What is Fistball?

Fistball is played by many European and South American countries, and has a growing player base in the North American, Asian and Oceanic regions. It has been played at the World Games since 1985 and has a regular World Championships of it’s own, for both men and women.

Aesthetically and strategically, the sports shares many similar characteristics to volleyball, but with some fundamental differences:

  • There are 5 players per team on the court
  • It is generally played on grass
  • The court is larger (50m x 20m)
  • The ball can bounce once between each of the three hits
  • The ball must be struck with the fist or arm (no open hand), using only one arm
  • The ball is heavier and harder
  • The ribbon (a thin net) is 200cm (78 inches) off the ground

Rules for the sport can be found here, and a detailed Wikipedia article on fistball can be found here.

Fistball has been played in Australia since 2012, and is overseen at a national level by the Fistball Federation of Australia. As of 2018, the majority of domestic competition occurs in the greater regions of Melbourne and Geelong, with the Victorian Fistball Association (VFA) running both a men’s and mixed division league in these areas.

The International Fistball Association (IFA) oversees fistball across the rest of the world, and produced the promotional video below: