The IFF considers to change several constants of the game. The playing time shall be reduced to 3 x 15 minutes, the squad to 15 players. This might help with some things but could also cause some damage. A compromise would be the best solution.
A similar mode was already tested at the past World Games in Poland, more or less. 3 x 15 minutes effective time, 14 players, 4 staff members. The new mode proposed by the IFF would allow one player more.
For the World Games, such as for any other multi-sports event, floorball is difficult business. Plenty of equipment, big time slots, a lot of (expensive) team members. If floorball wants to have a chance to get into the Olympic program it will have to agree on lightening its game mode – as did rugby by reducing its number of players from 15 to 7 (comparable to small- and big-field floorball).
Actually, such a change might also bring other improvements. Clubs and federations will spare money, the game will be more attractive for (live) TV and as the playing time will be reduced the chance of favorites stumbling over outsiders may increase.
However, many organizations, players and fans oppose such a change due to various reasons. Especially Sweden and Finland don’t want to compress the game in such a way as it has developed itself into its today’s form out of good naturally because of many good reasons. But in fact, the new mode would especially harm developing floorball countries.
Looking at a country such as Germany where the 1. and 2. Bundesliga competitions play a major role in training and developing young talented players the new rules would eradicate from one day to the other 150 player spots from the Bundesliga match protocols. Spots that are usually reserved for younger players in the third line that gain important experiences next to older or foreign players that keep up the level of the competition.
The result would be a domino effect causing either a decline of match quality (as numbers of foreign players would have to be reduced) or demanding the installation of additional competitions – in a country with a huge shortage of halls. In the end costs would rise and some talented players might never find their place in clubs where the first team is a major tool of development.
Regarding the criticism by some of the major federations as well as the drawbacks for some developing countries the IFF should consider a hybrid solution, just as rugby did – applying a compact mode to multi-sports events (being free to make it even more compact if necessary) and leaving the specialized elite competitions in its original form.
Foto: IFF, Martin Flousek