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History of Floorball

Floorball_World University Floorball Championships 2014_Singapore

Photo by Kelvin Tan

By: Yang Jie Yu

Floorball is a relatively new sport that has been making waves in the local sports scene. The sport has seen great development ever since it was introduced to Singapore by Mr Stefan Dahlgren back in 1994. There are currently about 10,000 floorball players in Singapore with approximately 200 schools and 100 local clubs actively involved.

LOCAL FLOORBALL MILESTONES (provided by Singapore Floorball Association)

1994 -    Floorball was introduced to the mass community by Mr Stefan Dahlgren. At that time, the sport was known as “Streetbandy”

1995 -    The Singapore Floorball Association (SFA) was formed

1996 -    Singapore sends 1st national team to compete in the World Floorball Championship (WFC) held in Sweden.

1997 -    The inaugural National Floorball League was played, featuring 6 Men’s teams and 4 Ladies’ teams.

1998 -    Singapore participated in the Men’s WFC in Czech Republic.

1999 -    Singapore sent its first national women’s team to compete in the Women’s WFC in Sweden. The first international floorball tournament in Singapore was organised with the Singapore International Floorball Championships, which featured Sweden and Finland.

2001 -    Singapore participated in the Women’s WFC in Latvia, finishing with the bronze medal in the B Division.

2002 -    Singapore participated in the Men’s WFC in Finland, achieving it first ever win for the Men in a WFC tournament by beating Malaysia.

2003 -    Singapore participated in the Women’s WFC in Switzerland.

2004 -    Singapore participated in the Men’s WFC in Switzerland. The first Asia Pacific Floorball Championships was organised in Singapore, with 4 Men’s and 4 Women’s teams.

2005 -    Singapore hosted the Women’s WFC in Singapore, with matches played at the Woodlands    Sports Hall, ITE College East and the Singapore Indoor Stadium.  Singapore finished with the bronze medal in the B Division. 

Singapore National Women’s Team emerged champions for the Women’s APAC, held in Singapore.

2006 -    Singapore participated in the Men’s WFC in Sweden, which included a victory over Australia. 

Singapore National Men’s Team crowned champions of the Men’s APAC, held in Singapore.

2007 -    Singapore beat Japan in a home-and-away play-off series to clinch a place in the A Division of the Women’s WFC, which was played in Denmark. Singapore National Men’s Team crowned champions of the Men’s APAC, held in Singapore. 

The inaugural National Schools Floorball Championships were organised at Primary School level and the Secondary Schools A, B and C Divisions.

2008 -    Singapore participated in the Men’s WFC in the Czech Republic, achieving a historic first ever victory over a European team when it beat Slovenia, following it up quickly with another win over Great Britain. 

Singapore National Men’s Team crowned champions of the Men’s APAC, held in Australia.

2009 -    Singapore participated in the APAC in South Korea with a Combined Schools team for the   Men and the national team for the Women. Singapore participated in the Women’s WFC in Sweden.

2010 -    Singapore National Men’s Team crowned champions of the Men’s APAC in Singapore, which doubled up as the qualification for the Men’s WFC, which was held in Finland.

2011 -    Singapore participated in the APAC in Australia with a Combined Schools team for both Men and Women.  The national team also competed with Japan for the WFC qualification match.

2012 -    Singapore National Men’s Team crowned champions of the Men’s APAC, held in Japan. The tournament also served as the qualification for the Men’s WFC held in Switzerland.

2013 -    Singapore participated in the APAC and WFC qualifiers in Korea for Women. The Singapore Men’s and Women’s National Team took the top spot at the Myanmar SEA Games 2013 where Floorball was featured as a demonstration sport.

2014 -    Singapore participated in the APAC and WFC qualifiers in New Zealand for Men. 

Singapore becomes the first country outside of Europe to host the World University Floorball Championship (WUFC) at the OCBC Arena at the Singapore Sports Hub. Fast forward 2 decades into the future, and there are currently around 10,000 local players in Singapore who are involved in an estimated 200 schools and 100 local clubs.

FLOORBALL ORIGINS

In the early 1970s, in the Swedish town of Gothenburg, floorball started off as an activity that students would play after school hours. This schoolyard pastime developed over a span of a decade, and began showing up in nearby Nordic countries. This Nordic ancestry is evident in the different names Floorball is known by. In Finland, it is known as Salibandy. In Sweden and Norway, it is called innebandy, and the Swiss and Germans term it unihockey.

Formal rules, clubs and national associations soon followed in that respective order, and finally the International Floorball Federation (IFF) was founded in 1986. Currently, there are 57 members in the IFF, and more than 80 countries have hosted Floorball games before. A decade after the IFF’s formation, the first world championships were held in Sweden, and the world’s two largest leagues were developed in the years 1986 and 1995. 

In December 2008, floorball received recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In light of this, the IFF is working towards floorball inclusion in the 2024 Summer Olympics. Other notable strides in the sport include its introduction into the IOC’s family of International Sports Federations (ISF). 

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