An Inclusive Game

As is the mantra of many organization and people the notion of inclusion is prevalent throughout the floorball community.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to play regardless of where they’re coming from.  We’ve seen this play out through Special Olympics, Paralympics, and Title IX, based on the idea that everyone should be able to play.

As coaches and facilitators we’re tasked with figuring out how to make sports more adaptable and inclusive for our participants.   Whether we need to adjust a piece of equipment or rule the goal should be to create opportunities for all wherever they are.

The International Floorball Federation has partnered with various organizations in order to spread floorball throughout the world.  As a result the IFF launched a number of programs and partnerships in order to bring floorball to the world.  In the past year there have been big stride through partnerships with Special Olympics and floorball being an official sport in the World Games in 2017.  Through these partnerships the IFF is reaching out to developing countries such as the Middle East and Africa in order to educate and help programs start there.  At the 2017 Special Olympics World Games Africa was represented in floorball for the first time.

For organizations or groups looking to be more inclusive floorball is a great sport to help with that mission.  The equipment and rules can be easily modified to be more inclusive allowing more players to engage in the sport.  Special Olympics has taken steps to build more inclusion through their Unified Sports programs which pairs athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.  Their focus is to break down stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities.  The program is relatively new but has grown, and they’re in America they’re in the midst of adding floorball as a unified sport.

For physical education programs floorball can be used as an inclusive sport with all students regardless of ability.  While it may take some creativity to find appropriate adaptations to equipment or rules it can and should be a priority to ensure inclusion for all.

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