Last week sophomore Eli Dugan was selected to be a member of the US men's U19 national floorball team and will compete in the Men’s U19 World Floorball Championships in Halifax this May. Team USA will play Poland, Russia, and Japan in the round robin stage or the tournament, with 16 countries participating. Eli qualified by attending US Nationals in Tomah, Wisconsin, last summer, followed by a second tournament in San Jose.
Floorball was developed in Europe as a way for hockey players to train during the summer. It is played on an indoor court, with a plastic ball and plastic stick. The rules are similar to those of ice hockey.
Eli began playing when he was 8 and living in Singapore. Because competitive floorball doesn't exist in the Pacific Northwest, he now has to practice on his own. Last month Eli participated in the largest floorball tournament in the world, the Storvreta Cup in Uppsala, Sweden. "The experience was invaluable as I got a chance to see floorball played at speeds faster, and where the skill level was higher, than I had ever seen before," he said.
Playing for Team USA is even more exciting. "I can’t wait to be there, representing my country as I play against the best players in the world," he said.