Floorball is an indoor team sport similar to hockey. Floorball is usually played in gyms with little plastic balls and special hockey sticks. In floorball, there are basically five players with sticks and a goalkeeper without any special equipment. The goalkeeper has only special jersey and helmet. Floorball is very popular today.
Floorball was invented in the USA, but has been most popular in Sweden since the 1970s. Its popularity quickly spread to Finland and Switzerland, but with different rules. For example, in Switzerland a goalkeeper was allowed to use a stick. In 1986, the International Floorball Federation (IFF) was founded and rules became the same.
Floorball is played in a gym on an area of 40x20 meters bordered by boards 50 centimetres high. The formations are very similar to ice hockey. Both teams play with 3 attackers, 2 defenders and a goalkeeper. They can relieve whenever they want. Floorball is usually played 3x20 minutes with 15 minutes breaks. This is only for men and women. In juniors matches the time is different. Floorball is a contact sport so players can play with their body, but it has limits. The goalkeeper is not allowed to use a stick, but he can handle the ball with his body. The field players cannot hit the ball with their hands or head and they cannot jump. The goalkeeper can hit the ball with every part of his body and he can hold it for 3 seconds. In floorball, a player can be excluded for 2 minutes when he breaks the rules.
The currently strongest leagues are located in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
IFF organises world championships in floorball. Every year they are in a different country and it's also alternating between the mens and the womens tournament.
Media related to Floorball at Wikimedia Commons