12th April 2023 marks as the 8th International Floorball Day. Here are some highlights from last year and what to look forward during this year.
2022 was not the regular year of floorball considering the international calendar. There was no Champions Cup in January and also the Men’s World Floorball Championships Qualifications had to be postponed to May and June. In total, 36 teams registered for the Men’s WFC 2022 and so qualifications were held in five locations. Two qualification groups were hosted by Latvia in the neighbouring cities in Koceni and Valmiera, one were hosted by Celano in Italy, AOFC Qualifications in Singapore and AMER Qualification in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.
The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama delivered a special addition for the year. Eight men’s teams competed in a 5-day event in July. Floorball had been included in the official sport programme of TWG in 2017, when the event took place in Wroclaw, Poland. Similar to 2017, Sweden took home the gold from Alabama. Sweden vs Finland final is familiar from the World Championships and this time it was also the case at The World Games. Finland got silver and Czech Republic bronze. Team Latvia broke into Top 4 and made their best finish yet with fourth place. The World Games 2025 will be organised in Chengdu, China.
The 10th Women’s U19 World Floorball Championships were held in Katowice, Poland from 31st August – 4th September. Sweden won their 7th WU19 gold medal after beating Czech Republic in the most thrilling final that was only decided in the penalty shootout. Czech Republic WU19 team played in their first ever final and got their best result ever from this event. All in all, the Women’s U19 WFC 2022 was successfully organised by the Polish Floorball Federation.
Men’s U19 World Floorball Championships Qualifications began from Salt Lake City, USA on September 2nd. USA won both two games against Canada and qualified for the final round. The Qualifications continued in Wellington, New Zealand on 29th September. Singapore and Australia qualified being the two best teams of AOFC.
The 14th Men’s World Floorball Championships were organised just one year after the previous edition. Switzerland hosted the event for the third time, this time in the cities of Zurich and Winterthur from 5th – 13th November 2022. According to an event evaluation report produced by Quantum Consultancy the event in Switzerland was one of the most successful WFCs to date generating €5.35M in economic impact and record broadcast coverage. Czech Republic continued setting records as the Men’s team played in their second ever final at Swiss Life Arena. Sweden continued their golden strike and won their 10th WFC gold. Finland finished third and the host team Switzerland fourth.
Busy start for 2023
Champions Cup returned to the calendar after several postponements and was held in Bläk Boks of Ideapark Lempäälä in Finland. Swedish club teams were victorious in the event as Team Thorengruppen won the Women’s CC and also their first ever Champions Cup gold. Men’s event got a more familiar winner, when Falun beat Classic in the final and took home their fifth Champions Cup gold.
January continued as a busy month when the Men’s U19 WFC EUR Qualifications were to determine the final four teams for the WFC 2023. The qualifications were held in Salzburg, Austria and El Escorial, Spain from 23rd – 28th January. Norway, Austria, Estonia and Slovenia qualified for the final round.
Women’s WFC Qualifications were organised right after the Men’s U19 WFC Qualifications and were held in Koceni, Latvia (EUR1 & 2), Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy (EUR3 & 4) and in Chonburi, Thailand (AOFC). Team France made history by qualifiying to their first ever World Floorball Championships event in the history of the Federation. USA qualified from the AMER Qualifications and all 16 teams were set.
The IFF Central Board approved Mexico as provisional member in their February meeting. The IFF now has a total of 78 members.
Many events to look forward to in 2023
Next IFF event will be the 12th Men’s U19 World Floorball Championships from 26th – 30th April 2023 in Frederikshavn, Denmark. The whole summer is also filled with floorball events after another.
South East Asian Games will be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 5th – 17th May (Floorball to be played from 11th – 16th May). European Masters Games will be organised in Finland for the first time and there the Floorball event is scheduled from 4th-8th July. EuroFloorball Challenge and Women’s U19 WFC 2023 EUR Qualification will be organised in Besançon, France during 23rd-27th August. Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games that were postponed from 2022 will be organised from 17th-26th November in Bangkok & Chonburi, Thailand.
The 14th Women’s World Floorball Championships will be played in Singapore from 2nd – 10th December 2023. This will be the second time that Singapore hosts this event. These two WFC events in Singapore, in 2005 and 2023, are the only adult world championships to have been played outside of Europe.
The 12th of April was declared as the International Floorball Day as a part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the IFF in 2016.