I spend a lot of time talking to people about Floorball. I love to talk about Floorball. It is a clear passion in my life, and I want others to find that same passion. We talk about what it is, that it exists, and why it’s beneficial. I’ll talk to anyone who will listen. My approach will vary depending on who I am talking to because everyone has different needs and reasons to consider Floorball. What I’ve found in my talks is that there are some specific barriers, but that they are not insurmountable to overcome. In fact, if we step back and think about it there are some simple and complex answers out there.
There are two methods to selling Floorball. First, there’s the retail aspect. While this is needed the market is still developing, and to sell someone on a new sport there needs to be a framework of education behind it. I think it’s hard to sell a sport by talking about the benefits it brings stating how amazing it is, and then follow it up with, buy my equipment. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but I believe it is a more difficult approach as a developing sport. On the other side, a company that focuses solely on the education side may find it easier to step in and help programs get started, people trained, and groups playing. However, without the retail side it’s a lot harder. There needs to be a balance between all sides of the equation.
Another barrier is training and developing officials. Finding, training, and keeping officials is a struggle for many sports for many reasons. However, in the current format for Floorball most training happens face to face. While this is an effective method for training there aren’t enough trainers out there to train, and the costs associated with traveling is cost prohibitive for many. One way to help is to utilize technology to help train and develop officials. An ideal method would be to create a blended development process using both technology and face to face training to meet the growing needs of the sport across the country. I think there’s no doubt that training officials is important to long term growth as a sport, and utilizing technology in this manner could help bridge the gap in the beginning. As more leagues, clubs, and programs develop and grow it will make the process of training officials face to face that much easier. That won’t happen in the beginning which makes using technology that much more important.
Floorball is full of potential. It’s a fun, fast, and inclusive sport. It has already shown to be a popular fit in many countries, and it’s only a matter of time until it fully catches on in North America. The more information, resources, and training that are out there, the more open people will be to giving Floorball a chance. Hopefully we’ll see more of these areas develop over time, and with it build a following that will help launch Floorball into the mainstream.