In various forms the game has been played since the early 20th Century in Canada as a recreational sport, especially in high school gymnasiums. Similarly, during the 1950s and 1960s many public school systems within Michigan incorporated floorball into their primary and secondary school gym classes. Later, Americans claimed to have invented it, and held interstate tournaments in the 1960s. The game was formally organized as an international and more organised sport in the late 1970s in Sweden. The first official floorball club was Sala IBK, located in Sweden in 1979. Formal rules soon were developed, the first official rule book was written in 1981, and clubs began to form.
The International Floorball Federation (IFF) was founded in 1986 by Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. By 1989, Sweden had enough teams to hold the world's first floorball league. When the IFF was founded, the sport was played in mostly Nordic countries, Japan, and several parts of Europe. By the time of the first European Floorball Championships in 1994, that number had risen to 14. The first World Floorball Championships for men was held in 1996 in Stockholm, Sweden, and for women in 1997 in Finland. In 2008, the IFF and the sport of floorball received recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), however, floorball has not been included as an official event at the Olympics since its recognition.