Fistball

by Bernie DeKoven on May 14, 2012

On behalf of the International Fistball Association, we are pleased to introduce you to the sport of Fistball.

According to the International World Games Association:

 “…there is ‘striking’ similarity between volleyball and fistball: the object of both games is to place the ball in the opponents’ half of the field in such a way that it cannot get returned. The crucial difference in fistball: the ball is struck with either fist or arm – never with open hands – and it is allowed to bounce after each contact. The game was first mentioned in 240 A.D. by the Roman emperor Gordianus. In 1786 it was Johann Wolfgang Goethe who wrote about fistball being played between ‘four noblemen from Verona and four Venetians.’ Today’s game has five players per side jettisoning the ball over the ribbon – at speeds much beyond the 100 km/h – and making spectacular dives to avoid that it bounces more than three times in their half.”

And further:

“The men’s outdoor game, which is featured in The World Games, is played on a field of 20 by 50 meters. The center line divides the field in two halves; 2 meters above the center line a 6 cm wide net or tape is strung across the field. Service lines are marked at three meters from the center line in each of the halves. The ball is made of leather, has a circumference of maximum 68 centimeters, weighs up to 380 grams, and it is inflated at 0,75 bar. The matches are generally played to a system of ‘best of three sets,’ with a set won by the team accumulating 20 points.”

Which implies that there is, in all likelihood, a women’s outdoor, and probably a men and women’s indoor version of fistball.

But, say I, despite the deeply entrenched officialdom, the spectacularly athletic feats of spectacular athleticism to which fistball players are heir, the game’s the thing. And it looks like fun, especially if you don’t keep score, and find some long field to play in, like maybe an alley, and play with men and women and kids and people in wheelchairs, and with, maybe, a beach ball, and just see how long you can keep a ball going back and forth, hitting it only with fist and arms, eh?


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