Youth Programming

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.

Starting A Floorball Program? Now What?

Starting anything requires not only knowledge, but strategy. Simply getting the Floorball sticks, ball and potentially goalie equipment is not enough.

As with anything, the more expertise you have in your undertaking, the better result you will achieve.

Floorball is starting to catch with communities, who are browsing online, asking questions, and considering starting up their own team or league. Whether you happened to discover the sport online, through a video or blog post, the game of Floorball has many facets you should consider in order to build a team or league correctly.

If you had the opportunity you went out a played a scrimmage, or you watched a video purchased a stick and a ball.  You may have even begun to develop a passion for the sport.  You see the value of floorball as a viable sport for yourself, your kids, and your community.  Now what?  Where do you begin?

Fortunately you’re not alone.  Like any newer sport the opportunities to play can be somewhat limited.  However, the beauty of the sport is that it doesn’t need to be confined to space, facility, people, or organizations.   Fortunately the cost to get into the sport is relatively cheap.  You can purchase an entry level stick for $30-50, buy a ball and goals and you’re set.  If you’re wanting to invest a little more into equipment there are floorball companies like Generation Floorball out of New York that sell packages of sticks for groups, teams, etc.  However, in many cases you’ll be the first one with a stick and need to grow your group through your contacts.  Initially you’ll spend a large amount of time educating friends, family, coworkers, and anyone who’ll listen about the sport of floorball.  My experience has been to focus on small gatherings in order to help teach the rules, game play and ensure a fun experience.  For the most I’ve been focused on the informal process to get people coming and playing.  Once people get a hang of the rules and how to play the level of play will increase accordingly.

Whether you’re looking to start a weekly pick-up game, or a full-fledged league the biggest challenge will be finding space to play.  The beauty of floorball is that you can play almost anywhere.  If the weather is not (not raining at least) go outside and find a community basketball court, or tennis court to play in.  Thankfully for most cities there are plenty of both to set up shop, and they’re free.  If you’re looking to go inside you’ll want to contact your local parks and recreation department to rent, or if you’re able to use them to create a partnership in order to offset the facility rental.  Once you have established a consistent space use your contacts and social media to create a club that can be found by anyone.  The goal is to get people playing and the more interest for your club or group the easier it will be to determine if you should begin looking at a league.  For collegiate intramurals you can use your facility to host one day demo sessions to gain interest and gain feedback from your students.  Based on that interest you’ll have a better idea of how to frame your intramural league.

However, you decide to start or grow your group don’t be discouraged.  It’ll likely take some time to get people connected and aware of the sport.  Keep pushing and talking about what you’re doing.  If you’re able to you might want to think about running youth classes as a way to grow the sport in your region.  The important thing when starting out is ensuring an inclusive and fun environment for all to partake.  Now get out there and start your group.