Thursday, August 2, 2012

Facts, opinions and thoughts on the Olympic Road-map for Floorball

The world’s largest floorball magazine, (Innebandymagazinet), writes in Swedish about the Olympic dream and if it may become true - and if so how.... ?
We think this is the very most utterly important subject they may ever cover. Not for them, not for Sweden or Finland etc - but for all the young kids out there that never even get the chance to play Floorball.

The series of articles we refer to is to be found here
It covers the Olympic aspirations of Floorball.

The “Innebandymagazinet” admit that the roadmap forward is a bit curved and/or bumpy, but they also declare that the first main hurdle for “the Olympic dream”, the recognition by the IOC, was conquered last summer.
The truth, they claim. is also that this group of “IOC recognized sports” to date involve some 30 + other activities, some are most likely less serious in their bid and some does not even want to get into the Olympics. But a bulk of them are both willing and eager. The material we refer to also claim that, this the recognition by the IOC, is something that Floorball never may lose.

The truth is also said to be that there is a shortlist that Floorball must get in on. And to get onto this short-list, well it is not that easy. Next shortlist will be determined in 2015 and in 2017 possibly one sport will be selected as a new Olympic sport and realistically then one new sport may be in the Olympics by 2024, the same goes for 2028..

One article also refer to three main obstacles to overcome for Floorball.

A) Floorball must become a more universal sport. Or in plain language the sport must grow outside of Europe.

We think this:
Yes, and with some serious hard work this is rather possible at least we think so here at Floorballcentral. One text mention a new large world floorball championship outside of Europe in maybe Singapore, Australia or Canada - in 2017 or 2018. To us here  - Singapore seems like the sure bet and the perfect candidate. But Singapore can not be the only place outside of Europe!
Floorballcentral thinks the following parts are very important to remember. It is now when the sport still is relative small that the smaller countries should get the first chance to organize a WFC outside of Europe. Why, because in a little country the comparable influence is higher per size unit (this unit could be in square units, or per capita/bnp, or based upon the population). A small sport drowns in a big country. And it is probably many times easier to get the national TV network on, for instance Jamaica, to cover and then sell  WFC programming to TV stations in Europe (the main market).
Still, let’s say we exhaust Singapore with  a WFC and we need another universal one - Australia or Canada? There are arguments for and against both of them. But the nutshell of this must cover TV and Internet coverage - and how to do that?
The way we see this, there is one possible viable way.... Floorball must find a specialized Sports, Cable or Satellite network, willing to take risk for a gain together with sponsors.
The next way to secure a WFC outside of Europe could possibly be to hook up with a very large Sporting Mentor federation that takes care of a young and weak cousin - you now may go figure the rest...yourself. It is not that easy so maybe let’s just forget it.
The “think” as of above is also very much related to TV- we do not like that - but we will get back to that dimension of the matter a bit later on in this post.
In essence we think the ideas of more WFC’s outside of Europe is possible, but it is also a stretch at this time - however always remember - we do not do Floorball cause it is easy - we do it because it is hard.
Speculations? Yes we know how to do that here at Floorballcentral.
B) Floorball must participate in more multi sport events.

Floorballcentral is certain that this will be taken care of with no, or just some minor problems. We trust the Global Floorball community - all national federations and the IFF on this.
The article we refer to fully miss that Floorball will be a demonstration sport at the World Games, Special Olympics in Korea in January 2013. Do they not know this by blindsight?
C) Branding, Floorball must have a stronger brand and Floorball must be more well-known over-all.

Floorballcentral thinks that this is the main key. We say ourselves that the sport needs a new name, or at least one SINGLE uniform name in all parts of the world. This is a decision that rest with the IFF and all larger Federations at the national level. The brand should also be developed into a logotype, all still according to our own opinions. As it comes to local activities in this respect each and every person has a responsibility in this area.
Our concern in this field is that we would prefer to see a bit more pronounced leadership as it comes to the branding part. We also scratch our heads as we constantly see referrals to the TV media. Yes the TV media is important and it means big sponsor money. But to discuss the future - and in particular deep into 2024 and do that without a pronounced aim for social media and the Internet - as a serious source of future revenue and publicity.... Then we are afraid that we are, not just on an old road, but also a perhaps dangerous road. Just think back 12 years to the year 2000, how different was not the media landscape? If the sport will flunk in its Olympic bid - it is to us rather obvious that this is the very particular area that Floorball has a rather weak spot. Floorballcentral wants to see action in this matter more or less now.
Since Floorball is growing for each sunrise - action must be imminent. Every day, for every week, every month, every year, that we do not address the branding problem - it will represent lost time in the history of Floorball.
A) It will only get more expensive to fix this branding mess in the future, since the sport indeed are growing.
B) We are now losing opportunities to be seen and heard in each and every day or second - due to the fragmented branding in place.

Just the notion that the article we are commenting upon, is only released in Swedish, is fuel enough for this our fire-opinion within this area.  Sandbox, baby - we must get out of it and into the real playground.

Now - forget this.

A friend of ours, Mr. 
Czitrom András, add this to the debate saying on his facebook page “The other major opponent, perhaps the largest, is the tradition in that the IOC recognized sports should not be admitted as Olympic sports before 15-20-30, after the recognition.”
The IFF chair Mr. Eriksson does not seem to be too concerned about the idea that it might take time to become a new Olympic Sport as he states “the IOC has realized that there is a large interest”.

Jump to the coach, turn on the TV, and look at Field Hockey from the Olympics.
And just compare it to Floorball and obviously (at least to us here) there are not much of a doubt that Floorball will go Olympic. It’s like old against new.

If not?
Is that a disaster? Even if Mr’ Eriksson clearly say that the Olympics is very important to Floorball. Nope we do not think so - This is not about IF but WHEN, because Floorball will only continue to grow - since it is just a more modern sport/activity. Floorball will indeed survive without Olympic games (it is that way today, buddy and we are alive and do well) - but things would for sure develop a bit faster with a few rings on the letterheads...

Floorballcentral say that in 2028 Floorball is an Olympic sport, at the very latest, and we love it..

There is more material just published by Innebandymagazinet and we hope to be back with more comments 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!