ABOUT FLOORBALL

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ABOUT FLOORBALL

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 gym floor, 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 54 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 Floorball World 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.

HISTORY

The game was invented in early 1970s in Gothenburg, Sweden. The sport began as something that was played for fun as a pastime at schools. After a decade or so, floorball began showing up in Scandinavian countries such as Finland, Norway and Sweden, where the once school pastime was becoming a developed sport. Formal rules soon were developed, and clubs began to form. After some time, several countries developed national associations, and the IFF was founded in 1986.

The game of floorball is also known by many other names, such as salibandy (in Finland), innebandy (in Sweden and Norway), and unihockey (in Switzerland and Germany). The names "salibandy" and "innebandy" are derived from bandy; both of those names literally translate to "indoor bandy". Unihockey is derived from "universal hockey" since it is meant to be a special and simplified hockey form.

RECOGNITION

In December 2008, the IFF and the sport of floorball received recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In July 2011 the IOC officially welcomed the IFF into its family of International Sports Federations (ISF). This will pave the way for Floorball to enter the official sport programme. The IFF hopes that this recognition will help allow floorball to become a part of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

In January 2009, the IFF and the sport of floorball received recognition from the Special Olympics. This recognition could make floorball an official Special Olympics sport in just two years. As well, the IFF hopes that floorball will be included as a demonstration sport at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

WORLD FLOORBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The world floorball championships are a semi-annual event where teams from across the world gather to play in a tournament in order to win the world championship. As of 2009, seven men's, as well as six women's, four men's under-19, and three 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. A floorball world championship is awarded twice a year, and bi-annually in each age group.