Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Book Release Party

The best book written to date on Floorball is SIBF's monumental book Innebandy (Gustafsson, Pettersson, Svensson) unfortunately it was only published in Swedish, 2011. Mr. Czitrom has way earlier written the most comprehensive book in English, Floorball. Lately we have seen a small number of book attempts that often appear to fall short in terms of the subject and the substance - well, we have honestly not read the latest ;-).

A couple of years ago we started notice some of the spectacular things Happee had going with Hirvi, The Moose, Hirvi Theater and their famous barebones calendar. This way we came in contact with Ms. Rositsa Bliznakova that helped Happee with some of their International communications in English.

The other day we played around with the Amazon widget below and a new book....

Floorball: a growing trend 

 ...published just now at Amazon popped up in our face. It s written by Ms. Bliznakova co-authored together with Mr. Matti Kautto. And you know what - as we write this there are still 4 books left at Amazon (see below in the widget oh dear student).

So we checked in with our good friend Ms. Bliznakova to welcome her to our/ well her / own release party. This is what she had to say:

About the book and me:

Maybe the most curious thing is that I've never played the game myself. I've grown up in Bulgaria, where literally nobody has heard about floorball. But I am a living example of the inclusive power of floorball - for me it was love at first sight. I volunteered at a few international floorball tournaments right after I moved to Finland, and after that it was like it's meant to be - everything led me to floorball and floorball led me to better things, like successful integration in Finland, job opportunities, friends etc.

In my country of origin football is the big thing. I have always imagined that someday I will be a player agent or something... So I applied for a master degree programme in Jyväskylä, the Finnish Mecca of sport science. There I changed my mind and decided that floorball is much more interesting. And more - floorball needs me - because I am so faithfully loyal to it, but in the same time otherwise so disconnected from every sport in its practical terms, that I can do something, which everybody else disproves and ignores - I can do a floorball research. Because I can think outside the box.

I should admit, that although I successfully graduated as a Master of Sport Sciences, many people had hard time accepting the ideas I promoted, namely that floorball is an academically significant subject, that it's big enough. And those, who were seriously involved in the sport, had difficulty accepting that namely I can contribute for sport's development, because I'm a newcomer.

I had plenty of free time this summer and I was thinking that it would be a good idea to update my research and publish it, because otherwise it would be just another forgotten research on the dusty shelves of a university library.

Even though the book is an academic text, it's written in understandable language, so anybody from a teenage enthusiast up to a professor can read it and find something useful.

Big part of it is about marketing. And I don't mean just the marketing of floorball-related products, but of floorball itself. In today's social world everything can be considered as a product and consequently be marketed, even people, so why not sports! By knowing more about the sport and summarizing this knowledge, we can position it properly and predict much better its future. Compared to other sports, which have existed for thousands of years, floorball is young. So we have the unique opportunity to observe its development right from the start, to understand it as a social and market phenomenon considering different factors, which played role it its upbringing to today's successful and progressive discipline.

Maybe the world's best example of floorball and good marketing is Happee Floorball Club, where I am proudly involved in the international communication of the club. Naturally Happee has found place in my research as a case study.

Another case study is about floorball in Bulgaria. Of course, for me it's a big issue. And I still cannot realize how in this globalized world Bulgaria is in informational and developmental isolation till this very day! The big question there is, when the authorities are gonna wake up and do something?! Because there is a floorball federation, but nobody has ever seen any activity on its side. Its members cannot (or don't want to) be reached - neither by me, nor by other interested parties. This makes the task of developing floorball in the country very difficult. I know there is many important problems in Bulgarian society nowadays, but floorball isn't one of them, in fact I think it can only help solving them. So this kind of passiveness is for me ridiculous. I personally cannot be an influence otherwise than with the power of words - I don't live there anymore, I don't even visit often, I don't have the financial or network capacity to make things happen. What I can do is speak about the sport, raise awareness. I am preparing a website, where my research findings and some blog entries will be translated to Bulgarian (because foreign language is an issue for many Bulgarians), so people can get to know floorball. I know that for my critics towards Bulgaria many people will hate me, but I actually do it to help.

In the future, if only I find the time and financing, I'd like to continue researching floorball, maybe as a doctoral study or maybe as a new independent book. I'm open to new suggestions and opportunities.

Yes, we have not yet read the book but we hope to do so shortly and then we might share here what we think - deal?
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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!