History of Floorball

Where exactly floorball started originally is largely debated. Canada, Sweden, and the USA all claim to have been the inventors of the sport. While the first modern floorball game took place in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1968, Canada and the USA both played a very similar version as early as the 1950's. In Canada is was simply called "ball hockey," while in America it was called "Cosom hockey," named after the stick manufacturer Cosom.

Cosom Sticks Cosom Stick Set
Bandy StickBandy Stick
Modern Floorball StickModern Floorball Stick

Cosom hockey sticks, as well as other early forms of floorball sticks, got their inspiration from the lesser known ice sport of bandy.

In the US, it's believed that Michigan was the first to incorporate this early form of floorball into its PE program. After the game modernized in Sweden, the version we know today was brought to MIT by a Swede who wanted to continue to play his favorite sport. From there the program grew, and is still played there to this day. Other places such as NYC, Silicon Valley, and the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas where there are many Swedes and Finns were the first places to have large pockets of floorball activity.

Original Floorball Game
Sala IBK Logo

The first official floorball club was Sala IBK, located in Sweden in 1979. Basic rules were established as the sport became more organized. Shortly after that, the first official rulebook was written in 1981. By 1989, Sweden had enough teams to hold the world's first floorball league.

IFF Logo

In 1986 the IFF (International Floorball Federation) was founded by Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland, the first three countries to have a floorball association. From there, the Federation has grown to include 40 countries with associations that are ranked based on World Championship placement. The first World Championship was played in 1996 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Another form of floorball, Manual Wheelchair Floorball, was a part of the ParaGames in 2011. Teams from Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, and Netherlands participated, with Sweden being the eventual winner.

Looking forward, floorball will be played for the first time in the Special Olympics in 2017. Also in 2017, the World Games will feature floorball for the first time. Both of these events are crucial steps in the process of becoming a part of the Olympic Games, which the IFF hopes to be in by 2024.

Sources: Wikipedia, IFF.org, Floorballcentral.org, USAFloorball.org, innebandy.se