The Floorball World has come to North America, specifically Nova Scotia. For the first time the U19 Men’s World Floorball Championships were played outside of Europe. It’s not the first time Canada has hosted a WFC. In fact they hosted the U19 Women’s tournament a few years prior. These are crucial steps in the development of the sport as it begins to spread its influence around the world.
I was fortunate enough to be there for the event in Nova Scotia. I am thankful to have played a small part in the process having been invited by Premier Floorball, a company working to expand the sport across North America. My main role was to be an ambassador of the sport. Frankly, I’m happy to carry that role if it helps further the cause. I’ve been able to coach in the U19 Women’s WFC and having the chance to be a spectator is a treat. When you’re coaching or playing your focus is on the task at hand. There is little time to do much else during the event. Having a chance to sit down and just enjoy the games before me was special. Sadly I don’t get many opportunities to do that so when they come around I make sure to take full advantage. The fun part for me is getting to watch the little nuances of the players and coaches that you don’t see watching online.
The World Floorball Championships are a spectacle in their own right. You bring the top 16 or so countries around the world to one place to compete. While there are games with likely outcomes given past performances, there are always a few surprises along the way too. What I like about the event from a fans perspective is that all games are steamed live. However, it doesn’t capture the game the same was as seeing it firsthand. In the vastly underdeveloped space of North America it is vital to give spectators opportunities to see and engage with the sport in person. Doing so build excitement and passion that carries on after the event. It’s the same phenomenon we see after an event like the World Cup. People see it, experience it, and fall in love with it and that translates into participation or at least an interest in the sport leading up to and after the event. That can’t be lost on its importance, and I think the Nova Scotia area will see positive engagement in Floorball as a result.
Hosting an event like this is a huge undertaking. There is so much that’s happening behind the scenes that no one knows about. It requires a talented and dedicated group of individuals in order to make it happen. It also requires a large financial commitment too. For those who sponsor Floorball and surrounding events a huge thanks for the support. As we look forward the US will play host to the World Games in 2021 in Alabama. Floorball will play a part in that event. The potential impact that event will have on growth in Floorball can’t be lost. There’s a lot happening and a lot of excitement for the sport going forward. Join us and get involved.