Team Italia announced their arrival in the ball hockey world with a bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships. This accomplishment made Italy the first nation outside of Canada, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to earn a medal in A pool competition. After a fourth place finish in 2007 and an 7th place finish in 2009, team Italia went through a rebuilding period that led to the birth of the Italian National Ball Hockey Federation and an opportunity to re-enter competition at the world stage in the B pool. A silver medal in the 2013 B pool was followed up by a 10th place overall finish in 2015 and team Italia had fought their way back into the A pool.
With this new opportunity to compete at the highest level, team Italia broadened its search for talented players and this year’s squad includes a never-before-seen mix of players from a variety of areas where ball hockey is played at the highest level. While several veterans are returning, many team members will be playing in their first world championship.
“We’ve made steady progress since re-entering at the world stage”, says head coach Michael Iustini, “and we expect to continue making progress in Pardubice. We’re here to compete and a podium finish is always the goal”.
This edition of team Italia, with its mix of youth and experience, is aiming for the medal round where they’ll have the chance to visit the glory of years past and maybe even surpass it.