History of Floorball

Where exactly floorball started originally is largely debated. Canada, Sweden, and the USA all claim to have been the inventors of the sport. While the first modern floorball game took place in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1968, in Canada and in the USA people played a very similar version as early as the 1950's. In Canada it was simply called "ball hockey," while in America it was called "Cosom hockey," named after the stick manufacturer Cosom.

Modern floorball was practically invented by Mr Stefan Dahlgren when he brought the Cosom plastic sticks in 1968 to Sweden. In Sweden, a country with enough gyms and players crazy about ice hockey, bandy hockey and such like,  this fresh, innovative game found suitable conditions for its development. At the beginning of the 1970’s the magic of the Innebandy (indoor hockey), as it's called in Sweden, was discovered by Swedish ice hockey players in summer season inside the gym or on outside playgrounds. Floorball had thus arisen as a modification of ice hockey in lots of variations with different types of balls and light pucks.

It became apparent in the middle of the 1970’s that it's a good idea to merge the varieties into one contactless sport. The first special inflexible sticks were invented. The ball was taken over from a similar type ball that was used in the USA for indoor training of baseball pitchers. The Americans discovered that a perforating the ball lowers the air resistance. Despite the ball's low weight, it still preserves high-quality characteristics in flight. So the Swedes began to play floorball with it. Soon it attracted people interested in hockey-type sports and its popularity quickly spread into neighbouring Finland, there under the name of Salibandy.

The first official floorball club was Sala IBK, located in Sweden, founded in 1979. Basic rules were established as the sport became more organized. Shortly after that, the first official rule book was written in 1981. By 1989, Sweden had enough teams to hold the world's first floorball league.

IFF Logo

In 1986 the IFF (International Floorball Federation) was founded by Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland, the first three countries to have a floorball association. From there, the Federation has grown to include 64 countries with associations that are ranked based on World Championship placement. The first World Championship was played in 1996 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Another form of floorball, Manual Wheelchair Floorball, was a part of the ParaGames in 2011. Teams from Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, and Netherlands participated, with Sweden being the eventual winner.

Floorball is also an official sport in Special Olympics and it's a recognized sport by International Olympic Committee. There is an expectation that floorball will be featured in the Summer Olympic Games in 2024.