Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pre-primer Floorball - For the sake of the kids and the sport.

So what happens from the safety stand-point as we do a pre-primer Floorball session with kids?
Over the weekend we have had hundreds of kids trying a small area Floorball at a scout camp. They had never heard about it before...

Our strong belief is that Floorball is both a rather safe activity and a very motivational kids game. But let us focus on the safety aspect. If we compare to the current hockey emulation used in US elementary schools - to many Floorball may look a bit wild... Current hockey related activity in schools use sticks like these,,,

And you can probably not be safer like this... but then kids can not dribble and do shooting? You tell me.. so the point of the game as we see these sticks - well it is almost lost.

This is we do it - in a pre-primer Floorball session where kids never done it before.. We demand the use of safety goggles. We are extremely picky about stick height - and we mention the "knee rule" on lifting the blade above the knee and we ask them to keep the blade on the floor. We also ask all players to play carefully and use more aiming skills than power.. Sliding or one knee down on the floor is prohibited..

The results? Well as the ball starts to ricochet as in a live pinball game they get so excited that they run all over and throw themselves in to the game with full power. And the action is... well action is full flavored and fun is at peak or at the top turbo level...

So is it safe? If we compare to the foam version floorball probably looks a bit adventurous. But if you compare to most other team sports, including soccer with wild pre-primer kicks Floorball is not worse... - but safer.

This weekends mishaps were - one player had a ball in his eye. But the protective goggles we use worked as they should. So he was back playing a few minutes later. Another player got a ball on his lips. No crying, but he felt enough discomfort to leave the game. And one player was smacked on his fingers with a stick - and he will probably have a little bruise for a few days. We are talking about 5-6 hours of constant play - with energetic beginners that truly want to play hard.
So what do we wish for right now? Well we think about the original Cosom stick and we remember the bad quality the plastic had - so bad that the sticks was wobbly to the point of worthless. No doubt newer kids stick are much better to play and master the game with,,, but still the wobbliness brought on a safety feeling with smacks that were not that stiff.
Then we can only praise the idea to play floorball with protective eye wear for kids. And we think USA Floorball should adopt the policy that protective eye wears are mandated for all kids playing Floorball in the USA (just like in Finland for example). And we hope that Texas that now introduce Floorball to some 316 schools also use protective eye wear since we think it is the sensitive thing to do.

For the sake of the kids and the sport.

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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!