Floorball is more than hockey without ice

National men's team try-out and open scrimmage on this week in West End

The ice is packed away at the West End Arena and in its place is a smooth concrete slab ideal for hockeys close cousin, floorball. Canadian national mens team coach David Jansson will add his expertise to a floorball skills session and scrimmage at the small rink on Denman Street this week and will host a national team tryout Saturday.

Canadas best hockey players were invited to try out for the Olympic team and non-skating players can try out for the national mens floorball team.

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The open invitation is for Canadian boys and men 16 years or older (players born before January 1998) who are members of Floorball Canada. Players can register at flooballcanada.org. There is a one-time fee of $50 and players must be Canadian citizens. The tryout runs July 27 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the West End Arena (870 Denman St.)

Jansson is an internationally recognized coach who helms one of the worlds top clubs, Pixbo Wallenstam of Sweden, where floorball is a popular sport. Like hockey, floorball is a five-a-side arena game played with sticks and a rolling ball instead of a puck. Unlike hockey, players dont wear pads or helmets, sticks are short and made of light plastic, and because there is no hitting, floorball is a skilled speed game.

Before Saturdays tryout, players of all ages, genders and skill levels are invited to train and scrimmage. The training costs $10 and is hosted by Hockey Jam Sessions with proceeds benefiting King George secondary, which is adjacent to the arena and aspires to start a floorball program. For questions, email faez@hockeyjams.com.

Children aged 6 to 12 are invited from 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 24 and from 9:30 to 11 a.m. July 27.

Teen and adult players aged 13 and over are invited from 9:45 to 11:15 p.m. July 24, 7:30 to 9 p.m. July 25 and 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 26.

mstewart@vancourier.com

Twitter.com/MHStewart

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