Interview with IFA President Joern Verleger

The Fistball tournament at The World Games last year in Birmingham got particularly good ratings during TV broadcasts in Germany. Will that have a positive effect on the World Championships?

Fistball has achieved a greater status in Germany through the TV broadcast of The World Games. Due to the proven large viewing figures, we were able to achieve a TV contract with the public broadcasters in Germany for the first time. All games of the German team can be seen in a free livestream on, among others. A final match with German participation would also be shown live on SWR television. In addition, daily coverage is planned in the morning and midday magazines of ARD and ZDF. The contract with the sports rights and marketing agency SportA is a milestone for the sport of Fistball in Germany.

But not only for Germany. For the first time, women took part in The World Games last year and I remember the exciting final between Germany and the Swiss girls in particular. It was a heat battle with the better end for Germany.

This match also attracted a lot of media attention. In France, for example, the match has been viewed well over 2000,000 times in the archives of “L’equipe”, the most important French sports channel. This media presence has led to the fact that we are on the verge of founding a French Fistball association.

What is special about the 2023 World Championship?

The participating nations come from all five continents. With Brazil, Chile, Austria, Switzerland and Germany, five nations have participated in all previous World Championships. For India, it will be the first ever Men´s World Championship participation.

The semifinal and placement matches will take place in the 12,000-seat SAP Arena. Natural grass will be laid in the arena for the first time for the event. This arena is mega impressive. Spectators and players will experience goosebump moments.

How do you make the topic of Fistball particularly present in the media?

Fistball captivates with its dynamics, power, action, precision and great fair play. Fistballs are hit over the line at speeds of up to 120 km/h – and defused by the opposing defense with sometimes spectacular flying moves.

We focus very much on this on our own social media and use all channels from social media to information stands at sporting events to videos with national players and celebrity ambassadors, such as the well-known Mannheim comedian Bülent Ceylan, Paralympic champion Nico Kappel or world handball player Henning Fritz, who is an ambassador World Championship.

To what extent is the World Championships a milestone for Fistball?

Germany has a long tradition and great experience in hosting Fistball events. Faustball Deutschland, the national association for Fistball in Germany, has completely repositioned itself around the World Championship.

This World Championship is not only something very special, it is not only a milestone, but can become a door opener for the sport of Fistball.

We are expecting over 2,700 School Kids on Monday. They will not only watch the match Germany vs. Namibia, but also actively try out different sports. We will offer this activity in good cooperation with local clubs and United Through Sports, an AIMS initiative we a proud to support from the beginning.

And finally the World Championship is also a milestone because the first tickets for The World Chengdu will be awarded.

Is there a question we forgot to ask but would like to answer?

The question should be: Are there still tickets available for Mannheim? Yes, there are including the final days. See tickets at