Fistball World Championship begins: “Mannheim expects grandiose days”.

Jul 21, 2023

Germany plays opening match against Namibia

 The fistball world is a guest in Germany and is looking eagerly to Mannheim over the next eight days. Tomorrow, Saturday, the 16th Men’s World Championship in Fistball begins (July 22-29) – 16 nations will travel from all over the world to the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, where Germany hopes to defend its 2019 title.

The preliminary round matches will be played on the first six days at the Rhein-Neckar Stadium of Fußball-Verbandsligist VfR Mannheim. Spectators can already look forward to a special atmosphere during the preliminary round and the first knockout duels. In addition to the existing grandstand system, an additional mobile grandstand has been erected, meaning that around 5,000 spectators can be welcomed to the stadium on match days.

The teams will play the finals on July 28 and 29 in the SAP Arena. “For the first time, a World Championship will be held on natural grass in an indoor arena. We are very proud to be responsible for a premiere here – for the arena as well as for our sport,” emphasizes World Championship Managing Director Sönke Spille, who is convinced: “The field of participants promises a lot of excitement, Mannheim expects grandiose World Championship days.”

The matches will be played in four preliminary groups. The top 8 nations from the last World Championship were divided into groups A and B. The first and second-placed teams from groups A and B will qualify directly for the quarterfinals. While the first and second-placed teams in Groups A and B qualify directly for the quarterfinals, the first and second-placed teams in Groups C and D play with the third and fourth-placed teams in Groups A and B to qualify for the quarterfinals.

The losers of the quarterfinal qualifiers and the other teams in Groups C and D will then compete in the so-called President’s Cup and play out ninth to 16th place among themselves. The other teams will battle it out for the title.

The first indication will be beaten on Saturday at 10 am. Then the Czech Republic and Japan will meet. After the opening ceremony at 1:30 p.m., host and defending champion Germany will face the only African representative Namibia in its preliminary group A (2 p.m.).

At the fourth home World Championship in history, Germany wants to lift the World Championship trophy for the 13th time.


These are the groups:

Group A: Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Namibia

Germany is the favorite as reigning world champion and host. The Swiss team has undergone a generation change since the last World Championships in Winterthur and has significantly rejuvenated the team. Thus, already in the group stage there will be a rematch of the final match of the World Games 2022 (USA, Birmingham). In Birmingham, the German team prevailed in an exciting match (4:1). Italy and Namibia are in the underdog role in this group. But Italy can rely on an experienced team and is always good for a surprise. It will be difficult for Namibia to win in the group stage, and they would have to play well against Italy to do so.

Group B: Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile

In Group B, Austria and Brazil are in the favorite role. At the last World Championship in Winterthur (Switzerland), Austria won the highly dramatic semifinal against Brazil and took the runner-up title. Last year in Birmingham, the teams met again in the bronze medal match, which Brazil, however, won. The group is completed by Chile and Argentina. In Winterthur, Chile finished sixth and Argentina seventh. Chile tends to be slightly stronger. Overall, the two teams are certainly also in the underdog role and will rather fight for the third place in the group.

Group C: Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Australia

In addition to the Czech Republic and Japan, Group C includes the two teams from Oceania: New Zealand and Australia, who already meet in the derby on the opening day. Overall, New Zealand and the Czech Republic are the favorites in the group. The Czech Republic won the group stage in Winterthur by a narrow margin, while New Zealand has developed strongly in recent years after their first participation in the World Championship in Winterthur. Thus, the two teams will probably settle the group victory. Australia and Japan are to be seen as underdogs. The Japanese were 18th and thus last in Winterthur, Australia finished the 2019 World Championship in 16th place and are thus to be seen as slight favorites in the direct duel.

Group D: USA, Denmark, Serbia, Belgium
In Group D, the USA is the clear favorite. The Americans were able to win a set against Brazil at the World Games in Birmingham and offer the spectators an exciting match. Thus, they showed that they could also surprise against the top favorites. Serbia, Denmark and Belgium will duel for second place in the group. Who will be the favorites is difficult to predict and will probably also be decided by the form of the day.

SWR broadcasts the games live:

SWR Sport will broadcast the German national team’s games live in a stream and on YouTube. The tournament kicks off with the preliminary round match against Namibia on Saturday (2 p.m.), followed by Germany facing Switzerland on Sunday (7 p.m.) and Italy on Monday (10 a.m.).

Should the German team qualify for the quarterfinals, semifinals and final, SWR Sport will also show these matches live. A German final would also be shown live on SWR television.

All World Championship matches can also be seen live at