The World Games

Why The World Games is the best thing that could have happened to floorball

(Image by: IFF, Creative Commons)

The World Games – dubbed The Olympics of non-Olympic sports – is one of the biggest sports events in the world, and guess what?! For the upcoming edition, floorball has been added to the program and – for the first time in history – will be part of an official multi-sport event!

What is The World Games?
The World Games is a 35-year old sports event focused on sports that didn’t make it to the Olympics (yet). The World Games will start tomorrow on the 20th of July, up until the 30th, and it’s hosted in Wroclaw (Poland). The tournament takes place once every four years in the year after the Summer Olympics.

Why is the inclusion of floorball such an important step for the sport?
The World Games provides smaller sports (like floorball) a great platform to show the world why they belong at the Olympics. Millions of people worldwide watch the games, thus getting in touch with these newer sports. And it helps! Last summer you may have watched taekwondo or badminton at the Olympic Games, but both these sports started their ‘career’ at The World Games. Other examples are triathlon, weightlifting and baseball (although this last sport got retracted in 2008, it will be back in 2020).

Floorball
And starting next week it will finally be time for floorball to show itself to a worldwide audience! Isn’t that fantastic news? In 1997 floorball already joined The World Games as an invitational sports, but this time it will be ‘for real’. As the floorball tournament is now hosted for the first time since 1997, the organizing committee decided to start off small, with only six men’s teams. The qualifications have been played during the WFC 2016 in Riga (Latvia).

Qualified teams
– Sweden, Finland, Switzerland (Top #3 ranked teams at the WFC 2016)
– USA (Best ranked non-European team)
– Czech Republic (Best ranked neighboring country, 4th place)
– Host Country Poland

Rules and match schedule
The teams will play with rosters of 14 players and 4 staff members. The games will be 3×15 minutes (effective time). If the play off and medal games are tied after official time, ten minutes extra time will be added, followed by penalty shots if necessary.

The match schedule can be found here.

(Sources: The World Games, IFF)
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