For the first time since it was created, the world floorball championship has come to Canada. The under-19 men’s tournament is currently underway in Halifax.
For most Canadians, the sport of floorball is something new, but it’s a fast-growing sport throughout the continent.
Over 400 young men from around the world are gathered at the Zatzman Sportsplex in Dartmouth with one common goal — to bring home the gold.
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They’re all floorball players and this fast-paced game looks similar to what Canadians would consider floor hockey but with some unique twists.
Chris Harman, an organizer and coach of Premier Floorball, a floorball team in Dartmouth, N.S., says the game includes many aspects from soccer and hockey.
“It’s really a cross between hockey and soccer so you can see the game being played behind me and it looks like hockey it actually kind of looks like ball hockey but all the rules are soccer rules so there is no body contact it’s all skill,” said Harman.
Team Canada has three players hailing from Nova Scotia.
Daniel Henri is one of those players and he has been playing floorball for three years and says he has worked hard to be able to represent his country at the international championship.
“You got to have a lot more athleticism. It’s a lot faster than hockey you know you’re always running there is no gliding the balls always moving there’s not as many whistles and when there is constantly ball set and you keep going,” Henri said.
Desmond Staples is playing for Team Canada, representing his home for the second time. Last year he attended the world championship in Sweden.
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The Ottawa-native says it’s an honour and he hopes more people get into the sport.
“It’s super easy to pick up and play. I think anybody at any skill level can learn to play. When I first started, I didn’t even know what floorball was, so I think it’s great for anybody to try and play,” said Staples.
Team USA player Case Connor scored his first international goal here in Canada and says he became interested in the sport after playing hockey in his home state of Texas.
“Three forwards, two defense and a goalie, five-on-five trying to score, there are faceoffs and all that kind of stuff, so it’s pretty similar that’s why I like it so much.” Connor says.
The tournament began on May 8 and will continue through to May 12 at the Zatzman Sportsplex in Dartmouth and Dalplex in Halifax.