The new floorball season will start in Poland on September 19th and the Polish Cup, streamed on the Polish Floorball Federation’s YouTube channel, will be played on September 12th-13th. The Media Manager of Polish Floorball Federation, Jakub Udziela, answered some questions of the upcoming season of the Polish Extraleagues.
How is the preparation for the new season going in your country?
– First of all, some teams had a problem with sports halls, because lot of teams use school halls which were closed for a long time in the summer after e-learning time due to pandemic. Also some government restrictions with the gyms were problematic, but now it is not such a big problem, because restrictions are smaller. So for now we are planning to start our league on the 19th of September, but a week before on 12th-13th of September, there will be the Men’s Energa Polish National Cup 2020, played with a tournament format. It will be something like the last big “checking” of the form of some teams although not every team from Extraleague attends the tournament. The Cup will be streamed on the Polski Unihokej YouTube.
– Some teams or players looked for the foreign tournaments in the summer, especially in the Czech Republic, and thanks to those events they could also prepare for the new season.
How does it differ from last season?
– Apart from some restrictions mentioned above and as the whole world, we are living an insecure times. In any time there could be new government restrictions which could stop the league. We hope it won’t happen, but we can only do our job and see what is happening in the world and with the coronavirus pandemic. For now, the general government restrictions in Poland say that the audience during the matches should be no bigger than 50% of all seats in the hall. In some areas only 25% and in some 0%, where there is more sick people. In Poland they are called “yellow zone” and “red zone”.
– Players can use sport venues like gyms or halls regardless the region of Poland, but in the yellow or red zone some halls have for example limits of 20 players during one practise. This is due to local restrictions. In general, there is no problem with trainings. But of course everything can change day-to-day. Our government updates information about restrictions every Thursday.
Are there any winner favourites and major changes in the main leagues/among the teams?
– Last season we had an “Open league” for every time that someone wanted to join the senior league. This season we have divided it for the Extraleague and 1st League. Men have eight teams in the Extraleague and seven teams in the 1st League. Women have only eight teams in the Extraleague. In the first phase of the Women’s Extraleague, all teams meet each team twice. For the play-offs, the top four teams continue directly to the semi-finals and medal matches, where as the team placed eights is relegated to the 1st League. The team placed seventh is playing against the team placed second in the 1st League and the winner of the 1st League plays in the Extraleague next season.
Favourites in the Men’s Extraleague
– It is said that season 2020/2021 will be as even and exciting as never before. So that here are not only two or three favourites, but even five:
- UKS Bankówka Zielonka: very strong team and well-coordinated, as the season before, the biggest favourite
- UKS Floorball Gorzów Wlkp: they are even stronger than the season before. They made three big transfers: Michał Kozubal, Dawid Korpan (players having played in the polish National Team) and Michał Karski (top scorer of Pionier Tychy last season). They should fight for the medals, especially after not really a good end of the last season.
- KS Górale Nowy Targ (current champion) and KS Gorący Potok Szarotka Nowy Targ (current bronze medalist): strong teams and as always, teams from Nowy Targ are favourites to the TOP 4.
- SKS Olimpia Łochów (current bronze medalist) – strong team and well-coordinated. They can fight for the gold as well as for the bronze medal.
Favourites in the Women’s Extraleague
– In the Women’s League there are still the same favourites in this order:
- Interplastic Olimpia Osowa Gdańsk
- PKS MOS Zbąszyń
- MMKS Podhale Nowy Targ
- SUS Travel Jedynka Trzebiatów
– There are some changes in the Women’s league. Interplastic Olimpia Osowa Gdańsk will have two teams in the Extraleague: Team A and Team B. There will also be a new club from Zielonka – not Dzikie Gęsi Zielonka but UKS Bankówka Zielonka.
Any other interesting facts?
– Unfortunately one of the best clubs in Poland – UKS Fenomen Babimost, training a lot of young players, had to retire from the Men’s Extraleague due to lack of team staff. Their spot will go to the 9th team of the last season: TKKF Pionier Tychy. Due to retirement of Babimost, their captain: Jakub Łyskawa transferred to Denmark.
Follow the Polish Extraleagues?
The IFF has asked all top 10 countries to provide a 2020-21 season preview of their top leagues. More season previews will be published on the IFF website soon. If you want your floorball league or development stories to be featured on the IFF channels, send your story to media(at)floorball.sport!