Simplified Rules and Game Play


Below is a very simple set of basic floorball rules for beginners. Deeper understanding of rules and game play can be gained by attending coaching and referee training. (For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

  • No high sticking. Blade must stay below player’s knees. If ball is played with any part of the stick above the knee, it is high sticking. Free hit to the opposing team.
  • No slashing. Do not hit opponent’s stick. Free hit to the opposing team.
  • No lifting, pushing or kicking the opponent’s stick. Free hit to the opposing team.
  • It is OK to foot pass the ball to your own teammate but do not kick the ball twice in a row. Free hit to the opposing team.
  • Do not play the ball with your hand or head. Fee hit to the opposing team.
  • Do not jump to reach the ball. Free hit to the opposing team.

Game Play

A floorball game can be played with three to five outfield players, as well as a goalkeeper on the court for each team. The goalkeeper may be substituted for an additional field player if the coach desires. This can be an advantage for the attacking side of the team, but can also be disadvantageous when it comes to their own defence.

The team is allowed to change players at any time in the game, with entire changes in lineup common. Individual substitutions happen from time to time, but usually only when a player is exhausted or hurt.

A competitive floorball game is officially played over three periods lasting 20 minutes each. Youth games might be shorter depending on the competition. The time is stopped in the case of penalties, goals, time-outs and any situation where the ball is not considered to be in play. An intermission of ten minutes takes place between each period, where the teams change ends and substitution areas. Each team is allowed one time-out of 30 seconds, often used late in matches.

There are two referees to oversee the game, each with equal authority.

There are several rules regarding play to ensure that floorball is a safe sport. During a game, a player should neither jump to play the ball nor play the ball with hand or head. Players may also not go down on two knees or have a hand on the ground. A player may put one knee down to make plays or block shots. Only the goalkeeper may play on his or her knees. The ball can only be played by a stick below knee level. When shooting, the stick must stay below the waist level. A player can kick the ball once to himself or to another player, but not kick twice in a succession. Infractions lead to a free hit to the opposite team and can lead to a two-minute penalty to the player.

Body checking or backing into another player is prohibited in floorball. However, controlled shoulder-to-shoulder contact is allowed. Pushing a player without the ball or while competing for a loose ball are also disallowed, and many of these infractions lead to two minute penalties. A player is not allowed to lift, hit or block an opponent’s stick in order to get the ball. 

When a player commits a foul, or when the ball is deemed unplayable, the game is resumed by a free-hit, a penalty shot or a face-off. A free-hit could be compared to a free kick in football. Game is resumed with a face-off at the start of each period, after each goal and when the ball is damaged, the ball is not playable, the referees cannot decide the direction of a free-hit, after a failed penalty shot, or when a player suffers from an injury. If the ball is hit out of the playing area, the opposing team gets a hit-in from the point the ball went out. If the ball goes out behind the goal line, a hit-in or corner hit is done from a corner point.