Floorball is a type of floor hockey with five players and a goalkeeper in each team. Men and women play indoors using sticks of about 96–115.5 cm-long (37.8–45.5 in) sticks and a 22–23 cm-circumference (8.7–9.1 in) plastic ball with holes.
Floorball is played in a match between two teams consisting of five field players and a goalkeeper in the rink at one time. The idea of the game is to score more goals than the opposite team within the limits of the rules. The basic roles of the players are forwards, defenders and goalkeepers.
The game time can vary depending on the age of players and the level of the match. In official matches the game time is 3 x 20 minutes effective time. During tournaments and in matches with young players other game times can be used, for example 2 x 15 minutes.
The rink is built from a series of connected boards, made of either wood or a plastic material. The height of the board is 50 cm and the corners are rounded, giving the players the opportunity to keep the ball in play. Players can use the boards to win advantage for their team; especially on the elite level the tactical use of the boards is eminent.
In many places floorball is also played three versus three without a goalkeeper in small rink using small goals. On the International competition level, the rink size has from the beginning been 40 x 20 m and the goal size is 160 x 115 cm. The rules allow all rink sizes between 36 x 18 m and 44 x 22 m, as long as the rink formula is length = 2 x width.
Floorball was included in the World Games for the first time in 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland. Sweden were the first World Games gold medal winners.
Its origins can be traced back to Michigan Lake in the 1960s where a game called Cosom Hockey was developed, although the present type of floorball was invented in Sweden in the 1970s.
The sport is relatively new and therefore evolving. The basic rules were established in 1979 when the first floorball club in the world, Sala IBK from Sala, was founded in Sweden. The official rules for matches were first written down in 1981.
Equipment - Typical equipment for a floorball player consists of a stick, a pair of shorts, a shirt, socks, and indoor sport shoes. Players may wear shin guards, eye protectors and protective padding for vital areas although most do not. Protective eyewear is, in some countries, compulsory for junior players. A floorball stick is short compared with one for ice hockey; the maximum size for a stick is 114 cm.
Goalkeepers -Goalkeepers wear limited protection provided by padded pants, a padded chest protector, knee pads, soccer goalkeeping gloves and a helmet. 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 defense. The team is also allowed to change players any time in the game; usually, they change the whole team.