Today the USA Men’s Fistball team will take the field in the opening match of the Men’s Fistball World Championships against the host country of Argentina. This will be a rematch of the opening match of the 2011 World Championships where team USA fell to Argentina in a hard fought battle in Vienna. At the 2011 World Championships, Argentina established themselves as a top 4 team in fistball when they narrowly lost a 5 set semi-final to Austria and then ran out of gas against Brazil in the third place match. Team USA finished 9th at the 2011 games which was the highest the US team has ever finished, but the team doesn’t expect a 9th place finish in 2015.
The addition of Gastao Englert to the coaching staff after the 2011 games has had a dramatic affect on the level of play for both the US Men’s and Women’s teams. Coach Englert has been the driving force behind the formation of the US Women’s team and the US hosting the first ever Pan-American fistball games earlier this year at the Swim and Sport Club in New Jersey. The men’s team is comprised of veteran fistball players, 9 of which competed in the 2011 World Championships, and 5 of which competed at the 2007 World Championships. Coach Ron Jesswein believes that the combination of their past experience and the additional training techniques brought to the table by Coach Englert will drive team USA to it’s best finish yet.
The games will be streaming live on the internet starting at 1 pm cst/2pm est here.
Argentina is hosting the games for the first time since the 1986 Men’s World Championships which were held in Buenos Aires. The Men’s Fistball World Championships are held once every four years and the host country varies with the International Fistball Association making the final determination upon the host country. The USA and Switzerland have both put forth bids to host the 2019 Men’s World Championships and the host city will be determined and announced soon. The US bid is backed by the power of the World Games committee in Alabama. Alabama has been selected as the 2021 host city for the World Games. The World Games is an Olympic style competition for sports that haven’t yet ascended to the ranks of the Olympics and serve as an important bridge to becoming an Olympic sport.
The official program is available to view online at the below link. Let’s Go Team USA!