Innebandy: Discover the Sport of Floorball in Norway

Home » Sport in Norway » Innebandy: Discover the Sport of Floorball in Norway

Innebandy, known internationally as floorball, is a fast-paced, exciting indoor sport closely related to hockey. Read on for an introduction to floorball in Norway.

Regular readers will know I'm a sports fan. Although I'm primarily a football fan, I've become interested in ice hockey since moving to Norway. But there's a few other sports that took much longer for me to get to know.

Floorball stick and ball image.

One of those is innebandy, which you might know as floorball, or unihockey. Essentially, the game is an indoor version of field hockey. It's very popular in Sweden, where the game is said to have originated, but it's also popular in parts of Norway.

As I became more interested in ice hockey in Norway, both bandy and innebandy came onto my radar.

Bandy is basically field hockey played on ice (much bigger than a hockey rink), whereas innebandy/floorball is an indoor version of field hockey played on a hard court.

Floorball's appeal can be attributed to several factors. It's accessible, requiring minimal equipment, and it's easy to learn, making it popular among all age groups.

What is Floorball?

Similar to hockey, it's played with lightweight sticks and a plastic ball with holes. The game emphasises speed, skill, and strategy, making it an exciting sport for players and spectators alike.

To get a feel for the game, check out some highlights on YouTube. This is Denmark v Norway from the 2018 world championships held in the Czech Republic:

Before you watch a game in person, it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the rules of floorball. If you are familiar with ice hockey rules, you're already halfway there.

The game is typically played on an indoor court, which at 40 by 20 metres is a bit smaller than a hockey rink. As with ice hockey, each team has five players and a goalkeeper on the court at any one time, from a squad of up to 20.

The objective? Score more goals than the opposition. Floorball matches consist of three 20-minute periods, offering a dynamic and fast-moving experience. Rolling substitutions keep the pace high.

Floorball Organisation in Norway

The sport is governed in Norway by the Norwegian Bandy Association (Norges Bandyforbund), which also oversees bandy and field hockey.

Eliteserien is the highest floorball league for men in Norway. Slevik are the current defending champions, having won the 2022/23 championship after beating Tunet in the play off final. Other notable clubs in Eliteserien include Greåker and Vålerenga.

Norway's Floorball National Team

Norway's national team competes in international tournaments, showcasing Norway's talent on the global stage.

Floorball game in Latvia. Photo: shulers / Shutterstock.com.
Floorball game in Latvia. Photo: shulers / Shutterstock.com.

Sweden are the dominant team in men's floorball worldwide, securing the title in ten of the last 14 tournaments. In 1996, Norway secured a bronze medal, beating the Czech Republic 6-2 in the crucial game.

It's a similar story in the women's game, with Sweden picking up the last eight world titles. Norway were beaten semi-finalists five times between 1997 and 2005, going on to win two bronze medals.

The next men's world championships will take place in December 2024 in Malmö, Sweden. The next women's world championships will take place in December 2025.

Floorball at The World Games

The sport is also one of the disciplines included at The World Games, a showcase of non-Olympic sports held every four years. In 2025, the event will be held in Chengdu, China.

Have you ever played or watched floorball? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

Norway Weekly Subscribe Banner

Leave a Comment