Canada’s national U19 women’s floorball team will play their opening game at the 2016 world championships in front of a full house.
Organizers of the first-ever International Floorball Federation world championship to be held in North America have announced the opening game of the 16-team tournament at the Sports Centre is a sellout.
Canada plays Japan on Wednesday, May 4 at Yardmen Arena. Game time is 11 a.m.
Organizing committee chairman, Brett Davis, of Belleville, said the event is clearly “picking up steam” as the global competition approaches.
“The community support from local sponsors, the school boards, the city and volunteers has been truly amazing,” said Davis.
More than 400 athletes will invade Belleville for the May 4-8 world championships. Team Canada, featuring a handful of local players plus head coach Todd Crawford, of Belleville, will play out of Pool B.
A week ago, the Belleville steering committee announced that 120 people had already registered as volunteers for the tournament. Still more are needed, said Davis, and interested individuals or groups can visit www.floorball2016.ca for information on how to get involved “in this once-in-a-liftime event,” he said.
Volunteers are not only needed for the week of the competition, said Davis, but also for various projects leading up to the event. He said volunteer positions include team guides, rink squad, security, stats, flag bearers, scorekeepers, interpreters, drivers, VIP and venue hosts, administration — and more.
Rounding out Pool B will be the United States, Austria, Thailand, Hungary, Jamaica and Germany. Led by top-ranked Sweden, Pool A also includes Slovakia, Switzerland, Norway, Lativa, Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic.
Opening ceremonies take place May 3. Action begins May 4 leading to championship matches on May 8.
All Pool A and Team Canada games will be played at Yardmen Arena. Pool B matches will be held at Rink B.
Resembling ball hockey or floor hockey, floorball is played with specialized, lightweight fibreglass or carbon fibre sticks and rules that promote skill and athleticism. It is played worldwide, but originated and is extremely popular in Europe — particularly Scandinavia.
The game is relatively new to Canada and was introduced to Belleville five years ago by Crawford. A thriving floorball league now operates in the city and Team Canada’s captain for the 2016 world championships is a Belleville athlete — Hanna Wilson.
• FAST FACTS
What: The IFF 2016 U19 women’s world floorball championships.
Where: Quinte Sports Centre.
When: May 4-8.
Who: Sixteen teams from around the world, including Canada.
Need to know: Game 1, Canada vs. Japan on May 4 at Yardmen Arena, is a sellout.
By Paul Svoboda, Courtesy of The Intelligencer