Sure, while watching floorball we admire players like Kim Nilsson, Martin Tokos and goalie Patrik Åman – sigh, those were the days. But sometimes we forget the two most important persons in the rink: the referees. We spoke with SSL and international referee Rickard Wissman (on the left of the picture), one of the true heroes of the game.
Every story has a beginning
Meet Rickard Wissman, a friendly, kind and helpful man who was born and raised in Sweden. He has worked at the Swedish Armed Forces for most of his life and has always loved floorball. He grew up with floorball as his passion. While growing up he looked for a part-time job, but the only possible option compatible with this passion was… refereeing! Wissman kept combining playing and refereeing until he reached the Allsvenskan (Swedish 2nd league). As a player, this is where it ended, but as a referee this was the moment his hobby got serious.
Wait what, the army?
When asked if his army experience is helpful during games, Wissman answers without any doubt. “Leadership and communication are two key skills that you need and develop both as a military officer and as a floorball referee.” Beside these skills, he also explains you need to be fit enough to be able to make quick and important decisions in (sometimes) stressful environment. So not even is his army career useful during games, it also applies the other way!
“We all make mistakes”
“The first great thing is of course to be a part of the floorball family and the fast, fun and fantastic sport we love.” Wissman is – as said – full of passion for floorball. Another advantage of being a referee is that you develop your skills in leadership and communication. But what are the hard things about refereeing then? “This could be, especially in the beginning of a referees career, to handle complaints about the mistakes we make – because we all do that. The challenge is just to minimize them.”
“It’s my dream to be referee at the Olympics”
The Sweden-Finland Challenge (or Finnkampen) will start this Thursday, led by Rickard Wissman and his collegue Thomas Andersson. Wissman has been an international referee since 2014. He has gained quite some experience in these years, but his ultimate wish is not fulfilled – yet. He hopes to continue until he reaches his dream: to be referee at the Olympic Games. For now the focus is on the Sweden-Finland Challenge. How do you prepare yourself for something like this? “We usually talk about the teams and the players, how the game might be and how we should act during the game.” The preparation starts the days before the game. Did Wissman get prepared enough? We’ll see it tonight at the first game of the Finnkampen!
We’d like to thank Rickard Wissman for his help and time. Good luck during the Floorball-Sweden Challenge and other upcoming games!
Don’t miss any game of the Finnkampen. A preview with streams can be found on FloorballToday.
- Sweden – Finland (men) at Thursday 19.00 – Streamed at TV4 Sport (one month free trial)
- Sweden – Finland (women) at Friday 19.00 – Streamed at TV4 Sport (one month free trial)
- Finland – Sweden (women) at Sunday 12.00 – Streamed at Fanseat (one month free trial)
- Finland – Sweden (men) at Sunday 15.00 – Streamed at Fanseat (one month free trial)