What’s in the name Floorball?

What is Floorball? Wikipedia describes it as, “a type of floor hockey with five players and a goalkeeper in each team. Men and women play indoors with 96–115.5 cm-long (37.8–45.5 in) sticks and a 22–23 cm-circumference (8.7–9.1 in) plastic ball with holes. Matches are played in three twenty-minute periods.” Just basing it off of that description one would liken it to any number of similar sports. However, talk to someone about Floorball and you’ll likely get some blank stares. The fact is that many people don’t know it exists, but even within the sport it is known by a different name.

As the sport continues to push forward it is vital that it protects its brand/image along the way. Personally I think there is some confusion when people talk about the sport. Within the Floorball community there is a separation between consistencies in what to call the sport. Depending on where you live there are different words to describe the same sport (Unihockey, Innebandy, Salibandy). Even floor hockey, which has a long past of being played in North American schools adds to the confusion. I think all of this adds to a bit of confusion on the sport. Hockey is hockey, basketball is basketball, football is football (unless you’re in the North America where it’s called soccer, and there much debate and annoyance on that too).  I’ve had a variety of conversations about this topic, and what should the sport be called. I think by having the sport known by different names based on similar but different sports only adds to the confusion.

The names “salibandy” and “innebandy” are derived from bandy; they translate to “hall bandy” and “indoor bandy” respectively. Unihockey is derived from “universal hockey” since it is meant to be a special and simplified hockey form. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these names, but when one describes a sport it should be universally understood what you’re talking about. I think as a group the sport should be called Floorball universally. I’m not intending to go on a rant or tear anything down, but I think it’s something worth noting. When we all speak the same language it makes it easier to keep things consistent. It’s a small thing in reality, but I think in the long term it’s important.

I’m not the one who makes that decision and I’m thankful for that. There’s more people involved in the community to make those decisions, and in my opinion it’s already decided by the International Floorball Federation. Just my two cents.

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