If you’re reading this hopefully you’ve been learning about Floorball and have been reading up on the sport. If not, we have a plethora of blogs on the topic to comb through. You might be interested in the benefits it can bring to your program, and you’re curious about taking the next step. While teaching the sport is important you also want to think about the overall experience your players will have when playing. You may have to make some adaptations to your program to fit your groups needs or space restrictions.
Playing Area/Boundaries: Unless you can afford boards or have space to simulate a rink, it’s likely that you’ll be using some sort of line or walls as a field barrier. In most cases instructors will be limited by space and other factors. Don’t let that be a hindrance. Get creative with what you have.
Factors to consider when determining rink size:
- Age of the participants: Younger players will get more out of the game by playing in a smaller area. This will give them more opportunities to play the ball as opposed to chase it.
- Size of space available: You may need to break your space into smaller playing areas to maximize overall engagement.
- Number of participants. If needed you can play 3v3, 4v4, or 5v5. This also may depend on the number of sticks available.
- In looking at your space, what hazards are present that can or cannot be moved? What can you do to protect players from hitting potential hazards?
Having a rink is an added perk to the sport. It is not necessary to play, and often, schools can’t afford the cost. In many cases schools have one or two gyms; or a multi-purpose room that will suffice. Look around, and you will find space to play that suit your needs. Official-size goals are not required to play. In many cases facilities, will already have goals (PUG goals, smaller hockey/soccer goals, or even a milk crate will work) that can be adapted for a variety of scenarios.
Guarding the Goal: If you are not using goalies one option is to place a small goal box on the ground to mark the goalie area. Players are not allowed in the box, but sticks may enter the box. This will help give players a visual reference to stay out of, and help with overall fun of the game. If you don’t want to put anything on the floor you can use lines on a gym floor to designate the goalie area. It won’t be perfect but it will help. If you’re outside use chalk to mark the goal box. If you’re going to use tape please put specific floor tape down. Avoid masking or duct tape. This is important, especially if you’re renting space. You’ll want to buy floor tape that will not damage or leave residue on the floor when removed. It’ll keep the maintenance staff happy in the end which is always a good thing to do.
High Stick Rule: This is by far the most important rule for instructors to enforce. High sticks can lead to dangerous situations and may cause injuries. Drive home the point that players must always keep their sticks below their waist. Reinforce this point during shots noting back swing and follow through needing to stay below the waist. Emphasize that players can’t touch the ball with their stick above the knee. It is likely that you’ll need to remind beginning players about this rule on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to spend time reminding players each day/week of these safety rules. During play I’ve found that using verbal cues can be an effective learning tool to reinforce this rule. I may or may not stop play each time someone raises their stick, but I will make point to address it as play continues, unless it’s dangerous play.
Everyone learns at a different pace. When you think through how you’ll teach Floorball you may need to make some adaptations along the way. Make sure that you’re teaching the rules and essence of the Floorball, and as your players improve the learning curve will increase. As it increases the level of play increases, which in turns improves overall game play. Give it some time. It won’t happen overnight, but make sure you’re playing the game as designed and not a form of hockey. If you need help or more resources check out our book to help you out.