FloorballPlanet and Let's Play Floorball USA hosted the U.S. National Floorball Championships in North Richland Hills, Texas, last Saturday, August 13th. Six teams competed for the title of 2011 U.S. Floorball Champion in a grueling 17-game tournament played over less than 12 hours. San Francisco arrived with arguably the most experienced roster and was the favorite to win the title while Team Colorado featured two of the top goaltenders in the country. The winner was Austin Team 1 who emerged victorious with an exciting 3-2 overtime win over San Francisco in the Gold Medal Game. The local favorites, the Dallas Fireballs, with sterling netminding, finished third, beating fourth place Colorado. Each team played five or six games. Other than the thrilling overtime Gold Medal Game, the most exciting game was the NYTEX Brahmas versus San Francisco. The NYTEX team was made up hockey players ranging in age from 14 to 50 and included two current and three former CHL Brahmas players. While new to floorball, they more than held their own with their strong hockey skills and team play. They drew powerhouse San Francisco as their fourth game opponent and I have never seen two floorball teams battle with as much determination and will to win. Trailing in the final period, NYTEX tied the game with a minute and a half to go on a beautiful pass and tip in front of the net. Not to be denied, San Francisco came back with the winning goal a minute later. Really exciting stuff!
Six teenage hockey players who have been playing floorball for quite some time (a few not so long) were given the opportunity to play on several of the adult teams. These boys received valuable experience playing with and against some of the top adult floorball players in the country. If their play is representative of the field of teenage floorballers, then the future is bright for the next U.S. National U19 team. Complete game results, standings, statistics, and photos are posted at Let's Play Floorball USA or click the direct link here. You can choose Schedules, Standings, Latest Scores, Scoring Leaders, and Photo Album from the Main Menu.
I'd like to extend our appreciation to our staff for their excellent work in making this tournament run so smoothly, to Calle Karlsson of USFbA for his assistance, and to all the players who made the trip to Texas to compete despite the difficult economy. Finally, a special thanks to our referees, Vince Faso, Steve Wilburn, and Jeff Morris for their tireless efforts on our behalf. I received nothing but excellent comments by all participants for the great job they did.
If anybody has any suggestions for improving our tournaments, please call or send me an email. Due to manpower constraints we were unable to track goalie statistics but this is one area we will include next time. Next up on the U.S. tournament schedule is the Golden Gate Cup 2011 which will be hosted by the San Francisco Floorball Club. It will be held October 8-9, 2011, at the YMCA Treasure Island Gym and it is shaping up to be hugely competitive. For details and registration, visit Golden Gate Cup.