With just 90 days to go until the first Floorball game played at the 2022 World Games, we’ll take a look at the first team in our countdown that will compete in July in Birmingham, Alabama; Swiss!
The journey to the World Games in 2022 began at 2020 Floorball World Championships in Helsinki last December where the top 5 finishing countries, top AOFC teams and top AMER teams would qualify alongside the hosts UNITED STATES for the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, United States.
Sweden, Finland, Czech republic and Swiss were the first to qualify followed by Thailand who beat the Philippines in a nervous shootout for 13th place and qualification in Birmingham and Canada which finished 12th and was the highest ranked AMER country. Latvia completed the World Games lineup by beating Norway for 5th place.
Switzerland is the silver medalist of the previous World Games in Wrocław, in 2017 losing to Sweden in the final. They came out of the group stage with a win against the United States (17-0) and a 3-0 loss against Sweden. In the semi-finals, the Swiss faced a tough Finnish side and managed to prevail in an impressive 5-2 win to set up a rematch with Sweden in the final. The final was a close affair with the score tied at 5 heading into the third period where Sweden managed to score to lead and then ended the win with an empty-netter.
Nevertheless, it was a positive experience and tournament for Switzerland at the 2017 World Games, having finished 3rd at the previous World Championships in 2016. They hope to do better this year and win gold for the first time!
Photo by Adam Troy
Switzerland will not participate in the qualifying events for the World Championships in May, as they have automatically qualified as hosts of the World Championships in November 2022. Unlike the other teams participating in the World Games, they will not have therefore no warm-up or international competition before the July games. Whether or not this is an advantage (to give players more rest after a long, Covid-interrupted season) or a hindrance (no official national team competition) remains to be seen.
Manuel Maurer is one of the main players of the Swiss team having represented them at all the world championships since 2014 as well as at the World Games in 2017 where he obtained two assists to help them clinch the silver medal. Watch the interview of Adam Troy with Team Switzerland’s Manuel Maurer, as part of our Road to the World Games interview series to find out more about his journey and his hopes for the next World Games tournament.
What will Switzerland do at the World Games in Alabama? Only time will tell, but they are sure to be one of the favorites with a talented, experienced and hungry squad!
The previous edition in 2017 in Wrocław was won by Sweden, beating Switzerland in the final, 7-5. Finland came in 3rd, followed by the Czech Republic in 4th, the United States in 5th and Poland in 6th.
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