Up North: Popular Nordic sport floorball makes its way to Duluth
Last week, floorball was introduced to Duluth schools after the Minnesota Growlers Floorball Club donated sticks, balls, and nets.
Floorball is a popular sport among the youth in Nordic countries. The Ice hockey variant is one that prides itself on its affordability and inclusiveness of everyone.
“You can get right in here and play, and we got ages 6 to 75 out there. Guys, ladies, anybody,’ said Minnesota Growlers General Manager and player, Ryan Johnson.
Another member of the Minnesota Growlers, Juha Rouvinen, said, “This is an affordable sport compared to hockey. It’s exciting. It’s very fun for pretty much any age to play.”
Floorball is utilized by hockey teams worldwide as an off-ice training tool to enhance strategy and speed. For those part of Duluth East’s boy’s hockey team, they know how big of an advantage this is.
“I think them playing anything that translates to hockey is beneficial to their skills, but also their, you know, their physical development,” said Duluth East boy’s hockey assistant coach, Allen Ratai.
Floorball is played with 5 players on each side and a goalie, all taking place in a gym.
But of all places, why bring floorball to Duluth? There are two big reasons.
“Next year we have the championship here for our professional season,” said Johnson. “I just know that anybody that’s around it that wants to play can. All you need is a stick.”
“It’s the Nordic background of the people here in Duluth and hockey background of the people in Duluth,” said Rouvinen. “I think this is a great fit for Duluth and the community over here.”
The North American Floorball League, or NAFL, will host the championship from July 25th to July 28th of 2024.