USFA is the National Governing body for the sport of Fistball in the United States, as recognized by the International Fistball Association.
2021 US Outdoor Men’s National Champions
The United States Fistball Association held the 2021 Outdoor National Championship in Jackson, Wisconsin on August 7-8th with the help of the local organizers of the Wisconsin Fistball Association. With the complications of the COVID-19 virus and more current delta variant, four men’s teams competed for the right to be called the US Champion, and ultimately, the North American Fistball champion. Teams from New Jersey and Pennsylvania traveled to Wisconsin to put on a show for all viewers. The team from the Swim and Sport Club of Flanders, New Jersey came in as the defending champions from 2019’s outdoor championship in SSC. SSC likely was the favorite going in to the tournament, but perhaps the host Wisconsin Fistball Association, was at the very least, the local crowd favorite. The WFA men’s team was strengthened by internationally relocated Michael Rader of Germany (TSV Schwieberdingen) and Thomas Dazinger of Austria (TV Ennz).
After the preliminary round, the seedings for the semifinals were WFA in first place, SSC 1 in second place, Milwaukee Fistball Club in 3rd place, and finally SSC’s 2nd team in 4th place. The semifinal matches were both quite clear with 3:0 victories for WFA and SSC 1 against SSC 2 and MKE respectively. The 3rd place match between MKE and SSC 2 had a rough start for SSC with an 11:0 first set. The next sets were competitive with Jordan Blank returning to the hitting role for MKE and Kyle Ejsmont finding his way in the attack for SSC. Ultimately, Milwaukee outplayed the east coast team 4:0 and earned the bronze medal. (11:0, 11:8, 11:8, 11:8)
The championship match between strong attacker Todd Strassberger from SSC 1 and the well rounded Wisconsin team was an exciting one with the SSC squad coming out firing. The east coasters took an early lead in the first set due to the lack of difficulty coming from the Mat Henrichs serve. After a timeout, the local team put up a fight but fell short on the first set 7:11. The second set was much closer with a stronger setting presence from Patrick White, Eric Kindler, and Thomas Dazinger. A couple of situations of luck went the WFA’s way early in the set and a few strong defenses from Aaron Weninger gave Todd Strassberger some doubt about where he can score. Some tactical services and attacks on Mat Henrichs kept the SSC boys neck and neck with the WFA squad in the set. Mat Henrichs however found his groove in the service game and was able to score some late set points on setter Kris Graham to pull forward at 9:9 and 10:10. Ultimately, the set was closed for WFA by a service error out of bounds 12:10.
With the set score of 1:1 and the temperature starting to heat up with the sun coming out, it was anyone’s championship to win. The third set moved in the direction of the home team quickly as service errors and attacking errors from Todd Strassberger and Cory Dahn. An early run of points was never able to be undone and the WFA squad easily took the third set 11:6. The fourth set was where the going got tough and the tough got going. Both teams found ways to keep the game close with a trading of points for most of the set. Cory Dahn brought a different aspect to SSC’s attack with a strong service game that gave Thomas Dazinger some difficulties. A system change for the WFA team brought Thomas into the field and ultimately tamed Cory Dahn’s service scoring. Due to the system change and a few service errors, Todd Strassberger returned to the service and immediately scored a long service that nearly took off Thomas’ head. A trading of service points ensued between Mat Henrichs and Todd Strassberger leading the set to 13:13. A missed call by the referee should have awarded a point to SSC for a bench player entering the field after a strong attack scored for Mat Henrichs. An intense rally at 14:13 took place with outstanding defense from James McMahon of SSC, but Todd Strassberger lost his footing and made a devastating attacking error which gifted the WFA boys the 4th set 15:13.
After a 10 minute break that both teams needed due to the warm temperature, the fifth set was under way. An early service error from Todd and a missed defense from James McMahon gave the WFA an early lead. It was clear that when Mat Henrichs was hitting the ball that it was getting wet from sweat and the referee made a ball change after the missed defense and as needed. Todd and Cory both were finding the back line in the middle of the set and giving the WFA defensive back line trouble. Service aces and a setting error brought the set to 8:8. Some strong defensive plays by Eric Kindler kept Todd and Cory in check and gave momentum to the WFA boys in the late part of the set. At 10:8 for WFA and after a perfect set from Kris Graham, Todd Strassberger would not be denied with a super strong strike that went through the WFA defense which fended off the first match ball. A missed pole touch kept the SSC boys alive and Todd Strassberger hammered home a 25 meter shot to tie the game 10:10. A service that was too difficult by Mat Henrichs led to the ball not being able to return to put WFA in front. An intense final rally was concluded by a Mat Henrichs strike to bring the match to a close. Final result 4:1 (7:11, 12:10, 11:6, 15:13, 12:10).
- Wisconsin Fistball Association
- Swim and Sport Club 1
- Milwaukee Fistball Club
- Swim and Sport Club 2
USFA Announces New Women’s Fistball Program
2021 World Championship in Switzerland this Summer
The United States Fistball Association is proud to announce the launch of their new Women’s Fistball Program, functioning as both a competitive national team, and athlete development program.
USFA is seeking athletes to learn Fistball, and try out for this year’s Women’s National team, who will compete in the 2021 Women’s World Championships in Switzerland, July 13-17.
What is Fistball?
Fistball is a net sport, similar to volleyball and tennis. Two teams of 5 players play on opposite sides of a large grass court. The court is divided in half by a small net, lower than a volleyball net.
The goal is to hit the ball over the net into the opponent’s half so it cannot be returned. The ball can only be hit with one arm or a closed fist, but the ball may bounce once before each contact, as in tennis. 3 arm/fist contacts & 3 bounces are allowed to return the ball over the net.
What is the USA Women’s Fistball Program?
The USA Women’s Fistball Program was established to spread awareness and competition of Fistball to new audiences & athletes nationwide. The program’s functions are:
1. To encourage local growth of Women’s Fistball through clinics, demonstrations, and a variety of Fistball competitions.
2. To organize & host national team training sessions and develop individual athlete’s Fistball skillset.
3. To attend a yearly international competition representing the USA. Events include:
Upcoming Clinics & Practices
The USA Women’s Program will continue to post updates on domestic and international events throughout the year. Complete our New Player Questionnaire and get in touch via email@example.com to learn more about the sport and opportunities to play in 2021.
In-person clinics & practices for the National Team will take place through March & April in New Jersey & Pennsylvania. If you are interested but do not live nearby, please reach out to make arrangements. The 10 player national team roster for the 2021 Women’s World Championship will be selected by April 25th.
Athletes aged 16+ are eligible. All events will follow Covid-19 safety protocol including masking, distancing, and sanitizing.
The USA Women’s Fistball Program is led by Cory Dahn & Matthew Ogin. Ogin coached Women’s Volleyball at Rutgers-Camden from 2007-2010, served as trainer and assistant coach of the USA Women’s Fistball Teams at the 2014 World Championship & 2015 Pan-American Championship.
Dahn has coached youth club Fistball since 2018 at the Swim & Sport Club (Roxbury, NJ). He served as head coach of the USA Youth Boys team at the 2018 Under-18 World Championships.
Dahn and Ogin both recently competed with Team USA at the 2019 Men’s Fistball World Championship, in Winterthur, Switzerland.
United States Fistball Association Seeking U18
The United States Fistball Association (USFA) is seeking male and female athletes under the age of 18 who are interested in competing in the Youth European Fistball Championships in Austria this summer from July 13th – 19th.
Fistball is very similar to Volleyball in many ways so those with experience playing Volleyball will be able to learn the rules and techniques of Fistball much quicker. However, any male of female under the age of 18 (born during 2001 or later) interested in trying out are welcome to qualify for the U18 Fistball team. Outdoor practices will start in the Spring in Roxbury at the Swim and Sport Club.
Fistball is a very exciting and fast paced team sport consisting of five players on each team. Similar to Volleyball in many ways, Fistball also allows for three individual touches by players using a closed fist plus an added bounce allowed before each touch. As in volleyball, when receiving a serve from the opposing team, the idea is to save, set and spike the ball back into the opponent’s half of the field.
USFA President Bob Feid and USFA North East Director, Werner Adam played key roles in bringing the 2018 U18 Fistball World Championships to Roxbury Township’s Horseshoe Lake fields and the Pan American Fistball Games to the Swim and Sport Club in 2015 and both are committed to expanding the sport giving young people more opportunities for competitive Fistball play.
The USFA has participated in many international tournaments with both Men’s and Women’s teams for several years now competing on the World Championship level. Fistball also has a long history in Roxbury, having been played at the Swim and Sport Club since the 1930’s competing against similar clubs in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania over the years and is where players for both Men’s and Women’s U.S. National Teams are trained.
Here’s what USFA President Bob Feid had to say prior to the 2018 U18 Fistball World Championships in July 2018:
“Hosting the U18 Fistball World Championships at Horseshoe Lake will be a great opportunity for local people to come out and see what a great sport Fistball is. Fistball is one of the few sports that can be played anywhere and with very little cost or experience. Our clinic and tryout process is designed to welcome any athlete from any sport. – Bob Feid USFA President
And what Roxbury Township Mayor Crowley said about Fistball:
“Roxbury Township was very excited to host the Pan American Fistball Games in 2016. We are even more excited to have the opportunity to share our community with the players and fans attending the U18 2018 World Championships. Our fantastic Township facilities will showcase the interest we have in supporting sports and will allow our residents and neighboring communities to participate in a world event“. -Mark Crowley, Mayor, Township of Roxbury
You can follow the United States Fistball Association on: Facebook/USFistball, Twitter/USFistball, Instagram/USFistball and at www.usfistball.com
You can follow the International Fistball Association on: Facebook/IFA.Fistball, Twitter/IFA.Fistball, Instagram/IFA.Fistball and at www.ifa-fistball.com