The year 2024 has only just begun and some sports fans are already looking ahead to 2025. The 12th World Games will take place in Chengdu (China) next summer. After 2001 (Akita/Japan) and 2009 (Kaohsiung/Chinese Taipei), this will be the third time the multi-sport event has been hosted in Asia. Fistball is also part of the competition program again – with more teams than ever before.

The World Games

The World Games have been held every four years since 1981. Non-Olympic sports from six areas are represented (artistic and dance sports, ball sports, martial arts, precision sports, powersports and trend sports). The last World Games were held in Birmingham (USA) in 2022.

Fistball at the World Games

In 1985, at the second ever World Games, a fistball competition was held for the first time at the multi-sport event in London (Great Britain). Four nations took part, with the winner Germany, Brazil (silver), Austria and Switzerland (both bronze). Four years later, in 1989, there were six men’s teams among the participants – a number that was to continue until the 2017 World Games in Poland.

Participations: With Germany, Austria, Brazil and Switzerland, four nations have taken part in all ten fistball competitions of the World Games. In addition, Argentina (6 participations), Chile (5), Italy (4), Japan, Denmark, Chinese Taipei and the USA have each participated once.

Results: The most successful World Games nation is Germany with seven titles and two bronze medals. Austria (2001, 2005) and Brazil (2009) have also won the gold medal in the past. Switzerland has not yet won the title, but has always reached the final at the last four editions and won the silver medal.

From Birmingham to Chengdu

2022 in Birmingham (USA) was the last time the world’s best fistball teams competed in the World Games. The women’s competition celebrated a premiere. For the first time ever, Germany, Austria, Switzerland (Europe), Brazil, the USA (America) and New Zealand (Oceania) had women’s fistball teams competing at the World Games. Germany became the first ever winners of the title by beating Switzerland in the final. The field of participants for 2025 was increased by two more teams – to eight nations.

The World Games 2025 delegation from Chengdu also came to Birmingham to see the fistball at the World Games for themselves. They took the opportunity to complete their own short fistball training session with Gastao Englert – and get a first-hand impression of the sport.

World Games 2025

The 12th edition of the World Games will take place in Chengdu, China, from August 7 to 17, 2025. Over 5,000 athletes will travel to the city of 21 million people in the southwest of the country to compete in a total of 35 sports. The opening and closing ceremonies are planned to be held at the Dong’an Lake Sports Park Stadium, which has a capacity of 40,000 spectators. Chen Yanfu, Deputy Secretary of the Chengdu Municipal Committee, is convinced that the event will be a major highlight: “We will make the World Games in Chengdu a wonderful example of the development of new sports and the promotion of a modern sports culture.”

The fistball competitions

Eight men’s and eight women’s teams will be competing at the 2025 World Games in China – more than ever before. “This is a great signal for the development of the sport of fistball,” says Christoph Oberlehner, Secretary General of the International Fistball Association. Together with the International World Games Association (IWGA) and the local organizing committee, preparations for the fistball competitions have begun. The Chengdu University Stadium has been chosen as the venue. The stadium can accommodate 4,000 spectators. “The first teams have already qualified, and the other nations will follow in the coming months,” says Sönke Spille, IFA Competition Manager for the World Games: “We are working closely together there and will also clarify all the details on site in advance to guarantee optimal conditions for all athletes.”