Floorball is advancing around the world. As more people become aware of it, more begin to see it as having value. Where there are still challenges ahead for the sport, I believe it’s currently headed in the right direction. However, in order for it to take hold I’ve noticed some things that need to be addressed.
By all intents and purposes Floorball is a cost effective sport. Gyms are far cheaper and more readily available that ice, though depending on the time of year you’re going to have to fight with other established sports such as volleyball and basketball to find space. Not impossible, but it may be more challenging in the winter months than the spring and summer months. Something to think about. Individual sticks are relatively cheap, and starting at about $30 makes it one of the more affordable sports on the market. However, one of the key strategies to growth of the sport in the US specifically is getting it into schools.
Unfortunately schools physical education program budgets tend to be on the smaller side and at $30 a stick with an average class size of 36-40 that cost can be too much. This presents a problem especially when there are cheaper alternatives in the long established floor hockey program. While the two are similar they differ in type of equipment and rules, but that may matter little when a Floorball stick costs double that of a generic floor hockey stick. The skill sets are the same, and given state standards they movements are identical. Therein lies part of the problem.
If you’ve been promoting, playing, or teaching Floorball you know the impact it has on kids. There is no doubt about it. To become an accepted and taught sport specifically in schools we need to break down any barrier or reason not to participate. This is challenge for sure, and there aren’t easy answers to it. One way I’ve approached it is to do it myself. I teach classes in my local community, I run demos, leagues, camps, and engage the local public in the sport. I work to make connections within the school districts around me and open opportunities to engage kids in those schools. I work to find and pass along grant opportunities for teachers, and show them why they should invest in a Floorball program. The reality is that none of that is a magic bullet. It’s never going to be one thing that pushes this sport forward. It’s going to take a lot of work, energy and supporters to make it happen.
If you’re working to expand the sport you already know this. You might be frustrated by the reality of it. You may see the various benefits from personal to business that the sport holds. I implore you to keep pushing. Keep selling the sport, keep investing in why you’re involved in Floorball. There’s something happening in the sports world, and I believe Floorball will play a key role in the future.