The development of Floorball doesn’t stop at the youth or adult recreation or club levels. In order to provide more competitive sport opportunities it will be important for the growth of the sport to matriculate into the collegiate level.
It is likely that there won’t be an immediate jump to add floorball as a varsity sport on Colleges and Universities. There are obvious hurdles to making that move a reality. However, one aspect to it being a widely accepted sport is the emphasis on promoting women in the sport from the top down. The International Floorball Federation has made strides to promote floorball among women by developing the Go Girls program designed to increase participation. The IFF has outlined a number of resources focused on female participation in the sport. Participation rates are increasing with over 31 countries competing in the recent qualification tournament for the 2017 Women’s World Floorball Championships.
While the sport is growing throughout the world it is still lacking in growth in the US. Part of the problem is the overall development of the sport in the US is still primarily new. While clubs, programs, and tournaments are being created and growing, there isn’t a dedicated female program yet. In order for the sport to grow in the US it needs to ensure that there is a continued commitment to developing female players. In order for the sport to grow development through collegiate Intramural Sports will be crucial. The next step at Universities and a more viable option will be to position floorball as a club sport. Club sports traditionally are made up of non-varsity players that still compete at a high level but do not receive the same funding from the University as varsity sports. Rugby is a good example of a sport that is gaining popularity and developing collegiate club team, which form into leagues that aren’t solely defined by DI, DII, DIII status. Floorball could easily form leagues regionally across the country utilizing this format. Whether that would progress into a full-fledged NCAA varsity sport would take more time and development.
Title IX will also play a factor into the development of floorball at this level. Floorball can be an attractive sport for many, and because it’s already well established at the international level it could be a perfect fit for you athletic programs looking to increase female participation in sports. With more and more kids and parents looking for more options to get involved in sports at the collegiate level floorball could meet the need for a new, exciting, and low contact sport. If the development is focused from the youth level upward there is a real possibility for floorball to become a force in the collegiate athletic world.