In various forms the game has been played since the early 20th Century in Canada as a recreational sport, especially in high school gymnasiums, as a playful variant of hockey, where the sticks got their form from the hockey game bandy. Most Canadian men born in the 1950s and before could attest to this. Similarly, during the 1950s and 1960s many public school systems within Michigan incorporated floorball into their primary and secondary school gym classes. Later, Americans claimed to have invented it, and held interstate tournaments in the 1960s. The game was formally organized as an international and more organised sport in the late 1970s in Gothenburg, Sweden. The sport began as something that was played for fun as a pastime in schools. After a decade or so, floorball began showing up in Nordic countries where the former schoolyard pastime was becoming a developed sport. Formal rules soon were developed, and clubs began to form. After some time, several countries developed national associations, and the IFF was founded in 1986.
The game of floorball is also known by many other names, such as salibandy (in Finland), innebandy (in Sweden and Norway), and unihockey (in Switzerland and Ireland). The names "salibandy" and "innebandy" are derived from bandy; they translate to "hall bandy" and "indoor bandy" respectively. Unihockey is derived from "universal hockey" since it is meant to be a special and simplified hockey form.
Floorball is played in a match between two teams consisting of five field players and a goalkeeper in the rink at one time. The idea of the game is to score more goals than the opposite team within the limits of the rules. The basic roles of the players are forwards, defenders and goalkeepers.
Floorball is a sport which everybody can take part in and the rules encourage quick and technical play. When offences are made, free hits are given for the opponents and if offences are bad enough penalties are given. Players can be sent off for two, five, or ten minutes or for the rest of the game, depending on the severity of the offence. A penalized player is not allowed to leave the penalty bench area, until their penalty time has finished.
It is not allowed to:
The game time can vary depending on the age of players and the level of the match. In official matches the game time is 3 x 20 minutes effective time. During tournaments and in matches with young players other game times can be used, for example 2 x 15 minutes.
The basic equipment of a field player includes a stick, shoes and clothes suitable for playing. The goalkeeper has a helmet, goalkeeper pants, a jersey and protective gear. The IFF also strongly recommends the use of protective eye wear and for the junior players (under 18) the use eye protection is mandatory.
The development of floorball equipment has been fast. The shaft of the sticks has improved from heavy and thick plastic shafts to the modern, much lighter and advanced carbon fiber shafts. In the beginning all the blades were similar, but nowadays the form, material and stiffness of the available blades vary a lot. As the result of different shafts and blades, the floorball equipment manufacturers have each their own stick collection. Every brand offers different sticks for players with different qualities. The sticks for small children are shorter and bend more.
There are normally five outfield players and one goalkeeper for each team. The basic positions are: a goalkeeper, two defenders, a centre and two attackers.
There is a left defender and a right defender. Similarly, there is a left attacker and a right attacker. The latter two are often called left wing and right wing respectively.
A defender is primarily responsible for his or her side. An attacker is primarily responsible for his or her own side when in attack and to cover his opposing defender when the opponents are attacking.
The centre is responsible for supporting the attack and to support the defence. This means that centres are required to run a lot and have an excellent sense of positioning.
These areas are the primary zones of responsibility, and depending on the situation of the game, any of the players might be found elsewhere on the court. There is also a certain areas of overlap, and players may choose to swap roles during the game. This means that the left defender and the right defender may choose to swap. Another common scenario is that a defender comes into the attack, and then either the centre or the attacker from the same side drops back to temporarily take on the role of defender.
|Gorilla Gold||GSI by Riddell|
|McDavid||Mitchell & Ness|
|The Northwest Company||Trace|
|Twin City||Under Armour|