Young hockey players gathered at the Clarenville Inn on Oct. 2 to learn a sport they’ve never played before — “floorball.”
Played inside the Farm and Market structure, hotel owner Keith Pardy says the idea of using the space for floorball came from his experience living in Sweden.
The sport is popular there, he says, and professional floorball leagues exist.
Similar to floor hockey, with a few notable rule restrictions, the kids already had a natural proclivity to the basics of the sport.
A lot of sports teams often stay at the Clarenville Inn and sometimes the young players like to play a miniature form of hockey in the halls, Pardy told The Packet.
By opening up the market area for this form of hockey, he hopes it’s a solution that doesn’t bother other guests, like playing in the halls might.
“We’ve been thinking for years, ‘I know they want to go expend some energy, but what can we do?’” said Pardy.
He adds since the market is not open in the winter, it’s a perfect spot.
Also, floorball is safe, good for skill building and fun.
“Canada has a national team that goes to the world championships.”
He says it’s a good idea to introduce for local kids and visiting teams alike. So when the teams have downtime, they can go to the market area, warm up, talk strategy, and have fun.
The team took to the floor last Wednesday night to try it for the first time, in a different setting, and while there are a few changes it was natural for them.
After all, it’s still a form of hockey.
What is Floorball?
Floorball is a type of indoor hockey. However, it has specialized sticks and rules to promote safety and skill. It is said to be great off-ice training for hockey players, for developing skills like stickhandling with its light stick and ball.
Some of the basics of the different rules include:
• No stick-checking, lifting, pinning or hacking. Players must go for the ball itself;
• Free hits, similar to free kick set pieces from a spot in soccer, can be awarded;
• Sticks must stay below waist level when shooting, and it must be below knee level at the striking point for the ball;
• No pushing, shoving or checking;
• No offsides or icing.
The international floorball committee is working towards making it an Olympic sport for the summer games in 2024.