of all sports that fight with Floorball to go Olympic, sorry list is in Swedish.

On this list we find many sports that brings on Identity with “community cool”. So in principle all looks good with a probable questionmark from us here for Bridge , Baskian Pelota and Life Saving.

The next reasonable demand must be that the sport is interesting to watch, at TV or online. Here is where the money is... So could you imagine 15.000 viewers for a game of chess? We do not know - but we guess the IOC would like to have sports that attract as many people as possible, and yes both boat racing and motorcycles is most likely not the best fix for this either...

What is wrong with Baseball and/or Softball then? They have the crowds at least in America. We guess the gender divide between a male version of one sport and another version for the rest - well it sounds like we are traveling way back in time.

Here is another key, Modern sports, real modern sports, on the list as you compare new and old is limited to only a few in our eyes, Korfball, Netball, Wakeboard, Wall Climbing and Floorball.
Now ask what is growing fast? and go back to the money question - What has the potential to attract most audience and sponsors in this group...?

One main backdraw for Floorball is perhaps that some people think that it is just another stick and ball sport as Mr.Eriksson also acknowledges in one of these articles.

To be honest - we think the full monty may evolve into this - It is not Floorball that need the Olympics - as much as the Olympics will need Floorball - since Floorball is a big thing in time and fully inline with a modern positive identity and life.

The question is not IF but WHEN.
The question is also new versus old?

And remember the mediaworld just accelerated into lightspeed -
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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!