Floorball is an indoor game similar to hockey, played in an area of 40 by 20 meters bordered by boards 0.5 meters high. Each team in a competitive floorball game has five players with sticks and a goalkeeper who does not carry special equipment. The goalkeeper has a helmet and a separate shirt. A floorball ball has a circumference preferably from 8.7 to 9.1 inches, with the stick from 37.8 to 45.5 inches in length.
The initial development of floorball started in Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s. The game is very popular in countries like Estonia, Latvia, Denmark and Finland, among others. These countries have developed floorball for a long time, making the sport quite popular and developed. The game is gaining popularity in many other countries. In the United States of America, in Malaysia and in Ireland, sport has become famous. By the year 2014, there were over 300,000 floorball players registered worldwide. The game has important professional tournaments such as Finland Salibandyliiga and Sweden Svenska Superligan. The International Floorball Federation (IFF) governs this sport. Several key sporting events include the world foosball championships and the annual Euro Floorball Cup for club teams.
Each team in a game plays with two defenders, three forwards and a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper can hit the ball with any part of the body and can hold it for a period of three seconds. After breaking the rules, a player temporarily leaves the game. During a game, a player should not hit the ball with his hand or head. A player must never jump during the game, nor receive the ball with both feet off the ground. A two-minute penalty occurs if a player takes a hit with a stick over his waist. Players face penalties when they encounter the ball above the knee. The rule is that when firing, the stick must remain below the waist level. Control, a technique to destroy the opponent with the ball, is prohibited. Contact measured between players is allowed during a game. Sometimes, the game starts with a face-off or a success. This normally happens when a player commits a crime or the rules define the ball as unplayable. Furthermore, the game begins with a face-off when a player suffers a serious wound, or after a failed shot at a penalty.
The basic rules for sport came into force in 1979, after the formation of IBK Hall in Sweden. This club was the first in the world when floorball was still a very new sport. Three years later, the official rules for the game came into effect. However, these rules may vary from one country to another. For example, in some countries, the goalkeeper can keep a stick during the game while in other countries the goalkeeper cannot keep a stick. Floorball is a considerably new and at the same time evolving sport. Floorball will be present in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics as a new sport, promoting its development.