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Supporting the growth of Floorball in the United States.

Keene Addington “Floorball is growing in Chicago”

By
Updated: April 13, 2020
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As we gaze past the time of the pandemic and look for floorball hotspots in the states we feast our eye on Floorball Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago is a great hockey town. The fan support the Blackhawks have received for decades has been huge. When the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2.5 million people attended the parade. In other words, a perfect place for floorball.

“Obviously all of those people don’t play ice hockey but they love the game. Floorball is much more approachable, especially for youth players, and it is an inexpensive way to play,” Keene Addington tells us.

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Ice hockey in Chicago is challenging, and even though there are many, many rinks, the availability of ice time is difficult. You constantly hear of practices and games at 11 p.m. on a Sunday night as an example.

“The reality is that many interested players are frozen out due to the high cost of equipment and ice rental. Floorball is a wonderful inexpensive alternative, that ultimately becomes their first choice once they try it.”

Keene Addington started the Chicago Dogs in 2016 but later merged them with Rudy Moser’s Innebandy Chicago to form Floorball Chicago.

“I’ll never forget the first tournament that the Chicago Dogs competed in. We played in the Midwest Floorball Tournament in Tomah, WI. in 2016. Our team got absolutely “smoked”, although there was another team from Chicago that did very well. We decided to combine the two Chicago teams, not only
for tournaments but in a joint effort to grow the game in Chicago.”

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That marriage has proven very fruitful. They compete at a higher level now and are getting closer to that sought after tournament win.

“The camaraderie of these tournaments is very special, not just among our Chicago Dogs’ teammates, but also with other people around the country who are as passionate about floorball as we are, and are committing themselves to growing the game in the U.S.,” he continues.

As Floorball Chicago invite new players to join them, quite frankly, they are usually skeptical, but once they try the game, they absolutely fall in love with floorball and so the group grows.

“Floorball is growing in Chicago but we still have a ways to go. We have 40-50 active players with 20-25 players playing each week. We play once a week. We don’t have enough regulars for a local league yet, but we are positioned to get there, and hopefully will soon.”

As of late the Chicago Blackhawks have seen the value of floorball and the Blackhawks getting involved is crucial to the sport growing amongst the youth in schools. The Blackhawks also understand that floorball is a way for them to continue to expand their fan base. This year the Blackhawks are providing floorball sticks, balls, nets, and coaching to 150 schools in the Chicago area.

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“The Blackhawks used to commit their non ice hockey community resources exclusively to “floor hockey” which is a slower game played with a heavy puck. They now are committing as much towards floorball, if not more. They realize it is the future.”

Beyond the similarity to hockey what a lot of youth love in particular is the speed of the game and very importantly, the tricks they can do with the ball and stick.

“I use the analogy of skiing and snowboarding. Snowboarding became popular amongst the younger skiers because of the multitude of tricks they could do on the board but couldn’t do on skis. Floorball is the same. The stuff these kids can do with the stick and ball amazes me. I cannot stress enough how much the different moves that these young players can do with the sticks is very appealing to them. Everyone went crazy when Andrei Svechnikov of the Carolina Hurricanes scored that fabulous lacrosse style goal in an NHL game, well that kind of move has been done in floorball for years,” Keene Addington concludes.

Floorball’s future in the great city of Chicago is bright and all things point to that we will hear more from Floorball Chicago in near the future.

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If you are interested in joining Floorball Chicago for some floorball, whether you are newcomer or seasoned veteran, feel free to contact Keene Addington at keene.addington@gmail.com.

All pictures by Adam Troy from the US Nationals 2019