Floorball is officially played by two teams, with five players and a goalkeeper, officiated by two referees. It is played indoors on a rink that is 66 feet (20 m) wide, 132 feet (40 m) long and 20 inches (50 cm) high. The goals are 64 in (160 cm) wide and 45 in (115 cm) high.
The game consists of three 20 minute periods and the team with the most goals wins. Time is stopped for goals, penalties, and timeouts. Substitutions may occur at any time.
For a more detailed description of the game and how to plan a gym lesson, please have a look at our floorball guide: Getting Started and Planning Lessons.
Floorball is a flexible game. We recommend choosing the number of players on a team based on the size of the available court. For example, play with three people per team with a small goal and without a goalkeeper if the court is small, or play with four people per team with a medium goal and without a goalkeeper if the size of the court is similar to a tennis court.
If you have two teams, we recommend playing up to ten goals and winning by two. If you have more than two teams, we recommend playing up to three or five goals and winning by one, with the winning team staying on the court until defeated.
A floorball court is divided in half and each team gets a side. Start the game with all players on their side of the court. Begins with a face-off similar to the one used for hockey, but instead of dropping a puck, the ball is to be laid down at the center of the court with one player on each side of it. With both teams ready, a signal goes off (a referee or a coach usually blows a whistle but any type of signal will do) and the players are to drag the ball backwards, which is more common, or if preferred, forward. Alternatively one team begins by passing the ball around and the game starts as soon as the starting team crosses the dividing line into the other team’s zone. After a goal is scored the ball can either be given to the team conceding the goal, or be played from center court with a face off like the one used to start the game off. The attacking team can only score a goal when the ball is inside the defending team zone. If the attacking team accidentally scores on their own goal it is counted as a goal for the defending team.
Use these simplified rules and have fun!
A floorball player needs suitable sports clothing for indoor or outdoor games and good sport shoes to prevent ankle sprains. Players are allowed to wear shin guards, eye protectors, and protective padding for sensitive areas. All players except for the goalkeeper carry sticks. A floorball stick is made of carbon fabric and is very light. It is shorter than an ice hockey, with the maximum stick size being 3 ft 5 in (105 cm). Goalkeepers wear protection, padded pants, a padded chest protector, and a helmet. It is also common for goalkeepers to use kneepads and gloves. The game is played with a floorball that weighs 0.8 oz (23 grams), with a 2.3 in (72 mm) diameter and 26 holes (similar to a waffle ball).
There are four different sizes of goals: small, medium and two large match goals (match small and match large). Small and medium size goals are used when playing games without a goalkeeper.
- Stick interference: Players cannot lift, slash, hold or otherwise impede an opposing player’s stick. This is an infraction that results in a free shot for the other team.
- High Stick: Players cannot make contact with the ball using their stick above average knee level. Players cannot raise their sticks above waist level at any time, including on the backswing or follow-through of a shot. This is an infraction that results in a free shot for the other team.
- Hands: Players cannot use their hands to play or touch the ball, with the exception of the goalie within the goal crease. This is an infraction that results in a free shot for the other team.
- Feet: Players can use their feet once to either pass to another player or kick the ball onto their own stick.
- Head: Players cannot play the ball with their head. This is an infraction that results in a free shot for the other team.
- Jumping: Players cannot jump to play the ball. One foot must be on the ground when touching the ball. This is an infraction that results in a free shot for the other team.
- Playing from the ground: Players cannot go down on a knee to make plays or block shots; only goalies may play from their knees. This is an infraction that results in a free shot for the other team.
- Playing your stick between another player’s legs: Not allowed. This is an infraction that results in a free shot for the other team.
- Illegal distance: Defensive players (or their sticks) cannot be within 7 feet (2 meters) of the ball on a free shot.
- Body contact: Only incidental shoulder contact (like soccer) is allowed. Tackling is not allowed. Players cannot hold opposing players, or their jerseys, or interfere with their movement. Minor infraction results in a free hit. Major infraction, such as a dangerous play, or repeated infractions result in a 2-minute penalty.
- Infraction in a scoring position: Playing without a goalkeeper this results in a penalty shootout from the midpoint of the court in an open goal. Playing with a goalkeeper the penalty taker must move the ball forward or sideways, but not backwards, before making the final shot.
- Crease violation, if playing with a goal keeper: Defensive players (or their sticks) cannot be inside the goalie crease (the inner crease). Defensive player playing the ball in the crease (penalty shot), defensive players not touching the ball or offensive players in the crease (free shot)