The Debut – Just One Week Until the 3×3 World Floorball Championships in Lahti

In a short amount of time small field floorball boosted from a hobby and youth version of the sports to a global play when the International Floorball Federation IFF announced that there will be a 3×3 World Floorball Championships (WFC) this year. The competition will be held in parallel to the Under 19 Girls WFC in Lahti, Finland, next week. However, the small field competition is limited to two match days, Saturday, 11th May is majorly holding the group matches, while Sunday, 12th May will be the playoff and finals day, in parallel to the gold and bronze medal match of the main event. I have a look into it.


WFC 3×3 Lahti 2024 – The Venue

The venue is in line with the one of the Under 19 Girls WFC in Lahti. I gave you some limited information about the Lahti Sports and Trade Fair Center in the corresponding post. The matches will be played in a separate 3×3 arena, which is directly linked to the other venues. The arena holds one main court and four outer courts, which promises a lot of action in parallel.



WFC 3×3 Lahti 2024 – The Rules

Small field floorball has quite a popularity in some countries, e.g. in Switzerland or Germany. However, the rules set up by the IFF are not in line with the ones used there so far. The key rule changes, compared to standard floorball are:

  • Rink size is 22 x 11 meters. The goalkeeper area is 1 x 2.5 meters
  • There are two periods of ten minutes. There is a two minute intermission. Court changes are not necessary. The time is only stopped at goals and penalties, penalty shots and time outs.
  • Obviously, there are only three field players and a goalie per team. You are only allowed to pull the goalie at a delayed penalty. Only one bench penalty is running per team at a time. However, 2 min penalties are replacing the 5min / 2+2min penalties in standard floorball. Minor bench penalties are replaced by a penalty shot.
  • There is a penalty shot dot five meters away from the goal line. Penalty shots are also used to clear a potential draw.
  • When the ball leaves the rink, the goalkeeper of the opposing team throws in a new ball from a bag attached to his goal. There is no hit in.
  • Goalkeepers are allowed to throw goals

That definitely sounds like a lot of potential action. Especially the very small field, the throw ins by the goalie and goalkeeper goals could lead to a very demanding and intense game, despite the short match time.


WFC 3×3 Lahti 2024 – The Teams

Despite the rather short notice – registration opened in February 2024 only – an overall of 44 teams will make it to Lahti. In contrast to “normal” WFC competitions, the national federations could nominate up to two teams for each, men and women competition. On the men’s side, quite a bunch of them made use of it. Finland is even going for three teams there. There are a couple of interesting players in the squads. For example, one of the Finnish women teams includes former national team goalie Tiltu Siltanen. Another big name in the women’s competition is Cajsa Alm, playing for Sweden. Here are the teams by group:


Men’s 3×3 Competition

There is a total of 30 men’s teams, arranged in seven groups. The best two teams of each group advance plus two best third placed ones, followed by Round of 16 playoffs. You have a couple of interesting entries, like Team Burkindi from Burkina Faso or India, which have never played at a WFC main round before.

Group A Group B Group C Group D
1 Sweden (team) Czechia Finland Blue (team) Switzerland (team)
2 France North New Zealand Iceland Spain 1
3 Hungary (team) Netherlands Italy Poland 2
4 Ukraine 2 France West Spain 2 USA Red


Group E Group F Group G
1 Latvia 1 Slovakia Germany 1 (team)
2 USA White Poland 1 Estonia
3 Germany 2 India Ukraine 1
4 Finland Lahti Cote d’Ivoire Team Burkindi
5 Latvia 2 Finland White


Women’s 3×3 Competition

There are 14 teams on the ladies’ side. Apart from the best two teams of each group, two best third placed teams make it to the quarterfinals. Namely, the teams are

Group A Group B Group C
1 Sweden Finland Blue Czechia
2 Poland Slovakia Switzerland
3 Latvia Ukraine Estonia
4 Iceland Germany Netherlands
5 Finland White India


Favorite Teams

I feel it is very hard to predict favorite teams for this competition. First of all, the format might favor underdog countries. If you have six good and agile players plus a good (maybe strong-throwing) goalie, you might have a good chance in here. Also the nomination criteria is very different. While in Switzerland, for example, the federation chose players out of their small field leagues, Germany accepted applications and chose their representatives. Of course, finally, countries like Finland and Sweden always feel like a safe bet as well.


WFC 3×3 Lahti 2024 – My Thoughts

3×3 Floorball is an experiment, but it definitely deserves a fair chance and evaluation in my point of view. Despite the short notice and just two days of competition (for most of them, the tournament will be over on Saturday already), so many new countries will join the world floorball community. If you look at Rugby Sevens or 3×3 Basketball, downsizing your sports and making it more dynamic could be an option to open doors for the sports which are locked so far. It is the first time African teams compete in the final round of a World Floorball Championship – and I am really looking forward to see them.

I will be in Lahti to cover the U19 Girls WFC, but will try to have a limited eye here and there on the 3×3 competition as well. I am especially flattered to run into Indian floorball for the first time, I hope I will especially make it to the Germany vs. India match on the women’s side. The downside of the tournament to me is that it might take away the focus from the young girls, who play in parallel. I feel that they don’t deserve it. The more attractive the 3×3 matches will be, the more that could be critical. Nonetheless, let’s be optimistic about this try-out.


World Floorball Championships (Floorball WFC)

Here are all my postings related to the World Floorball Championships (all categories):


Travel Postings about Finland

Here are all my travel postings related to Finland:

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