Choosing the Right Path

If you’re new to floorball or have been around for a little while you’ll recognize two things.  The first is that floorball is a great sport to get involved in.  The second is that if you’re looking to start a program it might take off faster than you’re prepared for.  In my experience the latter is tough to predict, but a real possibility in many communities looking for something new.  As a facility or organization everyone is out looking for the next big thing.  The problem is what to do with it when you find it.  There’s sustainable growth and then there’s growth beyond capacity.  For organizations just starting out that last thing you want is to have a program that grows beyond your ability to provide a quality service.   There’s a lot of planning that should happen when looking to start a new venture.

Like any new venture it’s best to take the time to think about what your goals are as well as some of the challenges ahead.  How does this program fulfill the mission of the organization?  Do you plan to purchase equipment?  Do you have or need to secure dedicated space to play?  Who is your target market?  What will the costs be to the consumer?  By taking the time to think through these questions and plan will allow you to better prepare for how to respond to challenges.  Those who aren’t currently businesses may need to look at creating and LLC or non-profit, but that isn’t always the case.  In some cases, it might be more beneficial to partner with local sports organizations and utilize their resources and network to create a mutually beneficial relationship.

The biggest challenge will be to educate players about the sport including the rules.  In areas where hockey is popular some of these steps may be easier than areas that do not play stick sports.  While that’s not always the case the ability for players to learn and pick up floorball skills will help in the development of programming to meet the needs of the consumer.  In my case, I’ve spent more time creating opportunities to learn and interact with the sport outside of an organized league.  Eventually I started an intramural league, but in the beginning my intent was to simply get it in front of people.  In most cases I let the sport speak for itself and let the players find the joy in playing.  That’s what keeps them coming back for more.

While leagues have their place, some organizations may not be interested in developing and managing the nuances of a league.  In this case the focus may be better suited in youth development through instructional classes.  For a facility looking to offer a new program this can be an effective way to educate players about the sport, get them involved, and build a base to start a league.  Whatever route you choose as an organization bring it back to how the sport will mesh with your overall mission.  In the end that will help guide you towards a decision that’s best for your organization.


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