ORLANDO, Fla — Some world’s best athletes in their sport will be competing in Central Florida.
That sport is floorball.
It is the inaugural season for North American Floorball League (NAFL) and they will have a tournament right here in Orlando.
What You Need To Know
- This year will see the inaugural season of the North American Floorball League
- One new team, the Florida Vikings, calls Central Florida home
- A floorball tournament has already been schedled for Orlando
There will be four teams competing in the tournament — and one of them, the Florida Vikings, calls Central Florida home.
Liam Williamsson is a defenseman for the Vikings and has been playing this sport as long as he can remember.
"I have been playing floorball since I was about 8 years old with my dad, locally with his friends," Williamsson said. "Now, the past couple of years more competitively."
That is because in 2020 he traveled to Sweden to play in a Division 2 league and then represented USA at the world championships in 2021 in Finland.
The game is played in more than 80 countries, but it’s relatively new to the U.S.
"Floorball is a fast paced sport, it’s like how you would play hockey, you have five on five with a goalie," said Williamsson's dad and Vikings Founder Daniel Williamsson." It’s made from the ground up to be played indoors. All you need to play is a stick and a ball — it’s a very accessible sport."
The Williamsson family has even been hosting youth camps, with hopes of attracting more people to the sport.
"We are trying to grow the love of floorball, most of these kids already have that, they love this sport," said Liam. "A lot of them traveled very far to be here."
"We have professional players from Europe are here training our people," said Daniel. "One of our players is a super star from the Czech Republic, showing how it should be played."
They say it is very exciting to see the development of the kids in their camps.
"As we get players develop their skills sets, especially this competitively at a young age, very important for a sport," said Liam.
Not only does Liam coach the game to kids, but he plays for the Florida Vikings in the NAFL, who will play in a tournament at Ocoee High School July 16-17.
"We have four teams in the U.S. with professional and semi-professional players from both Europe and the US," said Liam. "So your Florida Vikings are going to take on the best of the world, basically.
"It’s very exciting to play in front of a home crowd — the best in the world are coming here and we are looking forward to showcasing that."
Anyone interested in attending the tournament can find more information on the Florida Vikings website.