IFF Associations Meeting Day 1 – 08.12.2017

The first part of the 4th IFF Associations Meeting took place 8th of December in Bratislava in connection to the Women’s 11th World Floorball Championships. On Friday’s session there were 65 participants from 34 countries.

Opening & IFF Sales Coordinator

The meeting was opened by the IFF President Tomas Eriksson who welcomed all the participating member associations to the meeting:
- Our sport has had a tremendous year with growth in multi-sport events and new countries on more continents. We can and should be proud.
At the end of his speech, he announced that Tero Kalsta has been chosen as the new IFF Sales Coordinator. A bigger introduction of Kalsta will be published latest in January.

World Floorball Championships

IFF Secretary General John Liljelund opened his part with the question of improving the WFC stating that it’s one of the key attributes in bringing the sport forward.
-We can build new traditions which is a strength for us, says Liljelund.
A SWOT Analysis of the WFC brought light to the improvement needs of the tournament. These included for example the interest of the main stream media as well as having teams from all continents.

The possible steps for the future WFCs could be increasing the number of the teams and participating continents as well as changing the playing time.  
-The 3x15 playing time worked amazingly at The World Games. The game was much more intense and it was some of the best level floorball that has ever been seen. It would also give us the opportunity to have more matches per day, says Liljelund
The question of the number of players in a roster was also brought up:
- In the Olympics you need to have 12+12 teams. If floorball would be to take part in the Olympics with the current team roster, the number of athletes would be humongous, says Liljelund.
Liljelund’s presentation was followed by a group work session with the participating countries. Most countries had aligning thoughts about shortening the playing time.

International Calendar

In the Associations Meeting 2012, the playing system of the WFC was changed and there was a compromise made with the time of the U19 WFC.
The CB had in its meeting decided to move the September internationals weekend one week back due to the preparation of the WFC teams. Also, the Champions Cup will be played in January in the future.
Group sessions were held about the international calendar and for example the playing of the WFC 2022 as if it were to be played in December it would be played at the same time as the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The RACC and Office will evaluate the feedback and a proposal will be a part of the General Assembly 2018.

The role of Floorball in Multisport Events

Mike Laflin the CEO of Sportcal spoke about the role of floorball in multisport events. GSI Project was established in 2011 and aims to understand the true impact of the sport. The ten key pillars for the GSI programme for 2018 are economic, tourism, event experience, media, social media, sponsorship, social, sustainability, legacy and sporting. For now economic, media, sporting and social are used to evaluate and rate sport events, but in the future the additional pillars will be included. In 2016, the Men’s WFC was 21st in the GSI Events Index.
Sportcal also did a study in connection to The World Games and Laflin shared some of the floorball figures and thoughts. Altogether 3967 tickets were sold which was 82.85% of the tickets.
Floorball had rather low Olympic Channel coverage as there were only 1556 plays during the bronze and gold match. The comparison with other sports has not been made yet. On the IFF YouTube the streams of the bronze and the gold match got 36,000 views.
#Floorball was the second most used hashtag in The World Games and altogether floorball was involved with 7 out of the top 10 hashtags.
Floorball was amongst sports with the most favourable ratio of initial interest v likelihood to follow in the future. 43% of the spectators expressed initial interest in floorball and after the event 69% were either interested or very interested in the sport.
Before the event, floorball was among the top ten most interesting sports but after the event floorball had dropped to top 15. Floorball got a high praise from the IWGA and the WOC after the event.
- There was a strong interest in floorball already beforehand and even stronger afterwards. One thing which floorball could improve is fan engagement and entertainment. For example, in some sports there are commentators engaging the crowds, says Laflin and also concludes
- Sport events shouldn’t be only about the sport but also about creating a great experience and the fans having a great time.
He also mentioned that social engagement is important and such floorball promotion in the city as 3vs3 was a good way to promote the sport.
- For many host cities and governments, it’s really important to get people active.

The World Games

One of the main objectives of The World Games 2017 was to secure our participation to TWG 2021 in Birmingham, USA:
- After reading all the reports we can be carefully positive that we are close to securing this objective. We were rather successful in promoting floorball and in promoting The World Games, says Liljelund.
Floorball got good comments from the IWGA and the IOC and they said that floorball was a good addition to the event. Floorball got a praise for additional activities such as mini-court outside the court and Czech players signing autographs.
In conclusion The World Games opened new doors for floorball and gave many positive new contacts and ideas.

The IFF Vice President and the President of the Czech Floorball Federation Filip Suman talked about the involvement of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and Floorball at The World Games.
- All the athletes looked unified and the Czech NOC paid attention to sports that they might not usually pay that much attention to. It’s important to try and have a co-operation during such events as The World Games.

Stephen King The IFF together with the AOFC created a social media activation campaign in order to activate the Asia Oceania region as there were no TWG floorball teams from that region. The campaign was successful as floorball and The World Games both got more visibility on social media.
In the discussion part the member associations were asked how they experienced The World Games and improvement ideas for future events.

The day was ended by IFF CB member and Spanish Unihockey and Floorball Association´s Secretary General Carlos Lopez:
- With these meetings, we show that we are an open organisation and that we don´t decide matters in small offices but everybody has a voice. The IFF is us, the floorball is us.