Floorball has some great components to it that make it a fun and exciting sport to play and watch. Like hockey and indoor soccer, Floorball is played using a rink. The rink is built using a portable board system. The boards themselves are comprised of plastic and fiber glass. They are light weight and compact.
A full rink at 40×20 meters will have approximately 52 individual pieces and four corners. The size of each board will vary slightly but will fall around 2 meters long, while the height of boards reaches around 50cm. To connect the rink together each board uses variations of tongue and groove construction and is latched using bungee cords. By connecting the rink in the fashion, it allows the boards to move or break apart. Unlike hockey a Floorball rink is not anchored to the ground. Due to how light and portable the boards are a Floorball rink can be set up just about anywhere on any surface. This is an important piece to the development of Floorball because it opens doors to where it can be played.
There is one key component to the growth of Floorball in North America that I feel must be addressed for it to really take off. The cost to purchase a rink is expensive. Right now, in the US you can purchase a rink for about $6,000, before taxes and shipping. Shipping cost will vary but plan on 400-800 in shipping depending on how far away you are from the source. You will also find options overseas, and while they may be a bit cheaper you’ll have to do some research into the process. I’ve seen quotes for one rink for just shipping land anywhere from $1,100-2,500. Depending on where you can source a rink from your total cost could be pushing $8,000-10,000. I don’t know lot of businesses or organizations that can afford to spend that kind of money on a new sport.
With Floorball still growing the ability to convince a boss, or board of directors group to spend that kind of money is a challenge, and one that is an uphill battle. We need to figure out how to bring the cost of a rink down to a more manageable cost.
People want to play a sport the way it is designed to be played. One of the struggles I run into is distinguishing Floorball from floor hockey. You’ll hear comments referring Floorball to P.E. hockey, when someone sees Floorball being played in a gym. A rink is the clearest way to show that difference. Having a rink also adds some excitement, especially for kids. Kids are already excited about Floorball. I’ve yet to find a group that has completely pushed it aside, even at the high school levels. We need that excitement.
We need to capture it, grow it, and sustain it. If we can’t show people how to play the sport as intended we’re missing a huge opportunity. If we’re going to get Floorball into schools and businesses we need to figure out an effective solution to this problem. Doing so will greatly help the long-term growth of Floorball in North America.