Floorball may not be as popular as hockey or football, but the sport is one of the widely played games in Thailand – it is also one that they truly excel in. So when you visit Thailand, don’t be surprised if you see locals playing this intensely. If you want to get in on the game before it becomes a major sport internationally, you must learn how to play floorball.
Just like any game, floorball uses different equipment, but the most important of all is the floorball stick. Each player needs to choose the best stick to improve their skills. Before committing to buying, they must try the stick first. When it comes to price, the value depends on the brand and the type of stick. In general, harder sticks are more expensive since their design is specific for a more aggressive level of playing. Professional floorball players often choose harder sticks because it allows them to achieve quick passes and take good shots. For beginners, it is best first to use a soft stick until they improve their stick handling skills.
The Stick Blade
The stick blade can be customised to conform to the shape that you are more comfortable in. Note that blades that have small angles can give you good backhands and allow you to make accurate passes. A curved blade, on the other hand, gives you improved forehand, but passing can be challenging.
TIP: Blades must not be curved more than three centimetres if used for competitions.
The Stick Shaft
The stick shaft is the body of your stick. The length of the shaft is crucial for your gameplay and technique. A short stick allows you to maintain excellent control and technique because it brings you nearer to the ball, so it is best for passing. Make sure that your stick is within the right length. In general, shafts that stand higher than your navel is not advisable.
Standard sticks already come with good grips; however, if the grip does not feel right and makes the player uncomfortable, it should be replaced. Make sure that the grip covers the area where you hold the stick during gameplay. Note that the grip must not extend beyond the grip mark or 24 cms from the bottom end of the shaft.
The goalkeeper must wear a competition-grade helmet. They must also wear a specially-designed goalkeeper’s shirt and trousers that come with thick pads. Goalkeepers can also choose to use gloves, kneepads, and a jockstrap as an added protection. This clothing must not restrict the goalkeeper’s movement and balance.
Just like any game, players must follow their posts in floorball, so this is one of the essential factors to consider if you want to learn how to play floorball. Positions are crucial since they can also be used as a technique to throw off opponents.
The main aim of floorball is to make a goal and score points. This goal is possible by besting the defence of the other team.
Knowing the positions is one of the key factors to know if you want to learn how to play floorball. In an average floorball game, there are five outfield players and one goalkeeper for each team, with positions as follows:
The defenders are left and right defenders; that’s why there are two of them.
Similarly, attackers must also have left and right attackers or left and right wings. Both the defenders and attackers are responsible for protecting and attacking their respective sides. The centre’s primary responsibility is to support the attackers and the defenders. Thus, it is common to see them running a lot. They must also have an intense sense of positioning to cover the bases adequately.
These are the primary roles of the positions. However, it is also common to find the players overlap in the places depending on the game situation. Often, the left defender may take the position of the right defender if the situation calls for it. Similarly, the defender may become the attacker, or the centre or attackers may fill in the position of the defender temporarily.
Defenders, as their position implies, waits for the attacker to commit a mistake. They do not chase the ball because chasing the ball can lead them to commit an error and leave an opening for the attacker to take a shot. Defenders must focus on closing down the distance and intercepting passes.
An attackers main task is to keep the ball in their possession and look for opportunities to take the shot.
A game of floorball is playable with three to five outfield players and one goalkeeper. The coach may choose to substitute a field player if they deem necessary. The team may also want to replace any player at any given time during the game. Often, substitutions occur when the player is hurt or needs to rest.
A competitive floorball game has three periods, with each period played at 20 minutes. In case of penalties, goals, timeouts, and any situation in which the ball is not in play, the time is stopped. In between periods, players are given time to rest and come up with a strategy for ten minutes. Teams get one timeout lasting for 30 seconds. Two referees with equal authority oversee the games.
Should a player commit a foul, the play begins from a face-off or free-hit. During the free-hit, the player will start the game where the ball was last played. This ruling is highly similar to a football’s free-kick.
Now that you have an idea of how to play floorball, it is time to learn a bit about betting on this particular sport. Betting on floorball is quite popular among expats hailing from Australia, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, and Switzerland. For this reason, there are already several online sportsbooks that accept floorball bets. When choosing an online bookie, look for the one that shows all available matches and leagues with a comprehensive rundown of all odds.
Note that one of the most popular floorball betting events is the Floorball World Championships, which occurs every two years since 1996. Floorball is also one of the main events in the Southeast Asian Games, in which Thailand players are excelling.