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Intramural Floorball

Activities include: Floorball

Fall & Winter Leagues

  • When are leagues and tournaments in this sport offered? What PlayStyles are available?
    Check the Sport Calendar on the 'SPORTS' tab of our Intramural Sports page.
  • Who can play Intramural Sports at McMaster? How do I register?
    Check the 'REGISTER' tab of our Intramural Sports page.
  • Accessible
  • Registration Required


Floorball Rules

All International Floorball Federation rules apply.

Floorball is meant to be a truly offensive game, enjoyable and affordable for everyone. To create enough space for creativity many defensive actions are not allowed - please review notes on Game Play below.


1. Players in Game

  • Maximum of 5 players and 1 goalie allowed on the court at one time, minimum of 4 and goalie.
  • Goalies must wear a helmet with full-face protection. No other pads (that serve to make the goalie bigger than your basic sweatpants and sweatshirt) are allowed. No helmets required for regular players.

1.0         PLAYERS

  • Play shall be between 2 teams of 6 players consisting of 5 field players and a goalie.
  • A minimum of 4 players must be present for each team to play a regulation game. If there is a low number of players and both teams agree, the game can be played without goalies and the nets face down (allowing a smaller opening to score).

1.1        Co-Rec Leagues

  • In the case of a co-rec league, teams must meet a minimum of 2 men and 2 women (plus one goalie of either gender, unless both teams have agreed to play without goalies), before the end of the five (5) minute grace period, for a regulation game to be played.

1.2   Open Leagues

  • In the case of an open league, teams must meet a minimum of 4 field players and one goalie (unless both teams have agreed to play without goalies), with no gender requirements for the players. The minimum number of players must be present before the end of the five (5) minute grace period for a regulation game to be played. 

1.3   Women’s Leagues

  • In the case of a women’s league, teams must meet a minimum of 4 field players, with all participants self-identifying as women. The minimum number of players must be present before the end of the five (5) minute grace period for a regulation game to be played.


1. Game Duration: 2 x 18 minute halves, as timed by the official in charge. Halftime will be 4 minutes. Regular season games can end in a tie.
            a. 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 No Goalie Floorball will play 2 x 12 minute halves. Halftime will be 2 minutes.

2. Playoff Tie-Breakers: Ties will be broken by, in this order:

a. 5 minute, golden-goal/sudden-death overtime;
b. Penalty shots (3 each team);
c. Sudden death penalty shots (new shooters).

3. Gym Setup

  • Games shall be played in Smith Gym. Each team will be assigned a side that will be theirs for the entirety of the game. Bench players must reside behind their corner bench. The bench will positioned on its side (flat side out). Players not behind the bench will be considered field players. Spectators and other non-players are welcome only behind benches, provided there is space and they are not detrimental to gameplay. This is also subject to restrictions and regulations set organization-wide by McMaster Intramurals.
  •  Two (2) Hockey nets shall be set up across from one another, centered on the imaginary line that would connect the two ends of the smaller semi-circles (marked on the floor beneath each basketball hoop). The small semi-circle shall be considered the “goalkeeper area.” The larger semi-circle shall be considered the “goalkeeper crease.”




3.1   Time

  • Games will consist of two 18-minute halves divided by a 4-minute halftime – time allowing. Each team is given a 5 minute grace period after their set start time for the minimum number of players to arrive, after which, the team without enough players forfeits automatically. If necessary, play and halftime may be shortened to 16-minute halves and 2 minute halftimes. 

3.2   First Possession

  • There are no faceoffs. Possession of first ball shall be decided by the winner of Rock-Paper-Scissors during the Captains meeting. The goalie has no stick and begins the game with a throw-out. The ball must contact the gym floor before reaching the centre line. The defensive team cannot challenge the offensive team for the ball until the ball has passed half-court.

3.3   Playing Surface

  • All surfaces are considered playable, with the exceptions of behind benches or outside of the gym (i.e., into hallways or outdoors). The ball shall only be called out of play if determined unplayable by the referee. 

3.4   Substitution

  • Substitution of players may take place at any time and an unlimited number of times during a match. Play continues unless there are more than 5 field players. 

3.5   Possession Following a Goal

  • Following a goal, the team that allowed the goal shall receive possession. The goalie will start the play with a throw-out. The defensive team cannot challenge the offensive team for the ball until the ball passes half-court. The goalie’s throw must bounce before half court, otherwise, a change in possession results. In this case, the other team may start at half court. 

3.6   Playoff Tie Breakers

  • In the event of a tie at the end of regulation time in a playoff game, regulation time will be followed by 5 minutes of sudden death overtime.
  • If the game remains tied following overtime, the game shall be decided by penalty shots. Each team shall take three (3) penalty shots, alternating between teams. The team with the greatest number of successful shots will be declared the winner.
  • If the game remains tied following penalty shots, the game shall be decided by sudden death penalty shots, with new shooters.

3.7    Penalties:

  • There are no traditional penalties, most infractions result in possession changes. The following are illegal and shall result in a turnover of possession: 
  • Stick Checking – hitting, blocking or kicking stick
    • If the referees consider the player to have played the ball before hitting the opponent's stick, no action shall be taken.
  • Stick Lifts – using stick to lift another player’s stick
  • Stick Contact – contact between a player’s stick and the body of an opposing player, including tripping.
  • High Sticking – making contact with the ball when the ball is above waist level
  • Hand/Arm/Head Ball – touching the ball with hands, arms, or head. Note: playing the ball off of chest to one’s own stick is acceptable.
  • Slap Shots – raising stick above waist level on back swing before hitting the ball, or on the forward swing after hitting the ball.
  • Jumping – both feet leaving the ground (unless player is running)
  • Kick passing – using the foot to pass the ball to another player.
    • The ball may be passed from a player’s foot to the stick of that same player.
  • Placing stick or leg between opponent’s legs
  • Pushing – hand to body contact
  • Body checking - body to body contact.
  • Blocking shots –  field players intentionally laying down or getting on one knee to defend shots on goal.
  • Field player in goalkeeper area
    • A field player is allowed to pass through the goalkeeper area if, in the referees’ opinion, play is not affected and the goalkeeper’s actions are not hindered.
    • A field player is considered to be in the goalkeeper area if any part of their body touches the floor inside the goalkeeper area.
    • A goal will be disallowed if the ball is within the goalkeeper area when the shot is taken, even if no other part of the shooter’s body is within the goalkeeper area.
  • Goalkeeper throws ball over centre line on a throw-out
    • Ball must contact the floor before passing the centre line.
  • Goalkeeper handles ball with hands outside goalkeeper crease
    • The goalkeeper is considered to be outside the goalkeeper crease when no part of their body touches the floor inside the crease.
  • Goalkeeper holding ball to delay game – goalkeeper with possession of the ball longer than 5 seconds with the intention to delay gameplay.
  • Too many players- more than 5 field players present on playable surface 

More severe action may be taken at the discretion of the referee under the McMaster Intramural Sports Code of Conduct. For more information on minor penalties see the Canada Floorball Basic Rule Handout:

3.8   Free-hit

  • Following a change in possession, play shall resume with a free-hit, whereby the team in possession of the ball will hit the ball with the stick. The free-hit will take place from where the infraction occurred. The defensive team must be positioned at least three (3) metres from the ball, stick included. The player taking the free-hit shall not touch the ball again before it has touched another player or another player's equipment. A free-hit may go directly into the goal.


  • Field players shall use an IFF approved floorball stick.
  •  Goalies must wear a facemask (either a goalie mask or hockey helmet with a cage). Any other protective equipment must be supplied by the goalie. Protective equipment may not increase the physical size of the goalie in any drastic way at the discretion of on-site staff. Hockey goalie pads may not be worn. 


Notable differences between Floor Hockey and Floorball can be found in Floorball Canada's basic rule handout, also available in PDF, and highlighted below:

  1. No Face-off: Instead you have a Free-hit or a Hit-in. The game starts with a Start-off.
  2. Throw-out: The goalie has no stick, and starts the play with a throw-out. The ball must bounce before the centre line.
  3. No Pass to Goalie: When you're fore checking it's not fair if the defenseman can give the ball to the goalie
  4. No Field player in Goalkeeper Area: This area belongs to the goalie alone. Players on both teams, stay out!
  5. No Stick-Check: The stick can only be used to play the ball. Hacking and whacking on the opponents stick might only break it and cause injuries
  6. No Contact with Stick: You wear no padding, so even an accidental hit might hurt. So control your stick at all times.
  7. No Stick-lift: Since you is not aloud to wear gloves, you don't want anyone to lift your stick and by mistake break your finger.
  8. No High Stick: Regardless if you're using your stick, knee or foot, the ball can only be played under knee level.
  9. No Pushing: Do you want to push and shove? Join WWF!
  10. No Hands: You can't use your hands to play the ball. If it's lower than your knee, use your stick. Otherwise, let it go.
  11. Only Feet May Touch the Floor: This makes the game faster and more open. No jumping!
  12. No Stick between Feet: This gives you offensive freedom to roll off the checker at all times.
  13. No Slap Shot: Work on your wrist shot, and you'll be able to shoot the ball quicker and almost as hard. Slap shots might only damage your stick.
  14. No Kick-pass: You can only kick the ball one time and only to your own stick.