The WFC of 2019 starts soon and here at FloorballToday we are busy with the preparations. What does this mean? Contacting players for interviews, looking at all the facts and figures of past editions and taking a deep dive into the history of floorball.
Note: there is no footage available from the first WFCs since we still hadn’t entered the age of digital photography. However, after some digging the Swedish Federation gave us the name of the photographer of the WFC1999. A massive thanks to Stefan Svensson to take all the effort to scan his pictures and sending it to us and make them available. If you need a photographer in Sweden, we really recommend checking him out.
Floorball as a pastime may have originated into the 70s but as a sport, it was established much later. One could argue that the foundation of floorball as a ‘proper’ sport was laid out in 1986 with the founding of the International Floorball Federation (IFF) but in this series of articles, we’ll be looking into another important part of our sport: the World Floorball Champions (WFC), specifically the Women WFCs, from the early days of 1997 and the two editions that followed.
Once upon a time
The first Women’s World Cup was held in May 1997 on the Finnish island of Åland and had two playing cities, namely the little Godby and the bigger Mariehamn. Åland is perhaps more Swedish than Finnish as the population mostly speaks Swedish so perhaps this ‘neutral’ territory between the two superpowers Finland and Sweden made sense diplomatically as the first Women WFC.
Ten countries participated in the tournament, with Japan being the only country that came from outside the (extended) European continent (and ended with a goal balance of 1-83). The tournament had a simple structure with two groups in which the number 1 of group A played against the number 2 of group B in a semi-final, which was followed by a finals. The champion of this first edition was none other than Sweden, who steamrolled their way through the group stage (with a 75-1 score) and who defeated Finland with 4-2 in the final.
Perhaps having learned from the first WFC edition and its WFC-unworthy game results – for example, …
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