If it was possible to take a look and see the future it would be interesting, especially now, to see what sports would look like. What things would have changed in the next 5, 10, or even 20 years from now? Will certain powerhouse sport still dominate? Will others rise to take their place?
I’ve said this for years and will continue to believe it. Floorball is coming and is primed to make an impact. There’s something with the sport that if done right will make a huge impact. If we look at the development right now it could be the start. The North American Floorball League has potential, and we’ll see that in the next year.
The bigger emphasis to this should be youth. While an argument can be made for a top tier league, if there’s nothing done at the youth levels to drive interest it won’t matter much. We need to develop youth players who grow up to play at the top tier. There needs to be more emphasis on that than importing players from outside the US. How can you develop long term fans if there isn’t a dream that they’ll one day play at that level? So what does the future hold?
I think in the next five years Floorball will break through at the youth levels. People’s preferences will change. I see less emphasis on travel teams and more emphasis on the local and regional levels across most sports. I’m also hopeful that we’ll see more girls involved in sports pushing the game forward. I see more youth instruction, programs, and businesses popping up to meet the new changes. That won’t stop with just Floorball. I see more interest in non-traditional sports growing as the cost to play certain sports will ultimately outprice the number of people able to afford it.
Some of this may also be driven by a reduction in collegiate athletics. Will budget cuts and other factors constrain smaller sports? What impacts will that have in the long term for interest. Are parents willing to shell out loads of money if they’re child won’t have a shot at the next level? Will we see more minor league systems set up as a result, and if so, what impact would those have?
So many what ifs stare us in the face. In an ever-changing landscape we’ll have to wait and see what change and what stays the same.