Floorball is easiest described as Ice Hockey without the ice, lots of similar traits exist except you’re running on a wooden or synthetic surface and it’s non-contact (well, less physical than ice hockey, shoulder-to-shoulder is allowed).
Standard matches in the Perth Floorball League consist of 3 x 20 minute periods with 5 minute breaks inbetween. The clock generally only stops for goals, penalties, timeouts or when effective time is enforced.
A full size floorball court is 40 by 20 metres. We often struggle to find venues that can accommodate a full court so smaller courts are often used, as long as the length is double the width.
Each team has 5 field players and a goal keeper on the court at a time. Teams can have a large bench for interchange/substitution which generally occurs every 1-1.5 minutes (if any longer you’re not running hard enough!).
The goal keeper can be drawn to have 6 players on the field, creating a ‘power play’ situation the same as ice hockey, often used when you’re down by a goal and have nothing to lose.
Goal keepers play on their knees and position themselves to block with their hands and body, they do not have a stick like ice hockey. Goal keepers can only touch the ball within the large box around the goals, other players are allowed in the large box but only goal keepers are allowed in the smaller box known as the house.
Floorball sticks are a lightweight carbon-fibre construction with a small degree of flexibility to add power when shooting.
The sticks have a plastic blade that wears down over time and can be replaced. Unlike field hockey, the sticks can be left or right, where you should generally be playing with your dominant hand up the top for maximum control and being able to play the ball with one or two hands on the stick.
All you need to get involved in Floorball is a good pair of indoor running shoes and your own floorball stick ($100-$200 typically).
Games start with either team in their own half and a face-off in the centre of the court, called by the referee.
As a super simple summary, you’re allowed to:
- Use both sides of your stick
- Kick the ball to other players
- Carry the ball off the ground (below your knees)
- Run behind the goals
You’re not allowed to:
- Play the ball above your knees
- Jump to receive the ball
- Use your hands/arms/head to receive the ball
- Kick the ball more than twice
- Stand in the goal keepers house
- Stand within 3 metres of a free-hit
Two minute penalties can be given fo repeated minor offences, rough or dangerous conduct, too many players on the court, jumping, playing on the ground, etc.
More detailed but still summarised rules here