So how do we do this?
1) Do we play 100% according to Floorball rules or do we make hockey accommodations?
If you plan to compete in Floorball competition - you must learn the game according to Floorball rules and too many hockey players has lost too many points and games in Floorball by just acting like hockey players on the Floorball court. But if you only use Floorball as a floorball4hockey tool - you can make some changes that we discuss below.
2) Is the floor important?
Yes, you do not regularly want to play on concrete or asphalt. it will both chew up the sticks, shoes, as well as it is sometimes a very hard surface for the human joints too cope with. So try to find a nice sport court or a gym.
3) What about boards?
Boards enhance the games with rebounds and provide a fast pinball feel to the game. Boards enhance the speed of the game and simulate rebounds in Hockey too. So boards are essential. But the sad fact is that not many Floorball boards are available in America (right now we know one set of board only - available for rent in the mid-west - if interested). If you can not use real boards try to simulate them in some way - the recommendation is clear; boards are very very very good to have.
4) What about the goalie?
When European Ice Hockey clubs use Floorball they often put a hybrid goalie in the net with a Floorball stick, leg pads and gloves. If you use large nets this Hockey simulation is decent. But you may also play with small nets - or with a true Floorball goalie. We know that Latvia's current National Hockey goalie Gudlevskis, started out as a true Floorball goalie - so this butterfly style - will most likely not hurt any Ice Hockey goalie either.
5) What about game size?
Scale things down. Play 3 on 3 or something where you are in an enclosed area. We do not like small games on a hockey rink when they just move the nets closer. You want to involve the boards as much as possible. You need rebounds to keep the game active - not balls that sail away. seclude things so you find true intensity in the game. Small gyms can be good from this perspective if the ball comes fast back to you. Even if it bounced off from high on the wall. But boards are way better.
6) Any other rule changes?
Yes you want to consider to allow more stick hits stick-on-stick as compared to what Floorball rules allow, but be aware that it will destroy your ability to play real Floorball and be hard on some sticks. You may also loosen up the rule on stick height - but make certain players use protective eye wear. The new rules on foot passes in Floorball makes them more hockey like. Do not introduce face-off or off-side elements - they just destroy the speed of the game. Do not allow too much of body contacts or the ability to grab another stick with a hand - it is counter productive for the skills you want to carry over from floorball to hockey. Jumping or playing the Floorball ball with your head might be tempting - but it has nothing to do with either Hockey or Floorball so it would be silly to allow this.
7) What about drills versus scrimmage?
This is up to you. But skills, speed, and balance should be focused upon in any drill. No players should ever wait in a line to do a drill. Drills must be flowing activities. Stick-handling are crucial drills as well as shouting direct on moving targets. Small games 3 on 3 with allowed ball/board bounces will produce several 3 on 2, 2 on 1, or even 3 on 1 situations...
8) What about the intensity?
Floorball done right for Hockey teams should produce highest possible intensity. All players should have T-shirts soaked of sweat if they play above 90 minutes or more. If they have subs the players in a tight game should be fully exhausted as they sub. It is the coach's main role to drive the intensity here and maybe pitch players against each other in clever ways. Some hockey teams use for instance the age as the determination of who plays against each other.
9) Something more?
Be flexible, make changes, try new things, learning mainly occur in the non-comfort zone - and that is on both sides of the blue line
10) And the last word?
Is a disclaimer...
Disclaimer; Could some smart enough now write us an accommodation for the subject; "Softball4Hockeyplayers" Please?