How to Play Floorball

 INTRO TO FLOORBALL 

Floorball is a type of indoor floor hockey that's fun, fast, safe and inexpensive, requiring only a stick, sneakers, shorts, shinguards, and a t-shirt to play.  The game can be easily picked up by beginners, but it also holds great potential for development of stick and ball handling, passing and shooting skills! Invented in Sweden, the game is extremely popular in Europe and Asia where they have professional club leagues and cups, and the sport has continued to grow in popularity especially after its inclusion in the World Games for the first time in 2017. 

For free FIYA resources including video tutorials and demos for all aspects of floorball, we highly recommend checking out our FIYA Floorball Pinterest Board or our FIYA Floorball YouTube Playlist included in the additional links to the right. 

 


 

 FLOORBALL BASICS 

Time: Each floorball game consists of three (3) 15-minute periods with running clock, with a two-minute intermission between each period. Each team has one timeout per game, and teams switch goals before the start of each period. For the FIYA regular season there is no overtime, but for playoffs, our overtime will consist of one 5-minute sudden death period followed by penalty shots if necessary. 

Equipment: Floorball is simply played with a lightweight stick, typically made of fiber (carbon or other type) with a plastic blade (softer blades are best for beginners) on one end and a hand grip on the other, and the game ball is a plastic hollow ball with holes similar to a woffle ball. All field players have sticks, but goalies do not. All players on the floor are required to wear shinguards and gym sneakers in order to play, and all goalies will be required to wear a face helmet for safety measures. We also recommend goalies wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, knee pads, and gloves if desired for extra padding and safety precautions. While you can still play floorball if you don't have protective eyewear, it's also highly recommended to wear goggles.  

Court / Playing Field: FIYA Floorball will be played on an indoor basketball court at our various gym locations. Goals are similar in size and nature to that of lacrosse or futsal goals and are placed at the middle of each end of the court (meaning there's also space behind each goal for field players to continue the play). 

Players / Positions: Floorball is played with four (4) 'field' players and a goalie on each team or 5 v 5. Goalies can be substituted for an additional field player at any time during the game. This may vary depending on the age and skill level of your team, but typically each teammate has a specific role such as: attacker, defender, or center (similar to soccer). All field players, however, will still need the same main skills in order to play floorball including but not limited to: shooting, passing, and dribbling. Once your players really learn the rules and start practicing, you'll be ready to play your first floorball game!  

 

Click here for a great, easy-to-learn breakdown of how to play floorball by WikiHow
 

 


 

 MAIN GAME COMPONENTS 

Face offs are used to start the game and each period. The ball is placed right in the center of the court, equally spaced between both goals. 1 teammate from each team approaches the ball, feet positioned perpendicular to the half court line and parallel to each other, placing the blades of their sticks so that the ball is next to the center of the blade without actually touching the ball yet.Example of a face-off in floorball

Play starts on the referee's whistle and after the whistle, the 2 teammates at center court go after the ball trying to hit it back to their own teammates. It's important not to touch the ball with your blade until the whistle blows. 

Face offs are also used to restart play after a goal, and in any other situation where play has stopped with no possession or advantage.

Click here for a video tutorial on how to do a face-off in floorball 
 

 

The object of the game is to score the most goals and prevent your opposing team from scoring. Goals can only be scored by hitting the ball into the goal using the stick. Avoid raising the stick above knee or waist height during gameplay. If you're receiving the ball, the stick shouldn't go above your knee, and if you're shooting, the stick can't go above your waist. While practicing, it's best to keep your stick lower than needed to ensure you never lift it too high or get in the habit of doing so. If your stick goes above either allowed height, it will result in a penalty. See more on penalties below.

 

Hit-ins, similar to throw ins in soccer, are used to re-start play after the ball leaves the rink and is clearly touched last by one team. A hit-in is taken from where the ball left the rink, 5 feet from the out of bounds line, with the opponents 10 feet from the ball.

  • The ball must be played directly with the stick but not dragged, flicked, or lifted on the stick.
  • The player taking the hit-in cannot touch the ball again before it is played by another player.
  • A hit-in may go directly into the goal.

 

Substitutions: Substitutions may occur at any time. The substitution zone is an area measuring 15 feet in front of each team’s bench area. Again, goalies can also be substituted at any given time during the game for an additional field player. Typically this is a coach's tactic that's used in a close game or period with limited time remaining and their team is in need of scoring to win or tie. 

 

Out-of-Bounds: If the ball goes out of play the non-offending team will restart play with a free hit near where the ball left play. 

 


 

 FLOORBALL POSITIONS 

To really play the game to its fullest potential, try strategizing plays for your team and assigning specific positions to each field player.

 

Defenders - primarily responsible for defending against attackers on the opposite team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attackers - constantly run trying to evade the other team's defenders in order to receive passes and score goals.

 

 

 

 

Centers - position themselves to support both the attack AND defense. Centers are critical in seeing the floor and making plays on both ends. 

 

 

 

 

Goalkeepers - deny opposing team from scoring by blocking shots using their hands while inside the designated goalie box and preventing the ball from reaching the goal (inside the net, passed the goal line). 

 

 

 

For a great, basic undestanding on how to play each field position, read through "Part 2" of this WikiHow article on floorball

 


 

 FLOORBALL PENALTIES 

Penalties are a crucial component to the game of floorball. First and foremost, body and stick checking are not permitted and playing of the ball above the knee is illegal, but there are many other actions that could lead to a personal penalty or team penalty including but not limited to: catching the ball or hands on ball by field players, jumping, heading the ball, illegal stick usages, etc. Depending on the type and severity of the penalty, non-offending teams may be awarded free hits, face offs, or offending player may be assessed to either a 2 or 5 minute penalty where they must sit out for the duration of said penalty without being replaced by another player (requiring their team to play down one player). For each type of penalty and more thorough explanations, please read more on our FIYA Floorball Rules page. 

Click here for official FIYA Floorball Rules 

Click here for a quick video tutorial on basic floorball rules and regulations

 


 

 FLOORBALL SKILLS & FUNDAMENTALS 

Floorball is ideal for coed and mixed age groups due to the emphasis on speed, skill and technique over physical strength. Injuries are not much of a factor because the stick is made of a lightweight fiber with a plastic blade and the ball is a plastic ball. 

Unless you're the goalkeeper, you're not allowed to use your hands or head to handle the ball (both will result in a penalty), so players must use their stick to dribble, pass, receive, and shoot the ball, avoiding any contact with their body. You also want to avoid playing aggressively because players are not allowed to use the stick to harm others and pushing / tackling is also prohibited. So with these rules in mind, floorball truly does come down to speed, skill, and technique over physical strength, and all field players will need those main skills of handling the stick, dribbling, passing, shooting, and defending, and all goalies will need the essential goalkeeping skills in order to play floorball successfully.

Click here for a video tutorial on stick handling techniques

Click here for a video tutorial on dribbling techniques

Click here for a video tutorial on passing techniques

Click here for a video tutorial on goalkeeping essentials

Click here for a video demo on defensive skills  

 


 

 TEACHING / COACHING FLOORBALL 

Because floorball is new to FIYA and we recognize many schools and coaches will also be new to the game, we're providing as many free resources and tools as possible so that more of our students can learn and play the game with us! Again, if you are a coach or athletic director in FIYA, we highly recommend checking out our FIYA Floorball Pinterest Board and our FIYA Floorball YouTube Playlist - both equipped with enough content, ideas, demos, tutorials and more to get you started. 

FIYA will also be hosting a FREE Coaches Clinic & Fair on Saturday, August 15th and in addition to our fall sports and other FIYA announcements for the 2020-2021 school year, will be presenting an introduction to floorball with an in-depth seminar on how to play! For more info on our August Coaches Clinic & Fair, please email malloryrawson@onfiya.org 

 

MORE TIPS FOR COACHES:

While the game is primarily influenced by speed, skill and technique over physical strength, for training purposes, the 3 main physical benefits or attributes that come with playing floorball include: core strength, agility and speed, and anaerobic fitness. So if you're short on practice equipment or still aren't completely familiar with putting together floorball practice plans and drills, you can easily have your students ready to play by simply teaching the rules and building their fitness with those 3 physical strengths in mind. 

Click here for a great video example of how you can teach floorball to your students

 


 

Check out this video for a general understanding of floorball and to see how the game looks!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This video and any of the other outside floorball resources shared by FIYA are merely to help give our participants a better idea of how floorball generally works, what it looks like, and tips on how to teach it. Some specifics of the rules explained in this video and other content may slightly differ from the way that floorball will be actually played out in the FIYA leagues. So this is just a reminder to please see the official FIYA rules in order to avoid any confusion with how the game will be played in our program. 

Click here for FIYA Floorball Rules

 


 

 REGISTER TODAY! 

Once your players (1) really learn and understand the rules and (2) start practicing the fundamentals, you'll be ready to play your first floorball game! To learn more about the upcoming floorball season including important dates and deadlines, please re-visit the the FIYA Floorball Home Page or use the links, calendar, and additional information listed on the right of this page. 

Click here to register for FIYA Floorball