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Rules and Gameplay

Floorball Rules and Game Play 

While an official floorball court measures 20 meters wide by 40 meters long (65 ft x 131 ft), the game can be played on any smooth surface of any size, indoors or outside. A basketball or sport court is ideal for game play. An official court is surrounded by a set of boards, which is 50 cm (20 inches) high.

The object of the game is to hit the ball into the opponent's goal.  An international regulation game consists of three 20-minute periods with a 10 minute break between each period.  At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.  Each team has five field players (3 forwards, 2 defense) and a goalie.  For local league games, we play three 15 minute periods with two minute breaks in between. 

The game begins with a face-off at the middle of the court.  A face-off also occurs after each goal.  For the face-off, the ball is placed on the floor.  The two players taking the face-off should have their feet and blade placed perpendicular to the center line on either side of the ball but without touching it.  Play begins when the referee blows the whistle.  After the face-off, the offense and defense battle for control of the ball.  Each team tries to advance the ball forward and score on the opponent's goal.  Play is continuous, players will be moving constantly.  Free substitutions are allowed at any time.  Normally, teams will change players during a play stoppage.  There are no offsides rules in floorball. 

Hit-Ins and Free Hits

Hit-ins and free hits are stoppages in play due to various game situations.  A hit-in is given to the non-offending team when the ball leaves the rink.  The offending team is considered to be the team whose player last touched the ball before it left the rink.

A free hit is awarded when a minor infraction of the rules occurs.  It allows a team to stop, regroup, change lines, or execute set plays.  A free hit often leads to scoring situations when taken close to the opponent's goal.  When a free hit is awarded, the following procedures are followed:

  • The free hit is taken from the spot of the foul.  When the foul occurs from behind the goal line, the free hit is moved to the nearest corner face-off dot.
  • Opponents must stay at least 10 feet from the ball.
  • The player taking the free hit does not have to wait for the opponents to take position.
  • The ball shall be played cleanly with the stick, not dragged, flicked, or lifted on the stick.
  • The player taking the free hit must not touch the ball again before it has touched another player.
  • A free hit may go directly into the goal.

You are not allowed to:

  • Hit, lift, or block an opponent's stick to gain a competitive advantage (contact during the follow through of a pass or shot is not considered a penalty situation).
  • Play the ball above the knee.
  • Swing your stick above the waist.
  • Push, hold, or block an opponent with your body or arms.
  • Touch the ball twice in a row with your feet.
  • Touch the ball with hands or head.
  • Jump up to reach the ball.
  • Place your stick or leg between an opponents legs.
  • Play the ball on two knees or with both hands touching the floor.
  • Play the ball without a stick.

Basic Strategy:

  • Play with two hands on the stick.  Keep the blade on the floor.
  • Stay in position at all times.
  • Pass the ball often; remember that the ball is faster than the fastest player.
  • Pass to teammates in a better position to score.
  • Remember to play the ball backwards to your defenders.
  • Communicate with each other -- lots of chatter.

Goalie Play:

  • Position yourself in the center of the goal cage and move back and forth across the goal mouth as you follow the play.
  • Hold your body against the goal post when an attacker is towards the side or behind the goal.  Don't allow any space for the ball to slip through.
  • Remember that you can grab the ball with your hands if any part of your body is inside the goalie area.
  • Keep your eye on the ball at all times.  Play the ball, not the shooter.
  • Anticipate shots; try to position yourself between the shooter and the goal.
  • Use your arms, hands, and head to block high shots and shots to the sides of the net.  Try to catch the ball as often as possible.
  • Stick out your legs to stop low shots.  The legs should move like windshield wipers on a car -- the opposite leg moves underneath you to cover the area under your body.
  • Control the ball after you block it.  Fall on it or cover it with your legs.
  • Move out from the goal when you're meeting an attacker.  This closes the angle and reduces the area you have to defend.
  • Don't over commmit as moving too far out will leave you out of position if a pass is made to the opposite side of the court.
  • A goalie can throw the ball out of their goal area to anywhere they like as long as the ball touches the floor before the half court line.  An underhand throw should be used in most situations to give control of the ball to a teammate.  The ball should be delivered in a smooth motion at a slow to moderate speed that allows the receiving player to control the pass.  An overhand throw is used to get the ball past attacking opponents or to start a fast break by getting a ball to a teammate quickly streaking down the court.

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