The preliminary round groups of the 2023 Fistball World Championships have been determined: when the world’s best 16 national fistball teams compete for the title from July 22 to 29, they will meet in a total of four preliminary round groups on the first three days. The best 8 nations of the last World Championship 2019 in Winterthur will meet in groups A and B – all 16 teams have the chance to participate in the final.
Host and defending champion Germany will face two European teams in its preliminary round group. The group stage will see a rematch of the 2022 World Games final in the USA. The third team in the group is Italy, who finished in a strong fifth place at both the last World Championship and the World Games. Namibia completes the group. The only African representative will play the official opening match of the World Championship against Germany on Saturday, July 22.
In Group B, runner-up Austria will face all three teams from South America. In addition to Brazil, bronze medal winners of the 2019 World Championship and 2022 World Games, Chile and Argentina are also part of the eagerly awaited group.
Group C is led by the Czech Republic, who finished ninth at the 2019 World Cup, and will face three teams from Asia and Oceania. Fans should be eager to see New Zealand, who impressed in their World Championship debut in Winterthur. Australia will be taking part in the World Cup for the third time, and for Japan – the fourth team in Group C – it will be their sixth World Championship appearance.
In Group D, the USA will meet the two European representatives Denmark and Serbia, who won the first President’s Cup in 2019. Also drawn into Group D is India. The Asians are planning their first ever participation in a Fistball World Cup this year.
The preliminary round matches will be played July 22-24 at the Rhein-Neckar Stadium in Mannheim, Germany. The top two teams in Groups A and B will qualify directly for the quarterfinals (Wednesday, July 26), while the third and fourth-place teams will play a qualifying round against the top two teams in Groups C and D respectively. The finals will be played on July 28/29 at the SAP Arena.
Group A: Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Namibia
Group B: Austria, Brazil, Chile, Argentina
Group C: Czech Republic, New Zealand, Australia, Japan
Group D: USA, Denmark, Serbia, India