Last night was the third night of floorball at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver, where as usual we had 20 minutes of drills and warmup and played what seemed like an unending game. I got one or two assists, depending on how you define assist. (Is it like hockey where if you set up the guy who gets the first assist, you also get an assist?) I didn't score, but came close 3 times, and was really happy about the chances, as I had just the right amount of patience and was open for just long enough to turn around and take a shot. The first shot went off the cross-bar (almost perfect placement!) and another sailed past the post.
(Last week, just to keep track, I scored a goal and got one assist.)
Last night floorball started back up again at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver, this time with a twist on the original drop-ins I was participating in earlier in the year. Now they have full session sign-ups, and each drop-in begins with 15-20 minutes of drills. Perfect! I'm still a floorball newbie, and having some practice time with long-time players watching over should add some polish to my very rough floor hockey edges. Starting with last night's games' two goals and one assist, I'm keeping track of my points so that I can look back and see how I did over a "season".
The 1st annual BC Floorball Federation Challenge this past Saturday was a major success! I was placed on Team Sweden, and despite claims of coincidence, I suspect conspiracy—I started participating in order to counter Swedish dominance with a surging Icelandic wave, and this is how they repay me?! Team Czech won the championship, which lasted all day at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver. Separate from the challenge, Swiss all-stars continued their dominance over the Canadian team in the middle of the day, and kids entertained the adults who deservedly rested after some pretty intense action. Each team had only one or two substitutes, making for some tired legs at the end of each game, but I scored twice and assisted once, so I'm pretty happy with how things turned out. Team Sweden lost twice, tied once, and won their final game.
Stewart already addressed the issue I had about floorball, that is that tricks have more value than fundamentals. This is true of all sports, really, but it's also true that teams that best exploit the regime (the infrastructure of the sport, including the rules and how the refs call it) are the ones that dominate, not necessarily those that are the most skillful. Think the New Jersey Devils of hockey and the Detroit Pistons of basketball. But practicing tricks makes you better at the fundamentals: in basketball, getting better control of the ball involves playing around with what you can do, and the same goes with floorball. The more you're able to control the ball the more you're able to go around people and put it in the net.
This Saturday at Mulgrave School, the BC Floorball Federation is hosting the 1st Annual BCFF Floorball Challenge. This is a one day Tournament of competitive 4 on 4 (+ goalies) Floorball. In addition to the competition itself there will be two demonstration games involved over 30 grade 4 -6 students from the school. In between these two games will be an Exhibition game between players from Canada and Switzerland (one of the top Floorball nations in the world.)
Vancouver's own Blair Zimmerman was recently MVP at the biggest Floorball Tournament in North America, The Canada Cup in Toronto at Easter. Blair will captain a side of local Canadian players and members of the Vancover WaveRiders club team that won Silver in Toronto.
Matching up against Blair will be another Zimmerman! That is Adrian Zimmerman. Adrian is part of Team Switzerland and is a Floorball Superstar at age 23! He was the top scorer in the 2006 World Floorball Championships in Sweden. The BC Floorball Federation is thrilled to have him participate on Saturday and whole day should be a fantastic advert for the sport.
As promised, some video of floorball in action. Izzard's video gives you a sense of what it's like to play pickup floorball in a gym, except we don't play to a Chemical Brothers soundtrack. For tricks (which floorballers seem to prefer to call skills), go no further than video showing the "Zorro" performed during games. I'm not so fond of the tricks, they intimidate me as a beginner, and besides, I won the award for best fundamentals on my basketball team (that's also why Tim Duncan has long been a favourite player of mine). For a good introduction to some of the rules, GlobalTV Quebec's This Morning Live did a short series one day on the sport, calling it "Floorball Fun With Richard" (hey I should have thought of that!): part 1; part 2; and part 3.
As the 1st annual BC Floorball Federation Challenge, held at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver on Saturday May 26th, approaches, I wanted to write a little bit about my experiences playing the new-to-me sport. Not being the hockey player in the family (that title belongs to my brother), it's been a little slow going, having to match what I know about basketball—positioning and moving around the court—to chasing a ball with a stick. Throughout the week, I'll post short thoughts about my admittedly limited experiences, what I like and don't like about the sport, and what I've learned and would still like to learn.