History of floorball - Today.
62 Member Associations, 4 330 clubs, 309 397 licensed players (end of 2015). Champions Cup is played every year EuroFloorball Cup is played every year. World Championships is played every year, in even years for Men and U19 Women and in odd years for Women and U19 Men.
The game was played since the early 20th Century in Canada as a recreational sport, especially in high school gymnasiums. Most Canadian males born in the 1950s and before could attest to this. Similarly, during the 1950s and 1960s, many public school systems within Michigan incorporated Floorball into their primary and secondary school gym classes. Later, the Americans claimed to have invented it, and held interstate tournaments in the 1960s. The game was formally organized as an international sport in early 1970s in Gothenburg, Sweden. The sport began as something that was played for fun as a pastime at schools. After a decade or so, floorball began showing up in Nordic countries where the former schoolyard pastime was becoming a developed sport. Formal rules soon were developed, and clubs began to form. After some time, several countries developed national associations, and the IFF was founded in 1986.
The game of floorball is also known by many other names, such as salibandy (in Finland), innebandy (in Sweden and Norway), and unihockey (in Switzerland and Germany). The names "salibandy" and "innebandy" are derived from bandy; both of those names literally translate to "indoor bandy". Unihockey is derived from "universal hockey" since it is meant to be a special and simplified hockey form.
When the IFF was founded in 1986, the sport was played in mostly Nordic countries, Japan, and several parts of Europe. By 1990, floorball was recognized in 7 countries, and by the time of the first European Floorball Championships in 1994, that number had risen to 14. That number included the United States, who were the first country outside of Europe and Asia to recognize floorball. By the time of the first men's world championships in 1996, 20 nations played floorball, with 12 of them participating at the tournament. As of 2009, the sport of floorball has been played in almost 80 countries. Of those, 58 have national floorball associations that are recognized by the IFF. With the addition of Sierra Leone, Africa's first floorball nation, the IFF has at least one national association on each continent of the world, with the exception of Antarctica.
10 years after the IFF was founded, the first world championships were played, with a sold out final of 15,106 people at the Globen in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition to that, the world's two largest floorball leagues, Finland's Salibandyliiga and Sweden's Svenska Superligan were formed, in 1986 and 1995 respectively.
In December 2008, the IFF and the sport of floorball received recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In July 2011 the IOC officially welcomed the IFF into its family of Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF). This will pave the way for Floorball to enter the official sport programme. The IFF hopes that this recognition will help allow floorball to become a part of the 2020 Summer Olympics. In January 2009, the IFF and the sport of floorball received recognition from the Special Olympics. This recognition could make floorball an official Special Olympics sport in just two years. As well, the IFF hopes that floorball will be included as a demonstration sport at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games. In addition to recognition by the International Olympic Committee and Special Olympics, the IFF is also a member of the Sport Accord - formerly known as General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), and co-operates with the International University Sports Federation (FISU). Floorball is now also member of IWGA which runs the World Games and floorball will be for the first time on programme in Wroclaw 2017.
The world floorball championships are an annual event where teams from across the world gather to play in a tournament in order to win the world championship.
• The Men's World Floorball Championships take place every December (since 2008) in every even year.
• The Women's World Floorball Championships take place every December (since 2009) in every odd year.
• The Men's under-19 World Floorball Championships take place every May (since 2009) in every odd year.
• The Women's under-19 World Floorball Championships take place every May (since 2008) in every even year.
Originally developed for players with disabilities, wheelchair floorball is played with exactly the same rules as "regular" floorball. Players use the same stick and ball, and goaltenders are also allowed to play. The first ever IFF-sanctioned wheelchair floorball matches were played between the men's teams of the Czech Republic and Sweden, during the 2008 Men's World Floorball Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. In addition to this, there is also an electric wheelchair variation.