THE WA Men’s and Women’s Floorball teams united today to train at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre (MARC) ahead of the Australian Floorball Open (AFO) in April.
The competitive sport is a cross between hockey and indoor hockey.
“The sport is played with a plastic or carbon fibre stick on floorboards in a rink where a plastic whiffle ball is used instead of a puck,” WA Women’s Floorball player Taneeka LaBrooy said.
Floorball, originally a product of Finland in the ‘80s, was developed during the off season of ice hockey.
WA Men’s Floorball player Jonathon Veron said it was a fast growing sport.
“They needed something to stay fit and wasn’t too harsh on the body so Finland came up with the idea and it’s now spread around the world now,” he said.
“Floorball is has only been in Australia since the ‘90s – it’s been growing quite fast though.”
The AFO will take place in April from 18 to 21 in Mandurah at MARC.
Players will travel interstate and internationally from Singapore to participate in the competition.
“The major advantage of this venue this year is that three, almost full sized Floorball rinks can be set up at the one location,” LaBrooy said.
“This not only facilitates and builds the atmosphere of the tournament but also encourages our interstate and international visitors to explore everything Mandurah has to offer.”
The AFO will run two competition formats for the first time this year.
The main event will consist of three 15 minute periods and will feature club based teams around Australia in both men’s and women’s competitions.
The second format, the Elite competition, will be the West versus East again in both men’s and women’s competitions.
The WA men’s and women’s Floorball teams were both named 2017 AFO Champions at the AFO event held in Pakenham, Victoria last year.
“The best of the best of Australia come together to Mandurah and battle it out for the trophy so we’re hoping to repeat that this year,” Veron said.
Mandurah residents can watch the event in April for free at MARC.
For more details go to www.afo2018.com.