Floorball is a growing worldwide sport. As time progresses, more people not only find out about the sport, but they also get involved. As a collective, we’re seeing more overall engagement and it’s due to a growing interest. It doesn’t stop there. We need more programs, events, and businesses surrounding the sport to step in and get started.
If you know Floorball Guru you know we’ll always push the growth of youth above all else. Developing kids to learn, love, and play Floorball is crucial to any long-term development. It’s been our focus for the last five years, and we’re excited to help others get involved in that space as well. We’ve been focused at the local level and will continue to do so.
Part of the growth of any sport is providing opportunities for players to grow into. There needs to be a variety of levels for players to learn, develop, and grow. This is where the development of leagues becomes important. If you look at most sports, Floorball included, you’ll see a multi-leveled tier of competitive play. This is important in player and sport development on several levels. It starts with youth development and evolves into high level adult competition. It’s been a proven model over time. Depending on where you are in the world this is already well established, and throughout the world there are varying levels of development.
Recently it was announced that a new league was being created in North America simply called, the North American Floorball League. This is an intriguing proposition to start a top tier Floorball league that would ideally encompass teams throughout North America. As the information states the league is slated to start the summer of 2021. Right now, it’s in the infancy stage of development. There is some information out about the league, but also lots of questions. Currently there are not established teams/owners, but that process is happening right now.
What will the league look like? From the information provided the goal is to have 8 teams competing over 4-5 weeks culminating in a championship. There are a lot of details that need to be figured out and the organizing group is working through that process. I’m sure there will be more detailed information and answers to questions coming out as this process progresses. It will be interesting to see how all of this unfolds, and we’ll be following along, as I assume many will too.
Will this league get off the ground and succeed? It’s hard to say honestly. Personally I think this is too early in the development of the sport in North America to jump to this. We’re still working through education, awareness and development of the sport. In the long term I’d rather see more youth programs started, leagues built and developed to better build a fan base to support a top tier league. It seems that the goal is to draw players from outside the country to come and play. You can argue multiple sides to this approach and all would be valid, assuming there was an ultimate goal/mission in mind. If the goal of the league is to raise awareness about the sport for a fan base and have top tier competition great. What about after that? I don’t think a top down approach will work in this instance. Exposure to something without the medium to keep interest is a fleeting effort.
I’m less inclined to think that this venture will succeed. It has nothing to do with the people involved or approach. Given the information we’ve received so far, and in thinking through the process I see too many hurdles. I love the sport, and frankly I hope I’m proven wrong. I will have no problem coming back and saying I was totally wrong in my evaluation. Given that the target is North America there are several challenges to solve. From team ownership, league and player structures, scheduling, facilities, marketing, personnel management, to operating internationally. This is a huge undertaking looking to draw teams/players from all corners. Will it be around for years to come? No one knows. Will it succeed in it’s mission? We will see.
Ultimately, we’ll never know until something gets started. For it to flourish in the long-term the league will need to establish a solid pool of players and development, which one would hope would be from North America. A solid fan base will also be important. Floorball has all the ingredients for that to happen so it’s exciting to see new things pop up. Keep an eye out through the next year. More Floorball is always a good thing so we’ll happily wait, see, and support how we can to see this thing through. You have to be willing to take the step before you can move forward. I wish all involved luck.