If you’re looking to start a Floorball league, you’re going to need to make sure you’ve got a few things covered. Aside from the business and marketing components to the process you’re going to want to focus on two key areas to ensure success. Those two areas are education of the players, and quality officials.
Let’s cover the importance of education. Like any sport Floorball has a set of rules. We’re not playing hockey or a version of hockey. It’s important to know and understand the differences. The key in that understanding is being able to properly educate all players on the rules of the game. The number of people that know about Floorball is on the smaller side. It will require dedication to ensure everyone involved is playing the game as designed. You may choose to make some small tweaks, such as not enforcing penalties, but it is important to be adhering to the rules of the game. I’m talking about stick fouls, body contact, and safety.
You may choose to use or not use every rule in the IFF Handbook, but it will be important to establish a base set of league rules. I would recommend running a variety of demo events to give players a chance to learn and play the sport. These events become important marketing tools when working to start and grow your league. A good league must attract new players while maintaining a percentage of returners. At the same time, if everyone knows how to play that will help with overall game play. Make sure to spend time on these areas.
Next let’s talk about officials. Every league hinge on the quality of officials. A good league works to develop officials into leaders who then help up and coming officials learn the ropes. This is a crucial component to any league and can be an afterthought in the process. The keys to officiating are having a solid foundation of the rules, and the ability to control the game. The second part is much more challenging and requires skill and experience.
Make sure to take time to train and develop your officials. Give them proper feedback. Know that they’re going to make mistakes. There is no need to badger someone on a mistake, but work to improve their level of professionalism, knowledge, and hopefully make the right choice the next time. It’s about the experience. At all times make sure that they are protected. Without the officials you don’t have a league.
Here’s where I’ll pivot a bit from most. There are a variety of ways to attack the league format. The leagues success is getting as many people involved as possible. Part of that process is building a community that people want to be involved in. In the end it comes down to the type of league you want. I believe that the best route for many is to develop recreation-based leagues for people to learn, experience, and have fun playing Floorball. It should be inviting for all skill levels. Over time the ability to distinguish multiple levels of play will come as more people get involved. They first step is getting people involved.