For the third consecutive year, the Gothia Innebandy Cup sets a record number of participating teams. And for the first time, the United States is represented, among the 471 teams from eight countries, that will play in one of the world’s largest floorball tournaments.
The 27th edition of the Gothia Innebandy Cup starts tomorrow and on Monday the finals are played. 10,000 sport-loving young people meet for four intensive days with floorball on 28 playfields around Gothenburg – but the tournament has in recent years grown to the adjacent municipalities Partille and Mölndal, where it this year will be the opening year for games in Åbymässan.
This years it will also be premiere for American participation in the tournament. Orlando Vikings Floorball Club from Florida comes to Gothenburg with two teams participating in B12 and B15. We’ve talked to the team manager Daniel Williamsson.
How did you find out about Gothia Innebandy Cup?
”We created the Y16 team late this year in an effort to grow youth floorball in USA. We looked at what international tournaments we could possibly attend. We also wanted a camp in connection with the tournament. After some research work we decided Gothia with a camp in Jönköping was the best option.”
How come you’re traveling all the way to Sweden to play floorball?
”USA is a young Floorball Nation. We have started a renewed effort to grow youth floorball in the country this year. In order for the kids to become better and be able to better compete internationally, we need to get the experience of playing the best kids in the world. We want to create excitement and give a way for the kids who want to improve beyond their local teams.”
How many are you that will come here, players, staff, parents?
”We have two small teams coming to Gothia. As you might imagine, it does take quite a commitment. We are a little bit over 30 people coming. ”
Can you tell us a little bit about your club?
”Y16 was created after August this year when we had our Nationals in USA. We are a travel team that will be going to different tournaments nationally and internationally. The kids need to be younger than 16. We have about 50 players interested in the team, but only a few will be able to go each time due to the commitment required.”
Are there other clubs nearby that your team play against during the regular season?
”Since we are a travel team we travel to the tournaments that are available nationally. My local team, Orlando Vikings Floorball Club, practices regularly, but so far there are no other local teams we have been able to play with. We did end up second in Nationals after Dallas, with Utah third.”
What are your expectations coming to Gothenburg and the tournament?
”Our expectation is to learn a lot that we will bring back to U.S. and use for future growth. The kids needs the exposure and see where they need to be at to compete internationally. They will in turn share this with other local kids to eventually create a snow ball affect. We also want the kids to learn some of the Swedish culture.”
Facts: Gothia Innebandy Cup 2020
Edition: 27th tournament, since its inception in 1994.
Teams: 471 teams (the previous record was 465 teams, 2019).
Countries: Eight countries; Sweden, Norway, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia, USA, Russia and the Netherlands (17 countries have participated since its inception in 1994).
Participants: About 10,000, between 11-18 years.
Matches: 1,476 matches.
Judge: 120 judges.
Live streaming matches: About 700 matches.
Officials: About 400 officials.
Schools / hotels for accommodation: 14 schools / 8 hotels.