World Unihockey Championship 2022: A Look Back at a Thrilling Event in Zurich and Winterthur

One year ago, from November 5 to November 13, 2022, Switzerland hosted the 14th Men’s World Unihockey Championship. This event, held in Zurich and Winterthur, brought together 36 teams from around the globe to compete and determine who would claim the coveted title.

Of the 36 participating teams, 25 were from Europe, 8 from Asia and Oceania, 1 from Africa, and 2 from North America. Sixteen teams successfully qualified through regional qualification events held in May 2022, adding a global dimension to this exciting competition.

Swiss Life Arena Zürich

Swiss Life Arena Zürich

The event took place in Zurich’s new ice rink, the « Swiss Life Arena, » specially transformed into a floorball field for the occasion. The Swiss Life Arena, which opened its doors just before the championship, stands as Switzerland’s most modern stadium. Equipped with the largest video cube in Europe, this state-of-the-art arena can host up to 12,000 spectators. The World Unihockey Championship 2022 was the first major event to take place in this new venue, making the Zurich Altstetten arena the iconic location for this international competition. The Swiss Life Arena typically serves as the ice rink for the Zurich Lions ice hockey club

Defending their title, Sweden triumphed against the Czech Republic, which secured its first silver medal since the 2004 World Unihockey Championship. Finland, in turn, clinched the bronze after a victory against Switzerland.

Here is the official final ranking of the competition:

  1. Sweden
  2. Czech Republic
  3. Finland
  4. Switzerland
  5. Latvia
  6. Germany
  7. Slovakia
  8. Norway
  9. Estonia
  10. Denmark

Beyond the results, this championship was an opportunity to celebrate the passion for unihockey, a sport beloved by the Swiss. The competition showcased the exceptional level of play and the global enthusiasm for this dynamic and spectacular discipline.

Even a year later, memories of this event remain vivid, and the Swiss Life Arena stands as an iconic venue where the history of unihockey was written in a memorable way. We hope this article has transported you to the heart of the action and rekindled your love for this thrilling sport. Stay tuned for more exciting events to come in the world of unihockey!

Swiss Unihockey

The Swiss Unihockey Association was officially established on April 20, 1985, in Sarnen, four years after the Swedish association and two years before the international association. Switzerland thus played a pioneering role in the relatively young sport of unihockey. This distinction persists even thirty years later, with both the Men’s and Women’s Red-White teams aiming for medals at all levels in the World Championships. Swiss club teams also consistently achieve high rankings.

Even in the 1950s, well before the association’s foundation, unihockey was already being played in the United States. It made its way to Europe in the 1970s, replacing the puck with a plastic ball.

In Switzerland, sports instructor Rolf « Hurti » Wiedmer developed unihockey from 1973 to 1979, drawing inspiration from ice hockey rules and adapting the game for indoor play. He initiated the sport with his students during gym classes, organizing the first school tournaments shortly thereafter.

Wiedmer also pioneered the forerunners of today’s championships. The announcement of the initial tournaments was published in a local newspaper in 1980. These tournaments, held at the University Sports Center in Zurich-Fluntern, garnered tremendous success. In 1981, the Unihockey Federation Suisse was established during these events, and the same year saw a qualification tournament in Greifensee with the aim of creating a National League A (NLA). One year later, on April 20, 1985, the Swiss Unihockey Association (ASUH) was officially founded, marking the formalization of Swiss unihockey championships.

Today, with over 33,000 registered members, unihockey is one of the most practiced sports in Switzerland, deeply rooted in both rural areas and urban centers.

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