Floorball: The Fastest Growing Team Sport

Floorball originated in the Scandinavian region in the 1970’s. Floorball is a fun,fast paced hockey game that is played on foot with lightweight sticks and a plastic ball. One of the absolute advantages of Floorball is that it is very easy to become a player. Anyone regardless of age, physical condition, or gender can grab a floorball stick and join in the fun. The object is to score a goal by directing the ball into the opposing team’s goal. This sport is growing fast and becoming very popular. Floorball is most popular in Sweden, Finland, and other European nations. It is actively played around the world in over 50 countries, including Australia, Japan, Canada, and the United States. The game is safe and fun for everyone.

 It is commonly recognized that the roots of Floorball are to be found in the game of street hockey that was being played in Canada and The United States during the 1960’s and 70’s. Following the growth of the National Hockey League (NHL), street hockey developed as a cheap alternative to ice hockey for youngsters.

  A Brief Introduction to Floorball

 Game Area:

Floorball can be played indoors or outdoors, preferably using a rink of size 40 x 20 meters (131 x 65 ft). Height of the surrounding board is 50 cm or 20 inches. The goal is 115 cm high and 160 cm wide (45” x 63”).

 Play Time:

Just like ice hockey, the game time is made up of three 20-minute periods with a 10-minute intermission between each period.

 Teams:

A team is allowed 20 players on its roster. Five field players per team are allowed in the rink plus a goalie who plays without a stick. You can play without a goalie in which case the team can play with 6 field players. Each field player has a stick and attempts to pass and shoot a plastic ball which weights 23 grams and is 7 cm in diameter (2-3/4”).

 

 

Rules:

If a field player commits one of the following infractions, a referee will award a free shot to the opposing team or remove the offending player from the rink to serve a 2-minute minor penalty:

–Holding, shoving, checking, blocking or tripping an opponent

–Hitting, blocking, lifting, pushing down or kicking an opponent’s stick

–Hitting the ball with the stick or foot above the level of the knee

–Lifting the stick above waist level

–Kicking the ball twice

–Touching the ball with the hand

–Jumping up to reach the ball

–Playing the ball with any part of the body other than feet

 Equipment:

 Field players have a stick which can range from 65 to 104 cm long. When buying a new floorball stick, the length is very important. The stick should reach your belly button or just a little above. If the stick is too short, you have less playing range and it adds stress to your back since you will be constantly leaning over. If the stick is too long, your stick handling will be slower and you will lose power in your shots.

 When determining shaft stiffness or flex, we are referring to how much the shaft is bent when you apply force to the stick. For all floorball manufacturers, the force is standardized at 30Nm. Stiffness is measured in millimeters of bend. The less the shaft is bent for the given force, the stiffer it is. Flex range for our sticks ranges from 24 for an extra stiff stick to 36 for a soft stick.

 Face, Lie and Cavity:

 These refer to various blade categories. Blade face ranges from 2X to 7X and indicates the curvature of the blade from heel to toe. An open face allows you to get the ball up in the air more easily. Too much open face might lead to shooting the ball too high. Cavity is a measure of the curvature of the blade from top to bottom when held horizontally. More cavity increases the ball velocity when firing wrist shots. Less cavity improves passing ability. You can modify the face and cavity of your stick by heating the stick with a hair dryer and forming it around a solid ball. Lie is the angle between blade and shaft. With a higher angle, you play the ball closer to your body.

Not just a team sport! Pro’s all over the NHL are using floorball sticks as training aids or warm up tools to helps “soften” their hands before a game. Its a great way to SAFELY work on stick handling indoors or outdoors. Best of all, Mom and Dad’s drywall will be safe!!

If you have any questions about floorball please contact us at the shop. 403-529-6130

S19……. The Stick……..The Twig……… The Legend!!!

YOU’VE NEVER SHOT LIKE THIS BEFORE!

LIGHTNING power and great feel come from our Kevlar® wrapped Compression Molded shaft. Thinner layers of material allow us to use twice as many, giving Easton shafts an unmatched responsiveness and allowing them to stay lively longer.

QUICK release shots come from our TORX™ Elliptical Technology shaped to store and release torque and flex simultaneously allowing shots to get off faster.

RELEASE the puck faster with our Micro-Bladder™ Multi Rib™ blade engineered to control torque and flex when shooting providing great feel and pin point accuracy. Carbon wrapped high density core lets you feel the puck so you can look at the target, not your blade.

  • Tuned taper section built with our Elite Stiffness Profile to pro specs
    • Quick release
    • Controls puck reaction
  • Easton TORX(TM) Technology uses an elliptical profile to help transfer torque from your hands to the blade for unsurpassed velocity.
  • Micro-BladderTM process and Multi-RibTM structure controls blade flex through puck contact ensuring pinpoint accuracy.
  • Kevlar® wrapped Compression Molded concave shaft provides impact protection as well as vibration dampening for a superior feel. (Sr-Int only)
  • Improved blade feel with newly engineered materials
    • Multi-Core design provides dampening
    • Upper core – structural
    • Lower core – solid core for improved feel
  • Grip coating for enhanced control

For more info 403-529-6130

Not Used………………..EXPERIENCED!! “The Mystery of the Used Skate”

 

Most people are familiar with Sports Connection’s trade in program. What a lot of people don’t know is the process and steps we take to get skates “purchase ready”.

 Every skate that we take in on trade is evaluated on certain areas

1)      Boot Condition

2)      Steel life

3)      Rivets/holders

4)      Make/model year of the skate

_______________________________________________________________________________

 1)      Boot Condition – the following is checked

–          the skate has adequate support and durability

–          no rips in liner

–          tendon guards are not torn or broken

–          eyelets are not rusted or missing

–          outsole is not rotten or heavily damaged by sweat

_______________________________________________________________________________

2)      Steel life -Any steel that doesn’t pass our standards gets replaced

–          at least a season worth of steel

–          no cracks or breaks

–          no rockered or “banana” shaped steel

_______________________________________________________________________________

 3)      Rivets and Holders

–          All rivets are checked and replaced if loose, rusted or missing.

–          Holders are checked for cracks or breaks or general wear that might compromise the skates performance

_______________________________________________________________________________

4)      Make/Model –Year of the skate may determine whether or not its taken.

Once a skate has been approved for trade in, one of our trained skate mechanic’s will prepare it to be sold. Each skate is cleaned and disinfected both inside and out. If need be, toe caps are painted and sealed to protect them. Threads and lint are removed off the skate and tongue and new laces are put in just before they get sharpened, tagged and put out on our wall.

 

There’s a ton of value in used skates due to the fact that the average used skate has only been used for a season or two. Some boots are made to last anywhere from 5 to 10 years based on the quality of the boot, so there is always a ton of life left in the ones we sell. Not to mention it’s nice to have a skate that already feels “broken in”. 

So whether you’re trading up, down or across the board or buying new, our fit process is always the same! We back all of our skates with a 60 day fit guarantee. We have all sizes and price points in used starting from $29.00. We also rent our used skates by the day or by the week.

So next time you’re in and see our wall of trade in skates don’t look at them as used………………more like … EXPERIENCED!!

Protect Your Investment! Don’t Let Poor Care Ruin Your Skates!

Ever wonder why your skates smell bad? Have you ever noticed any rivets or eyelets falling out?  What about rust on your blades?  It could be that you are not taking the proper and necessary steps in maintaining them. With many years of experience, the pro’s at Sports Connection know a few tricks and appropriate steps to maintaining the life of your skates.

 The first and most common step to taking proper care of your skates is to air them out after each and every ice time. This isn’t just opening up your bag and that’s all. The first thing you should do is remove the insoles or Superfeet. This will prevent rusting underneath the insoles causing the breakdown of rivets and even the boot. Another step to take is to always hang your skates upside down. This is the most adequate way to air out your skates because the moisture will not be trapped inside. The best way to do this is find a hockey tree or The Octopus Equipment Drying system. Also, a few sprays of anti-bacterial spray after each ice time never hurts either. (Beeks Reekout or Shutout Athletic Spray)

 Skate maintenance doesn’t just start at home. Its starts the moment you enter the rink. Your blades are a key component to your skates so you take care of them.  The dressing room floor can be very hard on your skate blades; therefore you should always bring a skate mat of your own to stand on. When removing your skates, some people tend to push on the tendon guard which causes them to break over time. Try to loosen your skates the best you can each time (remove top two eyelets) and safely remove them. This will be easier on you and the skates. Also, you should have a set of skate guards to protect the blades in your bag. We recommended to always have a skate towel handy. Wipe your blades after ever ice time. Once the blades are wiped, immediately place your skate guards back on to soak up any excess moisture from the blades. These steps will prevent rust and preserve your sharpening to the fullest, also protecting your skates.

 Skate maintenance is something that is sometimes forgotten, but performing just a few actions each day will make a huge difference in the performance of your skates. It will not only preserve the life of the skates, but also preserve the dollar value of them.

Bantam AAA Hockey Hounds Tournament

Sports Connection is proud to be the sponsor of the tournament MVP for this years Hockey Hounds AAA Bantam Hockey Tournament. The tournament runs this weekend, November 20th throughout Medicine Hat, as we play host to a variety of skill from the bantam AAA teams across Alberta.

The tournament MVP will be awarded one pair of Bauer X:60 Skates.

Sports Connection was recently awarded the 2010 Bauer Dealer of the Year, and is excited to support this years AAA Hockey Hounds tournament.

For all of the tournament info, check out www.hockeyhounds.ca

Graf G35X Reviewed!!!

THE NEW GRAF G35X

The evolution of Graf skates may be a little more difficult to spot compared to drastic overhauls done by other major skate manufacturers from generation to generation.  However Graf is continually enhancing the capabilities of their line-up by subtle changes.  Graf skates are built with the titled True 3D fit.  Heel width, heel instep height and backstay shape allow for one line of skates to have a few different titles and many different fits, this accommodates the array of feet out there.  For an example the 700 series of Graf skates are all at the same price point however, rather than being limited to one fit style there are many fits within the models 703, 735, 705, and the 709.  The same can be said for the higher end and lighter G series skates.

With the release of the G-35X earlier this season Graf has unleashed their latest  technology for their flagship model.  Before we get into the technical aspect of why this skate is outstanding, it would be wise to talk briefly about ensuring proper fit first.  Graf skates are only available at authorized dealers, reason being is that it takes an experienced professional to determine the foot type and find the proper skate to match.  Graf spends great energy in training and providing superior education to their dealers so that we can fit you with the best possible skate to match your foot type.  These skates are designed with modification in mind as, no line of skate out there will fit perfectly out of the box. With the G-35X we are able to heat mould them to the foot. By being able to be punch them out using our boot press, we can create a fit to work around the foot’s problem areas. 

This new G-35X has been improved in both weight reduction and durability. What else can be said?  Well, the materials being used to construct this stiff agile skate give it unsurpassed flex zones and strength. Graf studied the foot dynamics during skating and determined the optimal areas for the skate to flex.  The carbon fibre core is unreal for stiffness yet flexible at the same time.  The response on ice is unlike any skate I’ve previously skated on.  At the apex of your turn you can feel the stability and support under maximum load pressure, the skate flexing to contain the weight and then returning back to a neutral position.  This transfers the energy back to the ice and you’re off in no time up to full speed.

With this model the fit style is geared towards a more narrow/ pronounced heel, medium instep height, and stiff fit style. In the end when being fit for this skate we’re looking for heel lock and a proper fit in many areas.  If you’re after a high end skate I’d highly recommend this beauty.  I’m sure that in the near future this technology will be extended throughout the remaining G-series skates to accommodate the other types of feet.

Any questions please contact:

Jade Triebwasser,

 Retail Services Coordinator

jade.triebwasser@sportsconnection.ca

Snack Lunches (Unrelated to sports – but worth a read)

Snack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. ‘I’m glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,’ I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.

‘Where are you headed?’ I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
‘Petawawa. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that snack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time…

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch.  ‘No, that seems like a lot of money for just a snack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks.  I’ll wait till we get to base.’

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill.  ‘Take a lunch to all those soldiers.’ She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. ‘My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.’

Picking up ten snacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, ‘Which do you like best – beef or chicken?’
‘Chicken,’ I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

‘This is your thanks.’

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.   A man stopped me. ‘I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.’ He handed me twenty-five dollars..

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, ‘I want to shake your hand.’ Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain’s hand. With a booming voice he said, ‘I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.’ I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.
I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. ‘It will take you some time to reach the base.  It will be about time for a sandwich.
God Bless You.’

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country.. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little…

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘Canada’ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.’

Team Alberta Source For Sports and Contributions to Minor Hockey in Alberta

Your 21 Source for Sports® retailers in Alberta lend their support to minor hockey in the province through various partnerships, sponsorships and programs.

HOCKEY ALBERTA

Source for Sports is a long standing partner of Hockey Alberta and is included in all of Hockey Alberta’s programs which include the following:

  • Source for Sports is the title sponsor of the Source for Sports Play SMART program which is geared towards novice aged players and parents. For the players there are jamborees which combine on-ice and off-ice skills and drills, and for the parents, an education program to learn about equipment fitting, hockey administration and development, and dealing positively with coaches and referees.
  • The Hockey Alberta Foundation has been created to support the game of hockey in Alberta and is a not for profit charitable organization dedicated to helping the people and communities of hockey. Source for Sports members make a significant contribution yearly to support this endeavor.
  • Source for Sports is the designated “Official Sporting Goods Retailer to Hockey Alberta”. As well, Source for Sports stores are the only retailer to carry and sell Hockey Alberta resource materials in the province.
  • The Hockey Alberta Hall of Fame in association with the Alberta Sport Hall of Fame & Museum in Red Deer, has been supported over the years with cash donations and equipment for displays at this important project that celebrates the legacy of the of the people in the game.

 

SUPER SPORT PROGRAM

  • The Source for Sports Super Sport program that encourages fair play and doing your best , and involves over 30,000 hockey players aged 5 to 8 years old, in approximately 200 minor hockey associations across Canada. Players are awarded for trying their best, showing team ship skills, and helping others both on and off the ice. One Player is chosen per game by the coach to receive Super Sport prizes which is then redeemed at their local participating Source for Sports store. In the last 6 years over 100,000 young hockey players have earned their Super Sport award.
  • The Source for Sports 3 Star Challenge was launched in 2008 involving players aged 9 to 14 and it set up as a 3 Star Awards program. Players do their best on the ice to earn 1st, 2nd or 3rd Award Stars from their coach and compete against players in the same division across Canada. Award coupons are entered on-line on the 3 Star website and points are accumulated and awards given to the top point earners. There are over 48,000 registered players in the Guts & Glory program involving over 2800 teams in approximately 159 minor hockey associations.

REGIONAL SUPPORT OF HOCKEY PROGRAMS

Source for Sports members in Alberta have been long time supporters of the Alberta ‘AAA’ Midget Hockey League (AMHL), with cash donations going towards league sponsorship, trophies, and gift cards for Individual Award Winners.

  • Source for Sports members have been long time supporters of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL), again with financial support, awards and gift certificates.
  • Source for Sports also sponsor the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) with financial support, awards, gift certificates and game jerseys.
  • Local Source for Sports stores also support their communities at an individual level through fundraising, donations of equipment and cash to support local teams and underprivileged players, sponsoring hockey teams and tournaments, and offering their time as volunteers for coaching etc.

Your local Source for Sports owner is an integral part of your minor hockey community in Alberta both behind the scenes and behind the bench. Many of the programs that hockey players enjoy are sponsored and supported by Source for Sports.

Sports Connection Gets Exclusive Rights To TACKLA!

 Have you every liked something so much you wanted to be the only one to have it?  That’s how Source for Sports felt about the Tackla line of products.  So we did what any reasonable buying group would do – negotiated exclusive rights. So it means the only place you can find the Tackla pant is at a Source for Sports dealer.  You know we are excited about that!

 For the last 20 years, Tackla has been the leader in hockey pants. Engineered for a perfect fit and unmatched professional-level protection some consider Tackla to make “World’s Best Hockey Pant”.  Their engineers view hockey pant design as both an art and a science, and an opportunity to transform what others consider mere protection into a competitive edge.

Tackla TP900 HB-2 Hockey Pants

  • Tackla’s protective plastics let you push yourself further while minimizing the risk of injury
  • The European style fit is tighter in the hips and loose in the leg, providing freedom of movement so you can react more quickly on the ice
  • Unnecessary weight is eliminated so you can play faster, longer
  • Full belt cover enhances both protection and appearance
  • Fully flexible spinal pad for enhanced back protection
  • The protector is lined with a sport mesh material that resists moisture accumulation
  • Jersey tie down on back of belt cover
  • Inseam leg zippers allow you to pull the pant on over skate blades

Price $179.99

 Tackla TP951 Hockey Pants

  • Protector is lined with 210 denier nylon to resist moisture accumulation
  • Full inseam and crotch stretch for maximum flexibility
  • New contoured thigh and slash construction conform to a player’s leg shape, providing increased freedom of movement
  • Vertical sewing lines in the rib area with HD-80 foam, provides protection and a snugger more comfortable fit
  • Full padded belt cover enhances protection and appearance
  • Fully flexible spinal pad for enhanced back protection
  • Optional Tall Sizing fits 2 inches longer in the pant leg

Price Jr. $99.99/ Sr. $139.99

Tackla 700 Series Hockey Pants

  • Thermo formed plastics
  • Traditional design
  • Light weight, great protection
  • Comfortable
  • Ideal for recreational play

Price Jr. $69.99

Tackla 5000 Hockey Gloves

 The TACKLA 5000 gloves are designed to fit and protect they way you have come to expect from the Tackla brand name. These gloves are available in 15.5″, 14.5″, 13.5″, 12”, and 11” sizes.

The look of the glove has been cleaned up a bit.  There were too many unnecessary logos and bits of information on the glove in the past.  It’s not like the opposition player is interested in reading while receiving a face wash.  The following features make up the glove:

 

  • Classic 4 roll design
  • 3 piece lock thumb
  • Nash palms reinforced with diamond grip
  • Double stitched palms
  • Split fingers
  • Interior flex cuff
  • Anatomically contoured
  • Diamond Dobby internal air pad
  • Side slash pads
  • Full synthetic leather shell or lighter weight/fast dry polyester

 

Prices range from $69.99 to $109.99

 Tackla Hockey Bags

 Tackla Hockey Equipment Bags have more room than you will likely need to fit all your hockey gear and then some.

 

  • Dual end and skate pockets
  • Ventilated end pocket
  • Carrying straps on both edges
  • Extremely durable material
  • Wheeled bag comes with a hidden handle

 Prices- Locker Jr. $59.99/ Sr. 69.99  Wheeled Jr. $79.99/ Sr. $89.99

 What excites us the most is the opportunity to offer you the exceptional workmanship of the Tackla name at an affordable price.

 Once again Sports Connection delivers game changing results!

Not All Skates Are Created Equal

Let’s talk about ankle bending. Have you ever heard parents or coaches say “He’s got weak ankles”. Well ankle strength has very little to do with body position on the ice. For most people the reason why there ankles fall in or out when they are skating is because the blade is not mounted to their body’s center of balance. When a skate get finished being constructed the last step is mounting the blade. Boot manufacturers mount the blade according to the center of the outsole. Not all of us are built the same so just because the holder is mounted to the center of the boot doesnt mean it’s mounted to YOUR center or balance. What kind of negative effects can this have on a skater?

 

Poor manuevering and glide.

If you’re constantly on your inside or ouside edges it makes if very difficult to do crossovers and other techniques. Not to mention when you’re edge is digging in, the friction completely reduces you’re glide and speed.

Foot and joint pain

If you arn’t square and aligned in your skates and your falling to the inside or outside, that causes alot of un-needed pressure on your ankle bones and knees. The more paralel you are in you’re skates the less pressure you’ll put on your bones and joints. Not ot mention when you’re bones are aligned you reach your maximum strength potential.

Premature skate breakdown

Unbalanced weight distribution on a skate can cause the skate to prematurly break down. Skates are designed to break in or wear a certain way. If a foot if positioned inproperly in the skate this will cause the boot to crease or soften and ultimately decrease the life of the skate.

This can be easily prevented or fixed with the help of one of our skate professionals. With a few simple balance tests we can custom mount the holders and square up the skater. We can also provide the skater with Superfeet Insoles (see superfeet blog). This is just one of the many way we deliver game changing results.

For questions or consultations please contact Chabby @ 403-529-6130 matt.chabluk@sportsconnection.ca