Floorball is a fast-paced stick and ball sport that is safe, fun, inclusive, and easy to learn. There is no contact between opposing players. Play centers around ball control, quick passing and lots of running. Floorball was originally developed in Sweden where the game has been played since the mid 1970s. It is the fastest growing team sport in Europe. The roots of
Floorball can be found in many different sports; soccer, hockey, and basketball to name a few, which means that many concepts and strategies from those sports can be seen in Floorball. Floorball is governed by the International Floorball Federation (IFF). Currently there are 52 member nations with over 270,000 licensed players. It is estimated that there are over one million players worldwide. The World Championships are played every year in even years for Men and U19 Women (players under 19 years old), and in odd years for Women and U19 Men.
The rules of Floorball have one focus- the safety of the players. Contact between players or the player’s stick is not allowed. The ball cannot be played above the knees and players may not swing above the waist. Minor infractions lead to a free hit; play stops and the other team takes the ball from the location of the foul. Major infractions cause a shorthanded situation for the offending team. Floorball can be played with minor modifications to these rules. The most important thing to remember is the safety of all the players
Several factors should be observed in unit instruction. Reinforce these factors during drills to assist the student’s retention of the rules.
o Strictly enforce the rules on incorrect hits and stick contact. An incorrect hit is the most called infraction in floorball.
o Do not allow students to raise their sticks above the waist (can be modified to the knee); call high sticking quickly.
o Quickly call any violation of the rules against body contact
The rules of floorball gather elements from many other sports and combine them to shape a unique and exciting new sport. Although superficially similar to floor hockey, it is important to follow the rules of floorball closely in order to differentiate the two sports.
The object of the game is to hit the ball into the opponent’s goal. Goals count as one point.
An international regulation game consists of three 20-minute periods with a 10 minute break between each period. At the end of the game the team with the most points wins. Each team has five field players and a goalie. The players are generally described as:
o 1 goalie
o 2 defensemen
o 1 center
o 2 forwards
The game begins with a face-off at the middle of the centerline; a face-off also occurs after each correctly scored goal.
o The ball is placed on the center face off dot.
o All players on each team must be on their own side of the mid-line and must be at least 3m from the face off dot.
o The two players taking the face off should have their feet placed perpendicular to the center line. Each player shall have both his feet at the same distance from the center line.
o The blades shall be placed perpendicular to the center line on either side of the ball, but without touching it.
o The sticks shall be held with a normal grip (thumbs pointing downward) and with both hands above the grip mark of the stick.
o When the ball is damaged unintentionally (stepped on) there is a face-off from the nearest face-off dot. After the face-off the offense and defense battle for control of the ball; each team tries to advance the ball forward and score on the opponent’s goal. Play is continuous, players will be moving constantly. Substitutions are continuous as well: they take place in a defined substitution zone and may happen at any time.
Hit-Ins and Free Hits
Hit-ins and free hits are stoppages in play due to various game situations. They both share some of the same characteristics and can be considered almost identical. Hit-ins and free hits are crucial aspects of floorball and should be thoroughly understood.
A hit-in is given to the non-offending team when the ball leaves the rink. The offending team is considered to be the team whose player, or player’s equipment, last touched the ball before it left the rink. A free hit is awarded when a minor infraction of the rules occurs. They allow a team to stop, regroup, change lines, or execute set plays. They often lead to scoring situations when taken close to an opponent’s goal.
Common Aspects of Hit-Ins and Free Hits
o Both shall be taken from the location where the foul was committed or where the ball went out ofbounds.
o Neither is taken behind the imaginary extensions of the goal lines, instead they are moved to the nearest corner face-off dot.
o Opponents must stay at least 3m from the ball, sticks included.
o The player taking the free hit or hit-in does not have to wait for the opponents to take position.
o The ball shall be played cleanly with the stick, not dragged, flicked, or lifted on the stick.
o The player taking the free hit or hit-in must not touch the ball again before it has touched another player or another player’s equipment.
o Both hit-ins and free hits may go directly into the goal.
Events Leading to a Hit-in
o When the ball goes out-of-bounds or over the boards
o When the ball touches the ceiling or another object above the court.
o If the ball touches the ceiling or objects above the rink, the hit-in shall be taken 1.5 m from the board at the same distance from the center line.
Events Leading to a Free Hit
o When a player hits, blocks, lifts or kicks an opponent’s stick.
o When a player, in control of the ball or trying to reach it, hits an opponent’s foot or leg with his stick.
o When a player raises the blade of his stick above waist level
o When a field player uses any part of his stick or his foot, to play or try to play the ball above knee level.
o When a field player places his stick, foot, or leg between an opponent’s legs or feet.
o When a player, in control of the ball, or trying to reach it, forces or pushes an opponent in any way other than shoulder to shoulder.
o When a field player kicks the ball twice, unless in between each kick it has touched the player’s stick, another player or another player’s equipment.
o When a player receives a foot pass from a player in the same team.
o When a field player jumps up and stops the ball.
o When a hit-in or a free-hit is incorrectly performed or intentionally delayed.
o When a goalkeeper entirely leaves the goal crease during a throw-out.
o When a goalkeeper throws or kicks the ball over the center line.
o When a goalkeeper has the ball under control for more than 3 seconds.
o When a goalkeeper receives a pass from a field player on the same team.
Players are punished for major rules violations with a penalty. Penalized players must sit out of the game for the duration of the penalty and are not allowed back on the court until the penalty is over or, in most cases, the other team scores. Many penalties are for more drastic occurrences of an infraction that would otherwise call for a free hit.
In social or other informal play situations where there is not a good mechanism for keeping track of penalty time you can substitute a free hit for technical rule violations and a penalty shot for dangerous or unsportsman like behavior.
The following result in a penalty:
o When a player, hits, blocks, lifts or kicks an opponent’s stick in order to win a considerable
advantage, or with no possibility of reaching the ball.
o When a field player plays the ball above waist level with any part of his stick or his foot.
o When a player is guilty of dangerous play with the stick.
o When a player forces or pushes an opponent against the board or the goal cage.
o When a player, trying to reach the ball, tackles or trips an opponent.
o When a player holds an opponent or an opponent’s equipment.
o When a player intentionally moves to obstruct an opponent, who is not in control of the ball.
o When a field player actively obstructs the goalkeeper’s throw-out.
o When a player violates the 3 m rule at a hit-in or a free-hit.
o When a field player participates in play without a stick.
o When a field player stops or plays the ball when lying or sitting down. This also includes
stopping or playing the ball with both knees or one hand on the floor, stick-holding hand excluded.
o When a field player stops or plays the ball with his hand, arm or head.
o When an incorrect substitution takes place.
o When a team plays with too many players on the rink.
o When a field player omits to pick up his broken or dropped stick from the rink and bring it to his substitution zone.