Saturday, November 2, 2013

League system of floorball in Finland

How things are done? - A quick peek to system of series' in Finland


The top

As we all know, no sport has any meaning without competition. And in team sports the best way to do this is either by cup  - type events, or by leagues. Here in Finland, we have luckily both, and those are orgnized for men and women respectively.

Salibandyliiga

The "premier" league of floorball in Finland is named Salibandyliiga. For those pondering, what the heck this "sali" means, its the area of for example school, that is reserved for indoor sports. "Bandy" is a loan-word from sweden, used also in the outdoor game ice ball, or bandy.

Salibandyliiga has 14 teams competing for the championship. The title has been claimed by SPV (Seinäjoen Peliveljet) last two years. Prior to that, SSV (Floorball club Viikingit "vikings") took 7 titles in 8 years. The teams are located widely around the country longest travel distance being 606 kilometres from Oulu to Helsinki.

The regular season includes double series, where each team faces one another two times. After that, the last team is relegated to 1st division, 13th and 12th take part in the relegation series with 2nd and 3rd placed teams from 1st Division promotion contenders.

The top 8 teams continue the season to play-offs. The quarter, semi and the eventual finals are played by the best of five - system. The bronze game is single match.

Naisten Liiga

For the ladies, we have also a league (and divisions and so-on). The league has been domniated by Classic from Tampere for past 6 years. This league has 12 teams in it. The system is otherwise pretty much the same as with men. Only 12th team has straight relegation, as 10th and 11th take part in relegation series.

Teams are located pretty much in the same area as with the men. The northernmost place is Oulu, the southern peak being in Helsinki.

Divari

The mens 1st division is branded under the name of Divari. This is the third main series controlled by the top organization "Salibandyliiga". Any other series' are organized by the Salibandyliitto (Floorball unioin).

Divari has 14 teams in it. At the end of the season, the winner is promoted to Salibandyliiga, 2nd and 3rd play against the 13th and 12th from the Salibandyliiga.

Previously the 1st division was divided to geographic conferences, but just recently they took the step to more professional system and play only in one conference. The current teams of the Divari play mostly in the southern part of Finland. In lower divisions there is more variation in geographical sphere.

Summary of the top level

These series' mentioned here, are the only ones operated by the "Salibandyliiga". Other series' are controlled under the umbrella of Salibandyliitto (Floorball union). Regardless of the operator, the leagues and divisions are developed mostly on same pricniples that aim for equal chances for every team to go to the top.

None of these leagues are professional, though most of the teams operate in such a manner. Only few per cent of the players are getting paid solelu for playing. Usually teams do help the players to get employment, and some franchises even employ players on their respective offices.

Hopefylly in the future, we'll have at leas the top league as a professional series. That would make it easier to get even better players.

Later, I'll brief you about the lower levels of Finnish floorball.

- 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!