The earliest known written mention of the game is by Roman Emperor Gordian III and dates to the year 240. Rules for an Italian version of fistball were recorded by Antonius Scaiono in 1555. In 1786, Johann Wolfgang Goethe who mentioned fistball games between 'four noblemen from Verona and four Venetians' in his diary An Italian Journey.
For more information on the Namibian Fistball history visit the website of the Fistball Association of Namibia.
Fistball belongs to the group of games wherein a ball gets hit across a net from one half of the field of play to the other. As in tennis and volleyball, the aim is to place the ball in the opponents' half in such a way as to not allow them to reach it - even after a bounce. The ball is hit with fists or arms. After passing the net, the ball may be contacted up to three times by the five players on each team - with a bounce being permissible before each contact.
Fistball is played outdoors as well as indoors. 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 2 m 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 maximum circumference of 68 cm, weighs up to 380 g, and is inflated to 0.75 bar. The matches are played to a system of 'best of three sets' , with a set won by the team accumulating 20 points.
Other than in The World Games, the international fistball elite unites in quadrennial 'International Fistball Association' World Championships for men and women.
The current fistball World Champion is Austria, Brazil won the 2009 Fistball World Games.
Fistball was first introduced to the United States in 1911 by high school teacher Christopher Carlton who had experienced it first hand on a summer vacation to Italy.
Ramblers Fistball practice sessions are on Mondays and Wednesdays from 19h00 till 21h00 on the small field of the Ramblers Club, Tünschel Street, Pionierspark.
- Christiane Hass – Chairperson, Tel/Fax: 061 239347, Contact via e-mail
- Gert Nelson – Coach, 081-129 39 75
- Burkhard Riedel – Ass. Coach, 081-251 90 74