Canada is a nation that is built on a culture of hockey. There are many synergies and similarities between ice hockey and floorball yet enough difference to separate the two sports. As more youth discover and play floorball they are immediately taken to its ease of learning, fast pace and exciting play. Floorball is a sport that can be enjoyed by both hockey and non hockey players as it encompasses elements of many others sports, most notable soccer.
Floorball is rapidly emerging across the world however in Canada and USA it lacks a model that will ensure its growth, sustainability and connectivity across communities.
The most common way floorball clubs start is the DIY (Do It Yourself) approach.. Although a noble undertaking, usually started by someone with a passion for floorball, it can be a challenging ‘hit or miss’ venture often resulting in any or all of the following:
THE DIY FLOORBALL CLUB (“The Challenge”)*:
- It starts quickly with great passion and initial momentum but fades as players drop off and get older.
- It usually has one person as the catalyst logging many solo hours and trying to find players, referees, coaches for their club.
- There is seldom a plan or strategy on how to recruit more players leaving much of it to chance
- There is little if any support system to draw insights, ideas for growth or overcoming club challenges
- It lacks effective marketing tools and experienced individuals to help in the promotion of the club and growth in player registrations (thus club revenues).
- It significantly increases workload and stress on the owner to find and train more staff should it grow
- It has not developed the latest recruitment and training methods needed to find and develop players, referees, coaches and qualified volunteers.
- It seldom has good codes of conducts, discipline procedures and policies, player protection and inclusivity policies or lacks insurance coverage and current standards and practices to ensure a safe and healthy environment of play
- It usually relies on manual registrations and payment collections tools or uses multiple software programs for regular communications, marketing campaigns, bookkeeping and customer service
- It lags in the efforts to offer continues floorball play and activities in an adequate/ safe playing facilities thus never gaining followers and new players.
- It does not provide a pathway of consecutive age divisions for players resulting in playing age gaps and less turnout or decline in attendance.
- In relying solely on the efforts of an owner, causes burn out or encroachment on personal time and continued participation is questioned
- Causes owners to reconsider their time/ interests when revenues are not covering their expenses.
- If owners can no longer sustain the pace the interest wanes and the club often becomes stale and may even fold
Introducing a new type of sport in a community that is already populated with more commonly known sports requires a model that provides operators the tools, resources, proven processes, strategic marketing programs and an ongoing support system in order to compete, grow and sustain itself in the sport community