David Crawford made it his mission to spread the sport of floorball. He took two additional steps in that direction recently, starting a league and writing a book on the sport.
David is our local floorball guru, and is starting a youth and adult indoor league. It will be a short season from October 21 – December 17 with a break Thanksgiving weekend. Players will meet once a week on Sundays at Komachin Middle School in Lacey. It’s open to anyone over 6-years-old. “Anyone can come out and play,” he says. “It’s about getting people involved, getting people moving. We’re going to teach you how to play the sport.”
It’s really affordable too. Cost per person to join the league will be $30 for eight weeks of instruction and play, plus an additional $20 to rent a stick if you don’t have one already. “Games will run from 36-45 minutes, and that is breaking it into three periods,” explains David. “You’re gonna get a workout playing this. It’s a lot of fun.”
Games will start at 12:00 p.m. and stack one after the other. “We’ll go from the youngest to the oldest,” he says. To start, teams will probably be co-ed, but David has hopes of creating girls and women’s teams as the sport catches on.
Teams will be small and play three-on-three. With fewer people on the floor, the court won’t be crowded and the game less aggressive. “And we’re using small goals instead of goalies, so it is just a different type of game,” assures David.
“If you can move and you’re looking for something to do, it’s a low impact, low contact sport,” David says. “Unlike hockey, you can’t check. There is very little body contact at all. Floorball is more of a finesse game.”
You don’t have to wear any special equipment either. Eye protection like racquetball goggles are optional, but most people don’t wear those. All you need is a stick and a ball and you can play it anywhere.
David is spreading his passion for the sport of floorball in Thurston County and across the country. His ultimate goal is to make this area the mecca for floorball and eventually hold a World Cup Tournament here.
For now, David is focusing on growing the sport. Wherever life takes him, whether it’s a family event in Cleveland or a conference in Arizona, David takes that opportunity to share the game with others. He holds demos and clinics to show anyone who is interested how to play. “I’m there anyway, and I want to get everyone I can interested and sold on this sport,” David shares. “Then hopefully they will just keep doing it themselves.”
David even wrote a book on it, Floorball Guru Primer. “I wanted to write a book that I could hand to anybody and they could do what I’m doing,” he says. Now anyone anywhere can learn the game and start a program of their own. “I’m hoping to find more people that want to get involved with this sport and help me grow it, because I’m a one man show right now,” he adds.
There are some groups around the country playing floorball, but the game is really in its infancy as a sport in the United States. It’s an Olympic recognized sport, and it will be in the World Games in 2021 in Alabama. It’s recognized as a Special Olympics sport too. In Scandinavian countries, floorball is as popular as basketball and soccer are here. “And I could see that here happening here,” David says. “It’s fun. It’s fast. It’s really engaging. It’s really fun for girls and boys.”
Long term he would love to create a funnel system into the U.S. national floorball team. David is a U.S. national floorball player himself and is coaching the U19 national eomen’s team. “We were just in Switzerland in May completing in the World Championships,” he shares. “The next one will be in 2020. The challenge is not only raising awareness about the sport, but finding players and then training them. So ideally if I can find a group and we can train on a regular basis in Washington, we could have half the team or more from Washington going to compete for the U.S. as a national team, competing against other countries around the world.”
David’s enthusiasm for floorball is contagious. “Let’s get everybody playing. Let’s get everybody moving. Here’s another way to play with your kids. I get a lot of parents whose kids did not connect with other sports, but they love this.”
“You have to get out and try stuff to find your passion,” says David. “Right now, it’s a level playing field because everyone is new at this. So, come give it a try.”
To register go to the floorball league registration website.