Dodgeball’s Debut at the CSIT Games!
Published on September 30, 2023

The 7th CSIT World Sports Games 2023 in Emilia Romagna ended on Saturday, September 9 with the Grand Final and a celebration for all at Club Fantini in Cervia. Around 4,000 athletes and 1,000 accompanying persons had come to Italy for the WSG2023. Many of them also went to the closing ceremony and party on the Adriatic beach. CSIT President Bruno Molea drew a thoroughly positive conclusion of the 7th World Sports Games and was highly satisfied with the handling despite the effects of the flood catastrophe in May in the region as well as the short preparation time, because of the relocation of the Games from Rome to Cervia last year. Mr. Molea particularly emphasised the enthusiasm and great work of all volunteers. “But my applause also goes to the referees and officials, who gave their best possible performance and of course to our many athletes, who gave their best.”

This was the first appearance for dodgeball, and the town of Forli welcomed players from Austria, Ireland, Italy, Norway, San Marino, Sweden, and Turkey, as well as officials from Canada and Tunisia. Dodgeball Italy was our host for the competition and did a wonderful job in not only running the event, but helping visitors with hotels, transportation, and general logistics as our liaison to the CSIT organizing committee.

The original plan of a European Foam Championships was put aside as National squads took on players from other countries to allow for more teams and more participants across more divisions. The Swedish team welcomed players from Ireland, Italy and Norway, while the San Marinese team was mainly composed of Italian players who will work with the San Marino Sport Department in the coming months to develop the game in that country. We are grateful for her support in launching dodgeball in the region.

All in all, the event welcomed 15 teams and over 100 athletes, playing 47 matches over 3 days. The results saw Italy take gold in the men’s and mixed divisions. San Marino and Austria completed the men’s medallists, while Austria and Sweden rounded out medals for mixed play. In the women’s division, Austria surprised Italy with an incredible game that was settled in overtime. Sweden took bronze. Turkey attended its first WDBF tournament, and while they struggled on the court, they maintained an incredible attitude and vowed to support the continued development of dodgeball in their home country.

Wolfgang Burghardt, Secretary General of CSIT, attended day two of the event and was impressed by the activity. “The atmosphere is wonderful. Everyone is laughing and talking with each other.” This was exactly the impression we are happy to leave in competition, and it is the type of culture that will support our entry into other events in the coming years. The next CSIT World Sport Games will be held in 2025 in Loutraki, Greece.