Floorball, a type of floor Hockey, is an indoor team sport
which was developed in the 1970s in Sweden. Floorball is most popular in areas where the sport has developed the longest, such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. The game is played indoors on a wooden or rubber mat floor or just a basketball court, making it a year-round sport at amateur and professional levels. There are professional leagues, such as Finland's Salibandyliiga and Sweden's Svenska Superligan. While there are 55 members of the International Floorball Federation (IFF), the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland have finished in most of the coveted 1st, 2nd and 3rd places at the World Floorball Championships. In addition to those four countries, floorball is gaining popularity in countries such as Latvia, Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and the United States. The world floorball championships are an annual event where teams from across the world gather to play in a tournament in order to win the world championship. As of 2011, eight Men's, eight Women's, six Men's Under-19, and four Women's Under-19 World Floorball Championships have taken place. The Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland remain the only five countries to have ever captured a medal at a World Championship event. The Men's World Floorball Championships take place every December (since 2008) in every even year. The Women's World Floorball Championships take place every December (since 2009) in everyODD year. The Men's under-19 World Floorball Championships take place every May (since 2009) in every odd year. The Women's under-19 World Floorball Championships take place every May (since 2008) in every even year. From 1996 to 2009, the IFF used a World Floorball Championship format where the last team in the A-Division was relegated to the B-Division, while the top team in the B-Division was promoted to the A-Division. This format caused much hardship for countries such as Australia, Canada, Slovakia, and Spain, who have all been trying to get to the B-Division from the C-Division since 2004. In 2010, the IFF adopted a FIFA-like continental qualification system, where teams must qualify to play at the world championships. Depending on the number of countries registered per continent or region, the IFF gives spots for the world championships. For example, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the United States would need to play for one spot at the world championships in a continental qualification tournament for the Americas. In addition to the World Floorball Championships, there are other IFF Events for club teams such as the Champions Cup which is for the national competition winners from the Top-4 ranked nations, and the EuroFloorball Cup for the national competition winners from the 5th and lower ranked nations. There are also many international floorball club competitions. Gameplay Floorball is played indoors on a rink whose size can officially vary from 18–22 meters wide to 36–44 meters long. The rink is surrounded by 50 cm high enclosed boards with rounded corners. The goals are 160 cm wide and 115 cm high. Their depth is 65 cm and they are 2.85 meters from the end of the nearest boards. Equipment Typical equipment for a floorball player consists of a stick, a pair of shorts, a shirt, socks, and indoor sport shoes. In addition to that, players are allowed to wear shin guards, eye protectors and protective padding for vital areas, although most don't. Protective eyewear is in some countries compulsory for junior players. A floorball stick is short compared with ice hockey; the maximum size for a stick is 114 cm. As a stick cannot weigh any more than 350 grams, floorball manufacturers produce sticks that are often made of carbon and composite materials. Goalkeepers wear protection that is very limited; padded pants, a padded chest protector, and a helmet. The goalkeeper can also wear other protective equipment, such as gloves, but bulky padding is not permitted. Some of this other protective equipment includes knee and elbow pads. Goalkeepers do not use sticks; instead, they use their hands to play the ball. A floor ball weighs 23 grams and its diameter is 72 mm. It has 26 holes in it; each of which are 10 mm in diameter. Many of these balls now are made with aerodynamic technology, where the ball has over a thousand small dimples in it that reduce air resistance. There have been several times where a ball has been recorded to have traveled at a speed of approximately 200 km/h Rules Each team can field six players at a time on the court, one player being a goalkeeper. But the coach can take the goalkeeper off for a short amount of time, and switch him with a field player. This can make advantages for the attacking side of the team, and disadvantages when it comes to their own defence. The team is also allowed to change players any time in the game, usually they change the whole team. Individual substitution happens sometimes, but it usually happens when a player is exhausted or is hurt. A floorball game is officially played over three periods lasting 20 minutes each (15 minutes for juniors). The time is stopped in the case of penalties, goals, time-outs and any situation where the ball is not considered to be in play. An intermission of 10 minutes takes place between each period, where teams change ends and substitution areas. Each team is allowed one timeout of 30 seconds (which is often used late in matches). There are two referees to oversee the game, each with equal authority. Checking is disallowed in floorball. Controlled shoulder-to-shoulder contact is allowed, but ice hockey-like checking is forbidden. Pushing players without the ball or competing for a loose ball is also disallowed, and many of these infractions lead to two minute penalties. The best comparison in terms of legal physical contact is football, where checking is used to improve one's positioning in relation to the ball rather than to remove an opposing player from the play. In addition to checking, players cannot lift another opponents stick or perform any stick infractions in order to get to the ball. As well, players may not raise their stick or play the ball above their knee level, and a stick cannot be placed in between a player's legs (to avoid tripping). When a player commits a foul, or when the ball is deemed unplayable, play is resumed from a free-hit or a face-off. A free hit involves a player from one team to start play from the place where the ball was last deemed unplayable. A comparison of this is a free kick in soccer. For many fouls, such as stick infractions, a free hit is the only discipline provided. However, at the referee's discretion, a penalty may be worth either two or five minutes. At that point, the player who committed the foul sits in the penalty area, and his team is short handed for the time of the penalty. If an 'extreme' foul is committed, such as physical contact or unsportsmanlike behavior, a player may receive a 10 minute penalty or even a match misconduct. International Floorball Federation - Rules of the Game & IFF Regulations By PRESIDENT over 3 years ago Floorball Super Shot by Martin Östholm & Top 10 Floorball Goals Floorball Super Shot by Martin Östholm Innebandy Magazinet - Top 10 Floorball Goals Erik Härkönen fantastic goal against Storvreta Erik Härkönen (SPV) between the legs flo... By PRESIDENT almost 4 years ago Team Sweden - Men´s U19 World Floorball Champions Sweden have regained the title of Men´s U19 World Floorball Champions with a 6-2 win over Switzerland. Switzerland won against Finland yesterday in the semifinal and had their spot in the final for... By PRESIDENT over 3 years ago What is Hockey HISTORY Floorball was originally played like Cosom or Floor Hockey.