Friendly Reunion of the 16 World Championship Participants

Jul 21, 2023

Visit to the Federal Garden Show and Welcome Dinner

Players, coaches and delegation members of the 16 participating countries got in the mood for the Fistball World Championships from July 22 to 29 in Mannheim with a visit to the Federal Garden Show and a cable car ride over the roofs of Mannheim.

On the evening before the opening match, the teams met and walked together to the cable car, from where they reached Spinelli Park after a spectacular ride. Michael Schnellbach, Managing Director of the Federal Horticultural Show, welcomed the delegations there and pointed out the importance of the Federal Horticultural Show and the Fistball World Championships as two highlights this year in Mannheim.

“We are pleased that we could celebrate the kick-off of our World Cup at the Federal Horticultural Show and welcome our international guests in this special ambience,” emphasized IFA President Jörn Verleger. “We walked through the two important parts of this exhibition, firstly through the sea of flowers in the Luisenpark and then we were able to enjoy the wonderful view from the train all the way to Heidelberg and the many sports venues in Mannheim.”

In between, the teams took advantage of the magnificent backdrop for photo opportunities before ending the evening in a friendly atmosphere over dinner. In keeping with the motto of the Welcome Dinner, “Road to Chengdu,” the nations met at a Chinese restaurant not far from the Rhein-Neckar Stadium, where the preliminary round matches of the World Cup will be played starting on Saturday. Among the guests were Joachim Gossow, CEO of the World Games, and IOC member Ivo Ferriani. In this context, Jörn Verleger underlined the importance of this World Championship, which is also the first qualification opportunity for the World Games in 2025.

The World Championship will start on Saturday, July 22, with the first preliminary round match at the Rhein-Neckar Stadium. At 10 a.m., 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.).

The match schedule on 22.7:
Czech Republic – Japan (10 a.m.)
New Zealand – Australia (11.15 a.m.)
Switzerland – Italy (12.30 p.m.)
Germany – Namibia (2 p.m.)
USA – Belgium (4 p.m.)
Denmark – Serbia (5.30 p.m.)
Austria – Argentina (7 p.m.)
Brazil – Chile (8.30 p.m.)

All matches of the World Cup can be seen live on The German matches will also be streamed live by SWR Sport and on YouTube.