Two local floorball teams prepare for national stage

Two local floorball teams prepare for national stage

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Floorball- an up and coming sport. It’s like ice hockey, but on a gym floor, and two area teams have gotten pretty good at it.

“Floorball is similar to ice hockey in that you have five players on the court, you have one goalie,” said local player Michelle Walton.

“The same level of contact that basketball would be,” added another player, Mariah Cottongim. “Shoulder to shoulder, certainly you run into each other, but it’s not full-body tackle.”

It’s a sport that provides good exercise, camaraderie and a chance to socialize and have fun. Cottongim was looking for activity on the internet when she stumbled upon floorball.

“I knew it was fast-paced and I knew it was entry level friendly and I was both of those things, so I just kind of picked it off of a website, and I fell in love with it.”

Cottongim is the captain of the Richmond Rockets, and while she found out about the sport on the web, Walton, who is the captain of the Southside Legends, discovered floorball a different way. She and some family members have attended the Richmond Sports and Social Club for the last nine years, and began taking part in the activity when the club began a program. Michelle and most of her family members and friends who play have strong hockey backgrounds and have been participating in floorball for the last four years.

“We wanted something a little bit [less pounding] on your knees, on your back when you’re out on the ice, and not as much money,” Walton said. “You can come out, have a very social, fun, enjoyable time out here and get a lot of exercise.”

“Everyone plays hard, everyone has a great time, but it’s not as physical as hockey might be,” Cottongim added. “You’re not worried about going into work the next day with a black eye.”

Next weekend however, both the Rockets and Legends hope to put a black eye on some records. They’re two of 12 teams competing in the State Games of America at Liberty University, and will face top competition from all across the country. National team members from the USA and Canada will be taking part.

“I could not possibly have pictured national competition for this,” Cottongim remarked. “It is a sport that’s much bigger elsewhere in the world so everyone’s really enthusiastic about growing it here in America.”

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, because it’s our first time ever competing on a national level, or really in a competitive space outside of where we compete now,” said Walton.

Both the Legends and Rockets will play in the elite division, and whether they can score some wins or exit early, they’re thrilled to be on the national stage.

Floorball competition at the State Games of America will take place on August 3-4 and will be streamed on http://stategamesofamerica.com/.

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