Finland and Sweden are two historically successful countries competing at the IFF Men's Under-19s World Floorball Championships ©Getty Images

The International Floorball Federation (IFF) Men’s Under-19s World Floorball Championships begins tomorrow, featuring 15 teams across four groups at the Vodova Arena in Brno in the Czech Republic.

Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and Russia have had to withdraw from the competition because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, and have been replaced by Estonia, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Hungary.

The event was postponed to this date by the IFF back in March because of the pandemic, having originally been scheduled for the end of April and start of May.

The Czech hosts are the defending champions having won their first gold medal in Halifax in Canada in 2019.

Their match against Finland in Group A, who have earned a medal in every edition of the event since it first ran in 2001, is the final match of the first day.

Slovakia against Latvia in the same group is the tournament opener at scheduled for 9.30am local time, with the teams having finished sixth and fifth respectively in the 2019 Under-19s World Championships.

The first match in Group B sees Switzerland, one of only four countries to have won a medal at this competition but seeking their first since a silver in 2015, face Denmark.

That is followed by Sweden, record five-times winners of the Under-19s World Championships but not since 2013, looking to build on two successive silver medals as they start their campaign against Germany.

In Group C, Belgium play Estonia followed by Hungary against Slovenia on day one of the tournament.

Group D consists of only three teams, with Italy taking on Poland in its first match.

Austria are the only side not in action on the first day, having to wait until Thursday (August 26) for their first match against Poland.

The IFF event manager Sarah Mitchell explained that various COVID-19 mitigating measures will be in place as floorball prepares for a return to competitive action.

"We are very pleased that we are able to present an almost complete tournament," Mitchell said.

"To have 15 teams competing in the current situation is fantastic.

"We appreciate the extra effort from all the countries involved as well as the Organising Committee in Czech Republic.

"They have worked extremely hard with their event partners to provide accommodation and transport options for the teams, and have in place strong protocols for putting on a safe event for all the participants.

"We are very excited about the prospect of finally playing an IFF event - the first since February 2020."

The top two teams from Groups A and B will advance to Saturday’s (August 28) semi-finals for a place in the medal matches, with the third-placed sides playing off for fifth on the same day.

The second, third and fourth-placed countries in Groups C and D will compete for the 11th to 15th ranking spots over the weekend, while those who finished bottom of Groups A and B and top of Groups C and D will battle for seventh to 10th place.

The final is scheduled for 4pm local time on Sunday (August 29).