The Champions Cup starts today in the Czech Republic with the first match between womens’ teams Djurgårdens IF from Sweden and Rubene from Latvia.
The Champions Cup is a new tournament that has only been started this year after a decision by the IFF. The tournament grew from previous years’ European Cup as a way to have a competitive tournament for both developed and developing floorball nations. The championship winning club teams from the developed floorball nations play for the title of the Champions Cup whilst championship winning teams from developing floorball nations play for the European Cup. The winner of this year’s European Cup will be promoted and be able to play in next year’s Champions Cup, whilst the last placed team from this year’s Champions Cup will be relegated to playing for the European Cup next year. In all there are 12 teams in the Champions Cup, six in the mens’ section and six in the womens’ section. You can follow the teams, schedules, standings and statistics at the tournament’s official website or at the IFF website.
All of the matches are broadcast live on the internet and can be watched here for free, the first match is already underway (7pm East Coast Time). One of the really good aspects of the recent tournaments organised in the Czech Republic is that not only are the matches broadcast live on the internet but they are also archived online so that they can be watched later. This is great for us who live in Australia or other timezones that are a long way from Europe, the heartland of floorball. All the archived matches can be watched at link above.
The final and semi-finals or both the mens’ and womens’ sections should be good matches but there should also be some good matches in the group stages. Some of the best matches should be Mlada-Boleslav (CZE) against Wiler-Ersigen (SUI), Storvreta (SWE) against Tatran Stresovice (CZE) and SC Classic (FIN) against Red Ants Rychenberg (SUI). Mlada-Boleslav will be interesting to watch as they are playing on home turf (the tournament is being held in the city of Mlada-Boleslav) and also because of their physical style of play, which can be seen in one of our previous posts.