The IFF Central Board (CB) had its fifth meeting of the year on September 4th to discuss and decide upon the IFF Events in relation to the the current COVID-19 situation. During the meeting, the CB decided to postpone the Men’s World Floorball Championships 2020.

Men’s WFC 2020 to be played in 2021

Due to the present COVID-19 situation and the following reasons related to it, the Finnish Floorball Federation applied to postpone the Men’s World Floorball Championships from 2020 to the year of 2021. The Finnish Floorball Federation has discussed the situation with the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland. Since there is no knowledge of what the situation with the travel and gathering restrictions will be in December, there is not a favourable circumstance to organise the event in 2020.

– The IFF CB decided to postpone the Men’s WFC 2020 based on the application from the Finnish Floorball Federation. The Finnish Federation will investigate the suitable timing for the event in 2021. The final decision of the 2021 competition calendar will be made in the Central Board meeting on the 29th of September, when we have had the time to consider the wishes of all stakeholders, the IFF Secretary General John Liljelund informs.

The Men’s World Floorball Championships 2020 were originally scheduled to take place December 4th – 12th 2020 in Helsinki, Finland, with 16 participating teams.

 

Other upcoming IFF Events and COVID-19 pandemic implications

There are many other upcoming IFF events that are also being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The IFF Competition department continuously monitors the situation, communicating with the host countries as well as the participating teams. The main issue is to ensure the safety of all participants, as well as considering travel restrictions, quarantine advice, and the ability of teams to adequately prepare for the competition. For all events, the regulations and advice of the local and national government and health authorities will be followed by the IFF. Many events have already been postponed from their original dates and all future events continue to be evaluated.

Women’s U19 WFC 2020

Women’s U19 World Floorball Championships were already earlier re-scheduled from September 2020 to May 5th – 9th 2021.

For any Women’s U19 international matches involving teams who are qualified for Women’s U19 WFC 2020 (which will be played in May 2021) – these teams will be permitted to include players with the same age eligibility as will be allowed for the final round event (which is players born on 01.01.2001 or after). All players will still need to meet the minimum age eligibility of 15 years at the time of the start of the event.

Men’s U19 WFC 2021 and Qualifications

The 11th Men’s U19 World Floorball Championships are scheduled to take place 28th April – 2nd May 2021, in Brno, Czech Republic.

Here is the present situation concerning the U19 WFC 2021 qualifications:

  • AMERICAS – USA (6th – 9th of January 2021)
    • The IFF in co-operation with USA Floorball Association and Floorball Canada have agreed on alternative dates of 6th – 9th January 2021.
  • EUR1 – Italy & EUR2 – Poland  (11th – 15th November)
    • Organisers of the qualifications in Europe (Italy and Poland) to be played 11th – 15th of November 2020 confirmed their ability to host the events, however the situation regarding the participating countries is not as clear. The CB decided to monitor the situation and take decisions when needed.
  • AOFC – Singapore (new dates: 11th – 16th of January 2021)
    • Due to no travel currently being allowed for any of the participating teams, the IFF and Singapore Floorball Association (SFA) have taken the decision to postpone the AOFC qualification from October until 11th – 16th January 2021.

In the case of further postponement of any of the qualifications, the final round local organisers, Czech Floorball, and IFF have agreed that 28th of February 2021 is set as the ‘must be played by’ date for the qualification events. If qualifications cannot be held by this time then the current Men’s U19 world rankings will determine the teams to participate in the final round.

Champions Cup 2021

The IFF Floorball Champions Cup is scheduled to take place January 9th – 10th in Winterthur, Switzerland. The match draw is preliminary planned to be held on 26th of September in connection to a league match and will be streamed on the IFF YouTube channel. The Go/no-go date for the local organisers, the Swiss Floorball Association, is November 6th 2020. No date is set yet for teams to confirm their participation. Ticket sales will begin on 9th of November, only after the Go/No-go decision and possible COVID-19 restrictions are known.

Women’s WFC 2021 and Qualifications

The 13th Women’s World Floorball Championships are scheduled to take place in Uppsala, Sweden, at the IFU Arena from 4th – 12th December 2021.

IFF is still working with the European WFC qualification organisers where Italy is confirmed and confirmations or non-ability to organise are expected from Latvia and Poland. The Go/NoGo-dates for the EUR qualifications are set to 02.11.2020 for the organisers and 09.11 for the teams. The Americas qualification will be played in Canada (Toronto or Cambridge) in February 2021. In agreement with the organiser (Japan) and the participating teams, the AOFC Qualification (Japan) will be postponed from January 2021 to the new dates of 29th June – 3rd July 2021. The IFF has set 4th July 2021 as the date by which all the WFC qualification events must be completed.

Men’s WFC 2022

The 14th Men’s World Floorball Championships are scheduled to take place October 20th – November 13th 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland. The preparations have started and are ongoing. The event budget is 6,3 million euros.

 

Financial impact of COVID-19

The direct financial effect for the IFF finances of 2020 when the WFC 2020 event is postponed to 2021 is forecast to be around -200.000 to -250.000, even if the loss of income from the WFC in total equals up to 400.000 – 450.000 CHF. The financial effect on the IFF finances if the U19 WFC 2021 would need to be cancelled in 2021 is calculated to be around -75.000 CHF. IFF has already been able to save a lot of costs, mainly due to no travel and having virtual meetings, however the loss of some 200.000 CHF will have to be covered in one way or the other for the fiscal year, especially as there is no way of knowing how for example the registration for the WFC 2022 will look like. As the cash-flow of IFF is low, there are very small reserves to cover the proposed saves to meet the possible postponement of the WFC 2020.

To cover the loss of 200.000 – 250.000 CHF, IFF needs to take some of the following measures or a combination of these:

  1. Furloughing of the IFF Office for a period of 4-5 months or let people go
  2. IFF to take long-term loans making it possible to reduce the period of furloughing for the employees
  3. In addition to a loan also receive some support/loan from the IOC.
  4. Seek other means of additional funding in this situation, through sponsorship and governmental support etc.

If IFF can secure at least half of the expected loss, the furloughing time could be reduced to half or even less of the initial need. The IFF employees would then have the full-time furloughing at different times, to keep the IFF operational functionality intact during the time of furloughing, as a full lockdown for a number of months would be very problematic for the planning of 2021.

The Central Board decided to take the loan from the Finnish Floorball Federation and make the applications for support from the Finnish Ministry of Education. In addition, IFF Secretary General was given the task to take the needed actions for the furloughing of the IFF Office for a maximum of two months.

Interest to host future World Floorball Championships

Letters of interest to organise the World Floorball Championships 2023 and 2024 have arrived from:

  • Australia (U19 WFC 2023 and 2024)
  • Denmark (U19 WFC 2023)
  • Italy (U19 WFC 2023 and 2024)
  • Slovakia (U19 WFC 2023),
  • Singapore (WFC 2023 and WFC 2024)
  • Sweden (WFC 2024)

 

IFF General Assembly 2020

The IFF CB decided to organise the General Assembly should on the 11th of December digitally. The invitation to the GA needs to be sent out before the 11th of September 2020 and the IFF CB approved the invitation for the meeting.

 

Rules of the Game 2022

The final rule proposals were sent to the Member Associations, IFF RC, IFF RACC, IFF Athletes Commission and the IFF Office in June for feedback until 9th of August. The rule reference group handled the feedback in the meeting 19th of August and then the RACC discussed the final rule proposals in its meeting 24th of August. The proposals are now with the rules group for writing the rule texts. The timeline for the continued Game Rule process is as follows:

  • September 2020 to March 2021: Rule group work with formalising the text for the rule book
  • 15 February 2021: Collection of experiences from rule tests made
  • February 2021: Reference group evaluation of test/s
  • March 2021: Asking for feedback from IFF RC, RACC, IFF Office and Athletes Commission on the final book (deadline for feedback May 2021).
  • September 2021: IFF CB makes final decision after proposal from RACC and New IFF Rules of the Game is sent to all Member Associations.
  • December 2021: RACC organises a seminar for Interpretations of the Rules of the Game. All member Associations will be invited to participate on their own cost.
  • July 1, 2022: The new edition of the IFF Rules of the Game becomes valid

 

Anti-Doping topics

The draft IFF Anti-Doping Rules have been approved by WADA and if approved by the IFF CB, the final version of the rules will be sent to WADA for final approval. The next step is then to prepare for the changes coming into force on January 1st 2021 with guidelines etc. The Major changes for the IFF with the new Code and Rules are listed below:

  • More independence mandatory for hearing panels
  • The scope of the Anti-Doping rules now also more clearly includes, IFF Staff, CB members etc.
  • It will be made easier to recognise Therapeutic Use Exemptions that are approved by National Anti-Doping Organisations, which is easier for the athletes
  • IFF to make possible adjustments to the current Testing Pool system.
  • There is more focus on Education and there needs to an Anti-Doping Education Plan that is updated regularly
  • Small changes in the definition of International-Level Athlete and the International-Level Athlete is defined by the IFF as follows (for the purpose of Testing & TUEs): Within the overall pool of Athletes set out above who are bound by and required to comply with these Anti-Doping Rules, the following Athletes shall be considered to be International-Level Athletes for the purposes of the Anti-Doping Rules, and, therefore, the specific provisions in the Anti-Doping Rules applicable to International-Level Athletes (e.g., Testing, TUEs, whereabouts, and Results Management) shall apply to such Athletes:
    • Athletes included in the IFF Registered Testing Pool, Testing Pool and any other Pool established by IFF;
    • Athletes who compete in the following official IFF Events: World Floorball Championships (WFC) U19 World Floorball Championships (U19 WFC) Euro Floorball Championships (EF), Champions Cup (CC) and WFC Qualifications.

 

 IFF Strategy for 2021–2032

The second submission of the IFF Strategy will be sent out for the second commentary round to the Member Associations and the IFF CB, on the 8th of September. The Member Associations and the CB will have time to come with their comments until the end of September. This in order to save time in the process. The IFF Strategy Task Force (STF) will evaluate the received comments in its meeting on the  12th of October. In this meeting the STF will finalise the proposal for the CB to approve in its meeting in end of October for the IFF General Assembly.

The minutes from the IFF CB meeting will be published on Wednesday here!

For more information, please contact IFF Secretary General John Liljelund (phone: +358400529031)

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