United States recognized with first Fistball World Championships
By Wendy Stanton

Roxbury, NJ – June 29, 2017

Linz, Austria: The International Fistball Association (IFA) has just announced that the 2018 U18 Fistball World Championships has been awarded for the very first time to the United States of America! The Fistball World Championships will be sponsored by the United Sates Fistball Association (USFA) – the USA federated member of the IFA and will be held in Roxbury, New Jersey from July 11th to 15th 2018.

This award is a very significant achievement and defining event for the USFA as it is the first Fistball World Championships in the USA and it signifies the recognition by the international Fistball community that USA Fistball has confidently and firmly landed on the world’s highly competitive stage.

The IFA award is the result of the USFA’s concentrated, coordinated, and committed efforts over the past several years to introduce, train, and form men’s, women’s, boys, and girls Fistball teams to compete in national and international Fistball competitions.

“We have worked hard to encourage both adults and young people to give Fistball a try. With Men’s, Women’s, Masters and now Youth teams competing internationally, we have set the stage for the USA to increase their presence on the field” – Bob Feid, USFA President.

“Historically, organized and competitive Fistball has been played in sport clubs here in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for close to 90 years. The recent ground swell of interested High School athletes and steady growth with the youth teams brings renewed momentum and hopes for a bright Fistball future for upcoming national and International competitions” – Werner Adam, USFA Director, Northeast Region.

The 2018 U18 Fistball World Championships will feature teams from around the world including South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. As this is a showcase event for the USA as well as Roxbury, the USFA welcomes volunteers, corporate sponsorships and group fundraising to bring the best quality event to Morris County, New Jersey.

If you are curious and would like to see what Fistball is all about, there is an upcoming Fistball tournament July 8th at the Swim and Sport Club in Roxbury featuring national and club team members. This competition is the last local appearance of the USA U18 girls and boy’s teams before they leave for the European Fistball Championships July 15th and 16th in Switzerland.

Additional information about Fistball, the USFA and the U18 teams can be found on Facebook and the USFA website www.usfistball.com or contact Bob Feid at b.feid@usfistball.com

Follow US Fistball and the U18 on Facebook or Twitter: @USFistball @USAFistball

To support the U-18 Teams, please visit the U-18 Youth Fundraiser page.

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Four students from Morris Hills HS and one from Morris Knolls HS are ready to represent the US in upcoming European Fistball Championship
By Wendy Stanton

Rockaway HS players on U-18 National Fistball Team Left to Right: Anish Sood, Alexis (Lexi) Levinson, Emma Dollase, Christine Connelly and Ryan Lampmann

Rockaway HS players on U-18 National Fistball Team Left to Right: Anish Sood, Alexis (Lexi) Levinson, Emma Dollase, Christine Connelly and Ryan Lampmann


Rockaway, NJ – June 15, 2017

In keeping with the United States Fistball Association’s mission to promote the sport of Fistball throughout the USA and abroad, the U18 Fistball program includes both a Men’s and Women’s National team. Notably there are five team members that hail from Rockaway, NJ on the team; Christine Connelly, Anish Sood, Alexis Levinson, Emma Dollase and Ryan Lampmann.

As part of the U18 National Fistball team they will compete on the world’s stage this July 2017 in Switzerland at the European Fistball Championships. Following the Championships, they have received a special invitation from the European Fistball Association to travel to the Swiss Olympic Training Center for additional training.

When asked about being a part of the US National Team, Christine remarked “It’s an amazing experience getting to represent the United States around the world.”

Anish commented that “Getting to meet new people and playing a new sport in a different county” was what he liked most about being on the US National team.

The teams home practice field is located at the Swim and Sport Club in Flanders, NJ where they recently held their annual dinner, officially announcing the teams, their captains and coaches.

Under the leadership and guidance of USFA President Bob Feid, the USFA Regional Directors and experienced coaching staff, the USFA is increasing the awareness of Fistball.

Follow the team for their training and upcoming local competitions on the U-18 Fistball Facebook Page or for more information on Fistball visit the USFA official website.

Due to the USA’s strong commitment and participation, the International Fistball Association has invited the USFA to host the 2018 U18 World Fistball Championships here in New Jersey. With U18 Fistball teams from all over the world competing in the USA, recruitment efforts are underway for additional U18 Men and Women team members to begin training. For additional information on the team and sponsorship opportunities contact Bob Feid, President, USFA at: b.feid@usfistball.com .

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Team USA preparing for European Championships in Switzerland
by Wendy Stanton

Bridgewater, NJ – June 2, 2017

In keeping with the United States Fistball Association’s mission to promote the sport of Fistball throughout the USA and abroad, 2 outstanding college athletes each from Penn State University and Iona College have joined Team USA as core members of the 2017 U18 Men’s and Women’s National Fistball Team. They along with their teammates will compete on the world’s stage this July 2017 in Switzerland at the European Fistball Championships.

Under the leadership and guidance of USFA President Bob Feid, the USFA Regional Directors and experienced coaching staff, the awareness and acceptance of Fistball is gathering momentum here in the USA resulting in the fielding of the first ever U18 Women’s National team who competed at the 2016 U18 World championships in Nuremburg, Germany finishing a very strong 5th place in the world.

The 2017 USA National Team includes 2016 National Team veteran Kate Tagliareni, Iona College student from Hackettstown, NJ and Penn State student Ryan Baumbusch from Bridgewater, NJ. Both athletes have played Fistball at the Swim and Sport Club in Flanders, NJ, home field for the U18 National Teams.

When asked about being a part of the US National Team, Ryan remarked “It’s a sport that not many people know here in the US. Being part of the team I hope we will be able to recruit and get people to try Fistball. It’s volleyball with a bounce!”

Kate’s experience last year was a key factor in her returning to the squad, “The friendships and bonds you create with others as well as being able to grow as a person and player throughout the entire experience.”

Following the conclusion of the World Championships, the u18 National Team was invited by special invitation from the European Fistball Association to train the Swiss Olympic Training Center.

Because of the USFA’s strong commitment and participation in international tournaments, the International Fistball Association has invited the USFA to host for the first time ever the 2018 U18 World Fistball Championships here in New Jersey. With U18 Fistball teams from all over the world competing in the USA, recruitment efforts are underway for additional U18 Men and Women team members to begin training to represent the USA as a National Team member in the exciting sport of Fistball. Please contact Bob Feid, President, USFA at: b.feid@usfistball.com

To support the U-18 Teams, please visit the U-18 Youth Fundraiser page.

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Team USA preparing for U18 European Championships in Switzerland July 15th & 16th 2017

by Wendy Stanton

U18 USFA Team Members: Shane Mahlstadt, Matt Byrnes, Dylan Pizzi and Tommy Jankowski

U18 USFA Team Members: Shane Mahlstadt, Matt Byrnes, Dylan Pizzi and Tommy Jankowski

New Providence, NJ – May 11, 2017

In keeping with the United States Fistball Association’s mission to promote the sport of Fistball throughout the USA and abroad, the USFA has expanded its U18 Fistball program to include a U18 Men’s National team that includes 4 students from New Providence HS. They are; Shane Mahlstadt, Matt Byrnes, Dylan Pizzi and Tommy Jankowski. As part of the U18 Men’s National Fistball team they will compete for the very first time on the world’s stage this July 2017 in Switzerland at the European Fistball Championships. Following the Championships, they have received a special invitation from the European Fistball Association to travel to the Swiss Olympic Training Center for additional training.

When asked about being a part of the US National Team, Shane remarked “The sport is so much fun and I love to be part of a growing sport in America.”

Dylan had this to say, “Fistball is fun and challenging. Like volleyball on a soccer field. It takes strategy and a strong sense of team unity. The chance to represent the United States is very rewarding. Not many get the chance in any sport and as we look to showcase the sport and create a greater following, wearing the red, white and blue is even more special.”

Matt and Tommy also expressed immense pride in being selected to represent the US in Switzerland.

Under the leadership and guidance of USFA President Bob Feid, the USFA Regional Directors and experienced coaching staff, the USFA is increasing the awareness of Fistball. With much success, the USFA fielded the first U18 Women’s National team who competed at the 2016 U18 World championships in Nuremburg, Germany finishing a very strong 5th place in the world. This year’s USFA U18 Women’s National Fistball Team with a few veterans from last year’s team will also be competing at the European Championships in Switzerland.

Due to the USA’s strong commitment and participation, the International Fistball Association has invited the USFA to host the 2018 U18 World Fistball Championships here in New Jersey. With U18 Fistball teams from all over the world competing in the USA, recruitment efforts are underway for additional U18 Men and Women team members to begin training to represent the USA as a National Team member in the exciting sport of Fistball. Please contact Bob Feid, President, USFA at:b.feid@usfistball.com .

To support the U-18 Teams, please visit the U-18 Youth Fundraiser page.

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US Fistball training in Roxbury, NJ for International Competition

by Wendy Stanton

USFA U18 Team: Back Row: Coach Marc Stanton, Bob Feid, Shane Mahlstadt, Kate Tagliareni, Mat Byrnes, Bayleigh Takacs, Anish Sood, Kelli Vogel, Coach Amy Miller, Coach Steve GrossmannFront Row: Thomas Jankowski, Christine Connelly, Ryan Baumbusch, Alexx Berdej, Dylan Pizzi, Emma Dollase. Not Pictured: Coach Steve Groeber, Coach Mark McDermott and players Shaun Marques, Lexie Livinson and Kumali Schoen

USFA U18 Team: Back Row: Coach Marc Stanton, Bob Feid, Shane Mahlstadt, Kate Tagliareni, Mat Byrnes, Bayleigh Takacs, Anish Sood, Kelli Vogel, Coach Amy Miller, Coach Steve GrossmannFront Row: Thomas Jankowski, Christine Connelly, Ryan Baumbusch, Alexx Berdej, Dylan Pizzi, Emma Dollase. Not Pictured: Coach Steve Groeber, Coach Mark McDermott and players Shaun Marques, Lexie Livinson and Kumali Schoen

Roxbury, NJ – April 26, 2017 – With the success of the United States Fistball Association’s (USFA) U18 Women’s National team at the 2016 U18 Youth World Fistball Championships in Nuremburg, Germany, the USFA recently announced its 2017 U18 National Fistball Women’s and Men’s Team that will compete in the European Championships in Switzerland this summer.

The selections for the 2017 U18 National Teams include athletes from across NJ including Roxbury, Sparta, New Providence, Hackettstown, Bridgewater and Rockaway, and California. Their acquired skill, training, and experience from a broad spectrum of sports gives them the necessary strength to make them a force to be reckoned with.

Team USA is currently training at indoor practice sessions in both Roxbury and New Providence. Once outdoor fields are ready, both teams will be practicing at their home field located at the Swim and Sport Club, 272 Emmans Road in the Flanders section of Roxbury Township. The teams are training on offensive and defensive skill drills, coordinating individual and team plays, and practicing overall Fistball strategy.

The sport of Fistball has been played for centuries in Europe and is the ‘parent’ of modern-day volleyball. Fistball was brought to the USA in the early 1900’s and European immigrants local to the tri-state area began playing organized Fistball in the early 1930’s. Through the years as Fistball’s popularity grew, and through the work of many volunteers and enthusiasts, the United States Fistball Association was formed in 2007 to unite the various clubs and players with the goal of training and sending teams around the world representing the USA in Fistball tournaments.

As this is a unique opportunity for both U18 teams to compete on the world’s stage and gain lasting memories, they are seeking support from family, friends, community members and business leaders so that they can be an integral part of the European Fistball Championships in Switzerland. Your support will help fuel their commitment, energy and excitement to compete as they become young ambassadors for the USA and Fistball.

Looking forward, the International Fistball Association is leaning toward the United States hosting the 2018 U18 World Championships here in Roxbury, NJ. With 2 years of experience and team building, the USFA U18 teams will be ready to play on their home turf. If you know of a teenager that is a team player, coachable, and likes to travel to distant lands, now is the time to start training for the 2018 U18 World Championships!


Middle School and High School Physical Education professionals: If you would like a Fistball demonstration for your gym classes, please contact Bob Feid to schedule.

For all questions or details on practices, clinics or sponsorships, please contact Bob Feid, President, United States Fistball Association – bobf2@optonline.net

To learn more about Fistball:

http://usfistball.com/

For information on their home field, the Swim and Sport Club:

http://www.swimandsportclub.org/

To support the U-18 Teams, please visit the U-18 Youth Fundraiser page.

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2016 United States Fistball U-18 Girls National Team – Eibach, Germany World Championship


USA U-18 Girls Fistball Team 2016

(L to R): Delegation Leader Bob Feid, Asst Coach Lara Goetz, Valerie Houghton, Olivia Woodruff, Captain Christine Connelly, Kayley Moran, Kelli Vogel, Bayleigh Takacs, Alexx Berdej, Kate Tagliareni, Head Coach Steven Groeber Not Pictured: Kumali Schoen and Asst Coach Amy Miller

The United States Fistball Association (USFA) U.S. U-18 Girl’s Fistball team departs for Nuremberg, Germany today. The national team will compete at the 2016 U-18 Fistball World Championship in Eibach which is a borough of Nuremberg, Germany between July 21th – July 24th. The team is made up of select girls from New Jersey and California. The U-18 Championships have an IFA website and a Facebook page that will allow US fans to follow along with the scores being reported daily.

The US team will face many experienced fistball teams at the tournament. Many of the countries are highly developed fistball super powers such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Brazil that will likely field teams of girls that have been playing the sport since they were 8 or 9 years old. The US team is made up of relative newcomers to the sport with the most experienced US player having first played the sport one year ago. Despite their inexperience, the team has made phenomenal progress under the tutelage of a top-notch US coaching staff and they’re ready to make their mark in history. According to the tournament schedule, the US team plays their first match against Brazil on Thursday at 11:15 AM local GERMAN time.

The U.S. coaching staff is a four headed monster led by the Phoenix Fistball patriarch and U-18 Head Coach Steven Groeber, Eibach, Germany’s own Lara Goetz, Phoenix Fistball Veteran Amy Miller, USFA President Bob Feid, and with a touch of advice from Brazilian fistball expert Gastão Englert who is unable to travel with the team to Germany.

Let’s cheer them on to victory! Good Luck Girls!

Schedule Day 3n

Team USA will face Switzerland at 4 am EST. The winner of the match will advance to face defending champion Germany in the semi-final. The game is scheduled to be live streamed.

Official Tournament Booklet
Tournament Schedule
Match Reports
Live Streaming of Court 1 Matches

Team USA Results
Preliminary Round Day 1 (July 21)
– Brazil vs. USA 3:0 (11:04, 11:08, 11:08)
– Germany vs. USA 3:0 (11:04, 11:01, 11:01)
– USA – India 3:0 (11:02, 11:02, 11:04)

Preliminary Round Day 2 (July 22)
– Austria vs. USA 3:0 (11:07, 11:04, 11:02)
– Switzerland vs. USA 3:0 (11:05, 11:04, 11:05)

Qualification Round Day 3 (July 23)
– Switzerland vs. USA 2:0 (11:06, 11:02)

Team USA 5th Place

Team USA Accepting their 5th Place Medals/Trophy

Photo Downloads
‘Friendly’ USA vs Hessen Faustball compliments of Jens Huthmann
Team USA practice from July 20th compliments of the U18 tournament hosts
U18 Championship Photos courtesty of Natalie Takacs
Günther Kotzbauer’s U18 Championships Photo Album on Facebook
U18WM2016 Eibach Flickr Photos
FaustballBilder.de provides links to various U18 Tournament Fistball Photos
Facebook Album U18 WM 2016 Frauen – Tag 2 compliments of Stefan Gusenleitner of Austria

There’s also still time to support the team with a donation as they’ve come up short of their funding goals. There are two ways to help support the team. You can…
Order Apparel from the U18 USFA Store through July 24th, 2016 11:59 PM EDT. Purchase the same gear that the team USA girls wear. All proceeds will benefit the U18 US U18 Girl’s team to cover travel costs to the Fistball IFA U18 World Championship 2016 in Eibach, Germany.
or
Donate directly to the U18 team’s Generosity Fundraising page

2016 Coach & Player Profiles


Defense:

#1 Valerie Houghton, Maplewood, NJ

1 Valerie Houghton
Jersey # 1
Home: Maplewood, NJ
Birth Year: 2001
Position: Defense
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Columbia HS
Nickname: Val

Valerie Houghton was born June 15, 2001 to Kenneth and Shira Houghton. In addition to fistball, Val keeps busy with competitive swimming, Model UN, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball. Off the field, she takes her academics seriously, earning Honorable Mention in the National Spanish exam as well as the Presidents Education Award. Val is a Junior Olympian in competitive swimming, a certified life guard, and her favorite athlete is Olympic swimming gold medalist Ryan Lochte. She’s inspired by her friends and family and her inspirational quote is “Fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee”. When she’s not in a classroom, court, pool, or field, Valerie volunteers her time at a local food pantry, works with civil rights activists, and raises money to combat malaria. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, watching the Yankees, and listening to One Direction & Taylor Swift. Val first learned of fistball from her volleyball coach and has been playing fistball less than one year.

#2 Olivia Woodruff, Maplewood, NJ

2 Olivia Woodruff Picture
Jersey # 2
Home: Maplewood, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Defense
Height: 5’11” (180cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Columbia HS
Nickname: Liv

Liv Woodruff was born March 24, 2000, to Lisa and Greg Woodruff in Livingston, NJ. She currently lives in Maplewood, NJ, the hometown of another unique sport, Ultimate Frisbee. She is the captain of her school’s Ultimate Frisbee Club. Liv is interested in studying marine biology in college, and likes to spend time hanging out with her friends.

Liv has only taken up Fistball this year when she learned about it from a friend on her Ultimate team. She likes to listen to feel good, pump up music before matches and draws inspiration as an athlete from her sister’s friend and college Ultimate Frisbee player, Sadie Jezerski. She is inspired by the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason” and finds fulfillment in helping those less fortunate than her by volunteering with the Appalachian Service Project, an organization that helps to refurbish and build structures in the mountains of Appalachia. She looks forward to visiting Germany and meeting and playing with many young women from around the world.

#5 Kelli Vogel, Sparta, NJ

5 Kelli Vogel
Jersey: # 5
Home:  Sparta, NJ
Birth Year: 1999
Position: Defense
Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Sparta HS
Nickname: Kel

Kelli Vogel was born on September 18, 1999 to MaryPat and Jake Vogel and currently resides in Sparta, NJ. At 16, Kelli has already earned her varsity letter in Lacrosse at Sparta High School. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her friends, playing sports, watching the New York Jets, and listening to pop music. Kelli volunteers at One Step Closer Animal Rescue (OSCAR) which is a non-profit rescue organization that saves dogs and cats from desperate situations.

Kelli’s inspired by her family and friends and her favorite athlete is Misty May-Treanor because she makes volleyball look so easy. Although she’s only been playing fistball for 6 months, Kelli believes “Hard work pays off”.

#8 Kumali Schoen, Santa Cruz, CA

8 Kumali Schoen Closeup
Jersey: # 8
Home:  Santa Cruz, CA
Birth Year: 2001
Position: Defense
Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Santa Cruz HS

In addition to playing fistball, Kumali Schoen enjoys running, high jump, baking, reading, and traveling. In her spare time Kumali works as a baby sitter and volunteers her time within the community. Kumali’s best fistball experience so far has been discovering and learning fistball with my determined, outgoing father, my curious, energetic younger brother, and building up the first California fistball team. She’s been to Germany several times, but never to Bavaria and she’s looking forward to this visit! When asked about playing fistball, Kumali stated, “It’s enormous fun, active and challenging!”

Setter:

#9 Alexx Berdej, Roxbury Township, NJ

9 Alexx Berdej
Jersey: # 9
Home:  Roxbury Township, NJ
Birth Year: 1999
Position: Setter, Defense
Height: 5-4 (163cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Roxbury HS

Alexx Berdej was born on March 31, 1999 to Bo and Tara Berdej and currently resides in Roxbury Township, NJ. Alexx attends Roxbury HS and plans to major in English studies. In addition to fistball, she’s a standout lacrosse player, girl scout, and academic scholar. Alexx has earned awards and accolades for being the freshman Captain of her lacrosse team, receiving the Heart of the Gael
Award For freshman lacrosse, and Captain of the varsity lacrosse team, as well as academic honors for National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. She’s an ambassador Girl Scout working towards her Gold Award. Alexx’s hobbies outside of athletics include writing, reading, painting, and ceramics in which she’s already set some personal goals for herself. – “I love to read and write. I would like to compete in a poetry slam and pursue a career in writing. My goal is to write and publish a book by age 27.”

In her leisure time Alexx likes to play around with clay, write poetry, play lacrosse and spend time with her boyfriend. She also enjoys following the Syracuse men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, hanging out with friends and family, and listening to early 2000’s hip-hop & indie rock.

Alexx volunteers her time working with Roxbury Social Services collecting and organizing backpacks and school supplies, hosting children’s Halloween parties, and assisting with organizing food drives for holiday meals. She’s also worked with the US Marines on the “Toys For Tots” program collecting toys and loading the Santa Train with the toys for several years as well as volunteered at “The Haunted Beach” run by the local Fire Department for a few seasons.

Alexx’s favorite athlete is Manny Pacquiao becaue he was born in the Philippians, was not raised in the
ideal household or neighborhood, everyone told him he was too small to be a boxer, yet he ended his career with 54
wins and 3 loses. Her nephew inspires her to be the best at everything she can be. Alexx wants to give him someone to
look up to. Her favorite quote is “Don’t plant flowers in the garden of someone who won’t water them”.

Alexx first learned of fistball when the Swim and Sport Club hosted the 2015 Pan Am games her hometown. USFA President Bob Feid and U-18 Head Coach Steven Groeber visited Roxbury High School to demo the sport.

#7 Bayleigh Takacs, Sparta, NJ

7 Bayleigh Takacs
Jersey: # 7
Home:  Sparta, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Setter
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Sparta HS

Bayleigh Takacs was born on June 5th, 2000 to Nicole and Lou Takacs and currently resides in Sparta, NJ. In addition to playing fistball, Bayleigh has been a standout Lacrosse player for Sparta HS for three years. She’s been named team captain for multiple sports as well as being an active volunteer in the community putting in 100’s of volunteer hours. Bayleigh’s involved in student government serving as a class officer while also maintaining a high GPA. She enjoys playing volleyball and lacrosse. Although Bayleigh’s only been playing fistball for a short time, she looks forward competing with and meeting players from all over the world. “I like to challenge myself with new experiences and the sport sounded interesting to me.”

Striker:

#4 Kayley Moran, Hackettstown, NJ

4 Kayley Moran
Jersey: # 4
Home:  Hackettstown, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Defense
Height: 5’10” (178cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
College: Morris Hills HS
Nickname: Kay-LiLi

Kayley Moran was born on March 26th, 2000 to Jean and Frank Moran. She’s currently a student at Morris Hills High School with plans to study Athletic Training/Rehabilitation. In addition to playing fistball, Kayley has won numerous top performance awards in Track & Field events throughout the state of New Jersey. She takes her academics serious as well; she’s an Honor Roll Student and an Excelsior Award recipient which is awarded for athletes achieving academic excellence. Kayley’s inspired by her track coach (and cancer survivor), Keith Lindsley, who pushes her to achieve her goals. In her spare time, she likes to run(and sleep), watch the New York Giants, and listen to alternative rock music. Her favorite athlete is Kerri Walsh due to her amazing skills on the volleyball court. Kayley volunteers her time helping kids make arts and crafts at her church’s youth camp.

Kayley’s grandfather saw an ad in the paper for the U-18 fistball tryouts and encouraged her to give it a shot. Kayley’s motivated to push herself by the words of legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali – “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

#3 Christine Connelly, Rockaway, NJ

3 Captain Christine Connelly
Jersey: # 3
Home:  Rockaway, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Striker, Defense
Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Morris Hills HS
Nickname: CC

Christine Connelly was born on May 23rd 2000, to Robyn and Doug Connelly. She currently lives in Rockaway, NJ attending High School with plans to study biology and biochemistry. In addition to fistball, CC enjoys playing softball, volleyball, and NFL Punt, Pass, & Kick competitions. Christine earned the JV Freshmen of the Year award in softball and made it onto the field at MetLife Stadium to compete in the NFL Punt, Pass, & Kick competition. She’s also familiar with discipline as she’s earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Head coach Steven Groeber named Christine the Team Captain which is a testament to her leadership on the field. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, playing with her dog ‘Cooper’, watching the New York Giants and listening to pop, rap, R&B, and rock music. Her favorite athlete is Odell Beckham Jr due to the many awards he’s won in his first season playing in the NFL. Christine volunteers her time keeping the area along the local river clean as well as volunteering at the local Challenger Baseball event.

#10 Kate Tagliareni, Hackettstown, NJ

10 Kate Tagliareni
Jersey: # 10
Home: Hackettstown, NJ
Birth Year: 1998
Position: Striker
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Hackettstown High School

Kate Tagliareni was born on August 15th, 1998 to Jeannie and Tom Tagliareni and currently resides in Hackettstown, NJ. Kate grew up as the only girl with three brothers. Kate is looking forward to attending Iona College in the fall of 2016. In addition to playing fistball, Kate enjoys volleyball, swimming, lifeguarding, and being with her friends and family. Kate is a standout in volleyball at Hackettstown HS and has earned the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Scholar Athlete 2015 award, NJAC Second Team all-conference in volleyball 2014 and 2015, and Express Times Honorable Mention in volleyball 2015. She loves to watch volleyball and college basketball and listening to anything upbeat to help get her pumped up and motivated to play. Kate volunteers her time by serving on the Relay for Life committee, blood drives through school, and the Joan Knechel Memorial Walk. When asked about fistball Kate said, “I would consider it to be the most fun and exhilarating sport, that too many are unaware of. It’s a fast paced game that keeps you on your toes and comes with a lot of excitement”. Her trip to Germany will be her first time flying to Europe.

Coaching Staff:

Steven Groeber, Head Coach/Trainer

SteveGroeberHome: Cinnaminson, NJ

Steve is the Phoenix Club Fistball patriarch. He took it upon himself organize, develop, and promote the first US Women’s fistball team and now the first ever U-18 Women’s Fistball team. In addition to coaching the women’s and girl’s teams, Steve is an active member of the USFA Board of Directors and a lifelong member of the Phoenix fistball club and the Eastern Fistball Association. Steve has aided the growth of fistball in the US as much as anyone. After most fistball tournaments, Steve will entertain the exhausted competitors by singing and playing accordion.

Lara Goetz, Assistant Coach/Trainer

Asst Coach Lara Goetz 2Home:  Eibach, Germany

Lara Goetz has been playing fistball for years including for the host club of TV Eibach 03 in Nuremberg, Germany, before she moved to the US last year. Since then she has been practicing and playing with the Swim and Sport Club (SSC) in Flanders, New Jersey. “I am happy that I was able to help to create a new girls under 18 national team and I am excited to go to Germany with them and welcome them in my home town for the world championship.”

Amy Miller, Assistant Coach/Trainer

Coach Amy MillerHome:  Pennsylvania

Amy Miller is an experienced fistball player at the Phoenix Sports Club volunteering her time to help prepare the U18 girls for the challenges they’ll face in Germany.

Gastão Englert, U-18 Consultant/Advisor

GastaoEnglertHome:  Porto Alegre, Brazil

Studies:
Bachelor Degree in Physical Education – UFRGS (1988).
Specialization at The German Sport University – Koln – DSHS, Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (1988 to 1989).

Gastão has achieved 17 world championships while playing/coaching fistball…3 as Fistball Player…14 as Fistball Coach of Brazilian Men’s & Women’s Teams…Joined Team USA Coaching Staff in 2012…Loves to Play & Teach the Sport of Fistball

Previously Coached both the men’s and women’s Brazilian National Teams…Technical Consultant and Manager of the Catalonian team (Spain), Colombian team, Cuban Team and overall ambassador for the sport of fistball…Technical and development director of the Brazilian Fistball Confederation…Sports management and quality consultant…3rd. Sector: Tennis Foundation General Coordinator…

Youngest World Champion coach in the Fistball history (33 years, 1 month and 11 days old).
Coach with the highest number of World Championships in the Fistball history (13 times).
Twice World Cup champion (Switzerland 1999 and Brazil 2003).
World Vice-champion, 2007 (Germany).
9 times World Cup champion.
World Games Champion, 2009 (Kaohsiung – Taiwan).
2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal in the World Games, (Japan 2001, Germany 2005 and Finland 1997 respectively).
13 times South American champion (clubs and teams).

Bob Feid, USFA President/U-18 Delegation Leader

BobFeidDelegationLeaderHome:  Flanders, NJ

Bob Feid has only been the USFA President since January 2015 and in that short timeframe, he’s managed to organize the largest international fistball tournament in US history, assembled and led the first US Master’s team to the Master’s Championships in Chile, worked closely with U18 Assistant Coach Lara Goetz (from Eibach, Germany) and U18 Head Coach Steven Groeber to build the first ever US U-18 Girl’s team, as well as providing support for the upcoming 2021 World Games in Alabama that will feature the first International Championship on US soil. Bob promotes fistball tirelessly in the schools, on vacations, and in his free time. He will lead the delegation to the U-18 championships as well. Thank you Bob for your leadership!

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The USFA is seeking U18 Female Athletes for the Youth World Fistball Championships to be held July 20-24th, 2016 in Nuremburg, Germany.

Team USA seeks 7-10 girls interested in representing the USA in its first trip to the Youth World Championships. Previous experience playing the sport of Fistball isn’t required, but an athletic prowess and a fighting spirit is.

The skills required to play Fistball are often compared with those required to play Volleyball because both sports involve using up to three contacts in order to strike a ball over a net in an attempt to score, but skills used in Tennis and Baseball/Softball also often translate to success on the Fistball field. The overhand throwing motion used in pitching or throwing a Baseball is similar to the motion often employed by Fistball players to strike and serve.  The footwork a skilled Tennis player uses to get into position to defense an attack is similar to that required to get into position to defense an attack in Fistball.  The comparisons with Volleyball are the easiest to make because both sports involve defending a hard driven attack with the arms in such a way as to allow for the ball to be set close to the net for an equally powerful return attack. One key difference between the two is that he ball cannot be struck with an open hand, but instead a closed fist is used. The ball is also allowed to bounce between contacts, but it may only be played with a single arm at a time.  The sport of Fistball employs only 5 players on each side of the net to cover an area roughly 3 times the size of a Volleyball court. The net is also 6’3″ high which allows for shorter girls to be effective attackers. Fistball is an exciting and fast paced sport that requires teamwork, agility, and athleticism in order to achieve success.

Female athletes born in 1998 or later are qualified to try out for the U18 US Girls Fistball team.  Open try-outs will be held April 2nd from 3-5pm at Roxbury High School in Succasunna, NJ.  The U18 team will begin outdoor practices in Flanders, NJ in Spring 2016 at the Swim and Sport Club in Flanders, NJ. Opportunities potentially exist for interested players that cannot make the try-outs and/or that don’t live in the NJ area.  The USFA partners with Fistball clubs in Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Wisconsin as well. Please contact USFA President Bob Feid to express interest.

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2014 US National Team (Left to Right): Bonnie Zobel, Courtney Abel, Alex Buehning, Tricia Groeber, Ashley Sledzinski, Kristie Keating, Sadie Beacham, Kay Crosby, Coach Mat Ogin, Coach Gastao Englert

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to be part of a US National Team!  The US has participated internationally in World Championship tournaments on the men’s side since 1999 and only recently sent the first women’s team to compete in the World Championships in 2014.  Not one athlete has come back without expressing how truly amazing the experience of representing your country in international competition has been.  For many, it’s been a once in a lifetime opportunity that provides the rare opportunity to travel abroad, experience other cultures, and make lifelong friends across the globe.

Fistball is not yet an Olympic sport, but the International Fistball Association (IFA) has been working tirelessly in recent years to achieve Olympic status and with more and more countries beginning to form teams, it’s becoming increasingly likely that we’ll see Fistball in the Olympics in the future.  The US is relatively new to the international scene but with each new international team formed, the competitive level of US Fistball as a whole is raised.

The USFA successfully hosted the first ever Pan-American Fistball games at the Swim and Sport Club in Flanders this past summer.  The USFA sent it’s first men’s team to the Master’s World Championships in Chile in November 2015 and now Birmingham, Alabama has been chosen to host the 2021 World Games during which the first Fistball World Champion will be crowned on US soil.  USFA President, Bob Feid expects the sport of Fistball to grow tremendously in the coming years.  It’s an exciting time for Fistball in the USA and a great time join in the excitement.  The IFA has created a temporary site with details regarding the U18 2016 World Championship as well as a U18 2016 World Championship Facebook Page. Come join the excitement!

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