To grow the sport of floorball there must be a continued focus on various factors.
The first step is educating people about the sport and the benefits that is has for them. In the US kids are already being taught floor hockey through physical education. This is usually done in smaller lessons over a short period. Students are taught basic skills and rules of the game. Growing up this was always my favorite P.E. activity, yet the equipment was always lacking. Over the last year I’ve spent a more concerted effort educating P.E. teachers about floorball and why it is better suited to teach and play than floor hockey. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time, energy, and resources to inform and educate people and get them involved. The second step will be focused on developing a youth system.
The great thing about kids is that they tend to be open to new experiences. If you throw in a stick and a ball it doesn’t take much to get them involved. In my experience when I’ve introduced floorball to kids they’re normally very excited to get their hands on the equipment and start playing. To develop players, we need to get them in front of the sport. One way to do that will be to offer classes within school, and through outside instruction. While some areas may be able to jump right into building teams and competing the majority will not be able to readily do so. It will be important to teach the proper rules and game play to ensure that players are learning and playing the sport in accordance with the International Floorball Federation. This will help in the long term as more players begin to compete in organized events and international tournaments.
As the saying goes, kids are the future, and with them the sport of floorball will grow dramatically. Floorball provides options for kids and parents looking for more opportunities to learn, develop, and get involved in sports. There are several challenges need to be overcome to build the sport. For many learning about the sport they may feel apprehensive in learning and starting a new sport they may know little to nothing about. In doing some research there are a few programs out there available to help along the way. In some cases, there are floorball curriculums that have been developed for this specific purpose. The beauty of sport is that you can be creative, and you can draw on a wealth of knowledge from those around you to make this happen. This is one of main reasons I started writing these blogs and started Floorball Guru. I want to use my knowledge and expertise to work with other like-minded people who see the value in floorball that I do. If you’re interested in getting started please reach out to me and let’s create partnerships to grow the sport.
You have a floorball program up and running, you have players, teams forming, but you don’t have any consistent goalies.
That is pretty normal problem for any sport that involves the position of a goalie to play. While there are alternatives to have a real goalie such as using a shooter trainer in front of the goal, or by using smaller goals with no goalie, nothing is quite the same as having a live goalie in the mix. Playing with goalies changes a number of aspects of the game on the defensive and offensive side of the ball. However, there are some barriers to that mainly the cost associated to purchase the necessary protective equipment. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a shot you know how important it is for goalies to have the proper equipment. If you’re lucky and have someone who’s dedicated to the position they’ll invest in getting the equipment needed to play. While having head to toe protection is nice there are a number of options out there that can do that job to get by.
Where you’re an individual looking to buy gear or a program looking to have gear on hand the top three pieces of equipment that are a must have are a helmet, knee pads, and chest protector. Aside from the helmet you can pretty much piece together the rest to make it work. If you’re looking to have equipment available for multiple users, such as at a facility, you’ll want to purchase multiples and take into account sanitary and cleaning procedures. In some cases you might already have some of this equipment if you’re moving from ball hockey to floorball. There’s nothing that says you can’t use the same helmet and chest protector. Depending on your situation the catcher style chest protector might be a better financial option for your program. Sometimes you use what you have to make it work, and for recreational purposes that works just fine.
When you’re looking at goalie equipment there is a lot out there online and for the most part it’s all very similar. Like any product floorball goalie gear is focused around protection, comfort, and the ability to absorb energy to control the ball (think minimizing rebounds). One thing to note is that a floorball goalie helmet is not the same as an ice hockey helmet. While there share a lot of the same characteristics floorball helmets are considerably lighter, and are very similar to street hockey goalie helmets. Pricing will vary as any other piece of equipment, but depending on what your needs are or your personal preferences there is a variety out there to meet your needs. The same goes for knee padding. A number of floorball companies sell knee pads, but floorball knee pads vary from volleyball pads. Floorball knee pads are typically large and provide more complete protection around the knee. In some cases they will also extend down to the middle of the shin for additional protection.
The biggest thing is don’t worry about the initial cost. You don’t need every piece of equipment right off the bat, and in many cases those who like playing goalie will go out and buy their own gear. Just don’t be shy in using goalies or getting some minimal piece of gear to get things going.