Monday, October 14, 2013

How to evolve?

Guide for developing Floorball-country

State of the game

How's floorball doing? That's the question, many people in the field of Floorball are asking throughout the globe. Answers can be divided by regions.

In Europe the boom is emerging effectively. The national teams of Finland and Sweden are easily the top two in the game (Sweden being the ultimate best, sorry Finns). Next two are the Czech Republic and Switzerland. Both of them have had some success against the two top countries. After that we have some quite promising buzz from Russia, Norway and Germany.

Then we have Spain, Greece, Italy and France also. All of these mentioned have established leagues and possibly divisions even. I could easily say that the game has it's window of opportunity in this continent wide open. Is IFF ready jump through it?

At the new continent, both USA and Canada have allready attended the IFF World Championships. News suggest though that in both of these conuntries, the state of the game is pretty well comparable to the state of ice hockey in mediterranean. One must however not be sad about it, rather Norht Americans should use this state as point of evolution.

By scrolling the history of IFF World Championships, we can easily say, that the europeans dominate the game where more oriental teams tend to struggle. Goal difference is a good measurement in here, rather than wins and ties. In 2012 Singapore had -57, Hungary -39, Japan -37 and Canada -41. Those were last teams in their respective groups. Third-comers were Estonia +-0, Poland -22, USA -7 and Russia -9. Stats are clear, the teams are far from equal, horrible numbers were still added to table in the play-offs.

But as said, this is the modenrn situation.

What's done better in top-4?

Well, this should be easy. In Finland, Sweden, Czech and Swizerland there are very promising numbers of U-19 registered players. Worn-out proverb states, that the future is in the children. And so it is in floorball also. The junior system MUST be developed in the very early stage of the new game. Thus the propaganda, if you will, about the game should be emphasized towards schools and other organizations working with the youth.

I have to say that in Finland, regardless about the two WC titles, the majority of people still think that floorball is the "girly" game for those who are too weak for ice hockey (ring a bell, canadians?). So even we have still to prove ourselves.

The Finns have succeeded in putting floorball to schools. Recent reports suggest, that floorball is the most popular sport in gymnastics classes throughout the country. Schools have invested in decent rinks and goals, not to mention the tapes on the floor for the game. This has eventually generated the popularity of the game to rise to it's moden level. We have junior teams in both genders from 7-year olds up to U20:s. The situation is the same in Sweden, I have no knowledge about the system in two other countries, but the amount of junior players (19 911 in Czech, 14 637 in Switzerland) suggests that at least nearly similar system is used.

Aside from children, the game is very popular in sporting events of commercial businesses. Many corporations, unions and other type of organizations have their own floorball championship tournaments. This is also a point, that should be noticed in other countries as well. Promotion tours are one way to acchieve this goal.

What could/should be done?

I like to summarize things. In coaching and in daily work, I like to simplify things to few main points that can be conducted in the fashion that the local atmosphere requires.

  • Juniors
    • As pointed out earlier, junior system develops the future star players
  • Active promotion
    • Tours to schools, companies, organizations other sport teams.. the list is endless.
  • International contacting
    • Both in knowledge and education in coaching, player development and refereeing
    • For foreing players GO ABROAD! Play in other countries, develop yourselves, bring the knowledge back home.
  • Having patience
    • The did not pop up instantly in Europe, it will not do it in your country. But it is able to do thata
I am confident, that the floorball people are eager to assist new countries in development. For example, I'm more than eager to visit other countries and to give my knowledge about the game to their usage. And there are quite many people like me throughout Europe.

- Tommi

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Caution

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!