Each year in September Wellington Storm Floorball Club hosts the Wellington Floorball Open Tournament – New Zealand’s biggest floorball tournament. This weekend the Junior Wellington Floorball Open will be played with 28 teams.
November 28th/29th, the organisers are going ahead with Junior Wellington Floorball Open tournament with a massive 28 teams registered. The tournament is taking place at ASB Sports Centre Kilbirnie which is the same arena that the U19 Women’s World Championships will take place when New Zealand hosts in 2022.
– This year due to COVID-19 we ran our adult tournament a little different to other years. On the date of the tournament New Zealand was at alert level one – this meant we were limited to gatherings of 100 people maximum. We adapted our tournament to fit with the level 2 guidelines and had three different court zones – players/volunteers were not able to mix between the courts and had to stay on their assigned court for the duration of the event. Despite the additional safety rules, we managed to successfully run a fun and safe tournament for our open adult and elite adult grades, with 20 teams total. We did miss having our regular Australian teams join us and hope they will be able to play at WFO again next year. The restrictions were too difficult to safely run a junior event so we postponed the junior section of the tournament to November when we hoped we would be back to alert level 1, says Wellington Floorball Development Officer Sophie Scott.
Junior Wellington Open streamed live
For the Junior Wellington Open the organisers introduced a new grade this year for the youngest floorballers (U7), so there will be four junior grades (U7, U11, U13 and U15). On Sunday 29th of November there will be live streaming our U13 and U15 grand finals. Everyone can check these out at 2:20pm and 3:20pm NZ time: digitalvision.live/livestreams/floorball-u13-finals (once on the page, select U13/U15 at the top right hand side of the page).
– As the host club of the tournament, we feel pretty lucky living in New Zealand as despite the disruption that COVID-19 has caused this year, we have been able to play floorball normally for majority of the year. In Wellington, even when we’ve had restrictions in place, we’ve mostly been able to safely adapt floorball (including running our trainings and adult social league with mini goals and no goalies to avoid shared equipment), Sophie Scott informs.
Record number of teams in 2020
Despite the pandemic the Wellington Floorball Open 2020 has more registered teams than ever before:
– We have more teams registered to play in the Wellington Floorball Open Tournament’s compared to last’s years record of 39 teams. If we had run the junior and senior events as a whole like we usually do, we probably wouldn’t have been able to accommodate all 48 teams. But having big growth in player numbers definitely isn’t a bad problem to have! Across the senior and junior tournaments our club alone will have had 18 teams and 208 players represent Wellington Storm Floorball Club, Sophie Scott concludes.