This summer the North American Floorball League completed its first season when the Florida Vikings took home the Troy Cup. Commissioner Ryan Connor tells us about the first season and gives us a scoop for next season.
The first season of the NAFL saw four teams compete for the top spot over five weekends and one day for the playoff games. Commissioner Ryan Connor sums up the first season.
“In a word, successful. We had a lot of challenges and have many many things to work on for next year. But our stated goal was to bring very high-level floorball to North America, and integrate US and Canadian players into the game, and we did.”
The league consisted of the Fort Worth Jaguars, the Utah Raptors, the Florida Vikings and the Fresno Force. On what was learned from the first season Connor notes he learned a lot.
“So many lessons! The biggest lesson was just how much time and effort goes in to putting together a season. The 60 minutes of game time were the end result, but to get there took months and months of planning and cooperation between teams, sponsors, federations, and even countries. “
The first season of the NAFL was a long time in the making. Initially scheduled for the summer of 2021 the league was finally postponed due to Covid. But this summer it became a reality and there are many things Commissioner Ryan Connor will remember from the inaugural season of the NAFL.
“Opening faceoff of our first game in Fresno. It was the culmination of 24 months of hard work by a lot of people, but when the first whistle blew I had a smile as big as Texas on my face. Other great memories were how quickly the teams bonded and seemed to truly enjoy their experiences in the US, and the sheer joy on the faces of the players after a key play or a big win. One dad flew from Sweden to the States to watch his son play, and his son scored a game winning goal with three seconds left on the clock. As a parent I know what a big deal that is, and as commissioner I was thrilled to help provide a venue for memories like that to be made. And of course presenting the Troy Cup to the captain of the Florida Vikings, Pepa Juha, and seeing him and the team raise it for the first time. Being there with my entire family, knowing what each of them sacrificed to get to that point, was both humbling and gratifying. “
When the dust settled on the first season of the NAFL it was the Florida Vikings that came on top and grabbed the Troy Cup! But the NAFL is just getting started and the future is bright and the expectations are high.
“You should expect more and better floorball! I am currently talking with three more potential team owners, and we plan to grow slowly over the next several years. I expect either 5 or 6 teams next season, and 7 or 8 in 2024 and beyond. We want to grow slowly, focusing on quality over quantity. More teams mean more of everything, including players, league personnel, and referees. I will publish an end of season letter in the coming days giving many more details, but you got the first scoop!” Ryan Connor, Commissioner North American Floorball League concludes.
By Adam Troy