Every piece of equipment used for official floorball event shall be approved by IFF. This certification is secured by labelling equipment with an IFF mark issued by the SP Company as a recognized certification company of IFF. Certification secures that the product passed the testing and meets both technical and sport requirements set by IFF. It also means that there is an ongoing control. SP company tests all floorball products including sticks, balls, boards, goal cages and goalkeepers’ face masks.
Floorball in the past has been mostly played in venues with a wooden floor. High quality wooden floors have to be perfectly levelled (LEVEL) and clean otherwise the ball bounces on it and the passing is inaccurate. Nowadays synthetic floor materials are being used (rubber floor, PVC, Taraflex) due to better adhesion, safety and improvement of the game.
Floorball boards (also called rink) are an expensive investment and they aren’t necessarily needed for school or recreational purposes. Boards’ lifespan is long and nowadays they are common equipment in sports halls across Europe. Floorball rink is assembled from two meters long straight pieces and four rounded corners. Official floorball rink size is 40x20m. Boards can be easily connected and the rink assembled in no time. Boards are easily storable and transportable thanks to special trolley/s. Rinks are usually made out of laminate or polyethylene in white or black colours.
Official size of floorball goal cages are 160cm wide, 115cm high, 65cm deep at the bottom and each goal cage weight around 12kg. Goals have to be made of welded iron tubes and painted red. The cage net is firmly connected to the goal cage and covers the whole back part. Drop net is inside the goal with a maximum loop size of 0,5cm x 0,5cm. It is used to retain balls inside the goal cage. Mini goal cages of various sizes (most common is 90x60cm) are used for school floorball. Other sports equipment like cones or jerseys can be easily utilised for school floorball. Other standard gym equipment for example benches, mattresses or various balls, coordination belts, balance platforms, goalkeeper dummies, etc. can be used during a training process.
There is a wide range of balls used in floorball. Balls vary in colour and structure type. In terms of function and service life it’s advisable to use High quality certified balls are recommended to use as they usually last longer, have a better characteristics for shooting and passing and stay rounded during the time. Cheap balls do usually breaks in joint. They are also softer and bounce differently. High quality balls aren’t smooth on the surface but they have some sort of dimples/notching. First alternation from smooth ball has been introduced in 2003 when companies Canadien and Exel joined forces. They developed a ball, which has a lower friction and lower air resistance. Thanks to this the ball was able to fly 10% faster than a ball with a smooth surface. Due to an uneven surface it also provided better adhesion to the stick blade. The basic parameters of the ball are the same for all types and brands. Diameter is 72 mm, it weights 23grams and has 26 holes, each of 10mm in diameter. The colour of official ball used for top international games has changed over the years from white through vanilla to the most recent orange. Generally it works cheaper to order balls in bulk. Each player should have at least one ball for the training session!
The floorball stick has to meet several important standards. Firstly it has to be certified by IFF, the mark can be find on shaft above the blade. IFF certification indicates that the stick meets the basic requirements like that it isn’t heavier than 380grams, it passed safety testing, etc. Comparing to the field hockey, floorball sticks are made for playing on both, left and right side. This is easily recognisable by blade curve. Whether the stick is left or right is determined by position of lower hand.
During a training process of beginners, a coach has to pay attention to players (especially kids) whether they use a correctly orientated stick. We can determine the dominant hand (hand on the top of the stick) by a practical test. We give a stick to the rookie player and observe him/her during a play. Sooner rather than later the player drops the bottom hand and continues playing one handed in a way that feels more natural to him. If the player holds the stick with right hand, a left orientated stick is more suitable for the player. Note: Right hand holds the stick at the top and, left hand further down on the stick.
Images: IFF, Unisport, Swerink, Salming, Unihoc, floorball-shop.biz