ROXBURY, NJ – World-class athletes from four South American nations will be coming to Roxbury in August to play against their USA counterparts in the first Pan-American Fistball Games tournament.
The event will take place Aug. 27-30 at the Swim and Sport Club on Emmans Road.
Fistball is an ancient sport that is similar to volleyball. It is very popular in Europe, particularly Germany. Fistball was brought to the United States in the early 20th Century, and has been played at the Swim and Sport Club since 1927, 11 years before the club moved from Newark to Roxbury, said U.S. Fistball Association President Robert Feid.
He said he expects about 140 athletes to be at the event. There will be nine national teams and 14 club teams competing. In addition to five USA teams, fistball players from Columbia, Argentina, Brazil and Chile will be there, said Feid.
Feid, a Swim and Sport Club member since childhood, said the efforts of the U.S. Fistball Association to promote the sport across the United States played a big part in the Roxbury site being chosen by the International Fistball Association. There have been a number of USA national teams that have competed in Europe.
Roxbury Township Manager Christopher Raths is excited about the event. He said the township will put together a “welcoming committee” that will show the visiting athletes the best of Roxbury hospitality.
“Let’s just enjoy that they selected Roxbury Township for this great event,” said Raths. “They’re going to be going back home and we want them to say, ‘You wouldn’t believe the hospitality we got out of Roxbury, New Jersey.”
Feid said the International Fistball Association has been talking with the International Olympic Committee about getting fistball included in the summer olympics. "I believe we are few countries short of the minimum countries that need to be playing the game to be considered," he said. "We're growing one or two countries a year, so it won't take long to be eligible."
Fistball is already a part of the World Games, and the sport is expected to be played when the World Games come to Birmingham, Ala. in 2021, said Feid.
A few fistball action scenes are showin in this video.