AI Olympic Floorball
(a.k.a. Unihoc, Innebandy)

Wed, Jan 20th, 1:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M., at the Dupont Gym

Last updated 1999.01.08

Welcome to a repeating AI Olympic Sport from 1998! Much of the following description is due to last year's commissioner Carl Manning.

Floorball is an aerobic sport similar to an indoor version of field hockey or floor hockey. It is played with lightweight plastic ball and sticks, small goals; unlike hockey there are no skates, no pads, no checking --- it's designed to be non-violent. There's also no goal-tending, so there may by more scoring, and unlimited substitutions keeps the game moving.

As an unfamiliar sport, it challeges the AI Olympic teams to learn together what works. However, experience with hockey, soccer, basketball, or similar sports may come in handy for stick handling and passing tactics. Participation counts for your team, so come try it out even if you can't stay the entire time.


Play starts at the center of the field at the beginning and after each goal. Players on the team controlling the ball maneuver it into their opponents' end and try to shoot it into the small (1-meter wide) goal. Players control the ball with their stick; they may block the ball with other parts of the body, but may not kick it, hit it, head it, etc. Passing is important, more so for the most of us who are new to the game.

To keep the game safe and non-violent, there are several restrictions, the most important of which are:

Violations result in stopping play and turning the ball over to the other team, who restarts play from that point. We will be playing without referrees, so players call out fouls. To keep scoring continuous (as in basketball), there is an area in front of the goal called the "crease". Violations by the offense result in turning the ball over as above. Violations by the defense result in a penalty shot: the defending team must be behind the goal, and a player from the offense hits the ball once from midfield at the goal. If the ball misses, play continues normally when it reaches the defenders.

When Floorball is played in an enclosed area there is no out-of-bounds and play is continuous unless the ball becomes inaccessable, in which case the team who didn't knock it out hits it in from the edge of the play area. However, inside the indoor track we don't have walls so play will stop when the ball leaves the designated bounds --- in particular, do not go running into the curtains, as there may be runners on the other side.

Substitutions are unlimited and can occur at any time (as in hockey) as long as the player that is coming out is off the "field" before the new player enters.

For more information, the Caltech Floorball Club has some nice informative pages (with the above images):

AI Olympic Team competition

The Schedule
Wed, Jan 20th, 3:00pm
Dupont Gym
TimeSouth End (inside Indoor track) North End (inside Indoor track)
1:20-1:50 P.M. The Spiders vs. The Supers The Hulks vs. The Wonders
2:00-2:30 P.M. The Wonders vs. The Supers The Hulks vs. The Spiders
2:40-3:10 P.M. The Spiders vs. The Wonders The Hulks vs. The Supers

How we will play

Floorball/Unihoc at MIT

InneBandy (Indoor Bandy) was invented in Sweden, and has spread under many names: Salibandy, Floorball (the official non-trademarked English name), Unihoc (the name of one of the equipment vendors whose name appears on the sticks). InneBandy arrived in America at MIT in the early 90's, and the MIT Unihoc club held the first tournament in North America. MIT has one of the largest clubs in the US, and we thank them for loaning us their equipment. If you enjoy this sport, you may consider trying some MIT Unihoc club pickup games, Tue & Thu 7:30--9:30pm, and Sun 4:00--6:00pm at the DuPont basketball courts. (John Fisher)