Interviews from Worlds – from all around the globe

September was probably the most important month for the international Roundnet community since the existence of the sport. The first Roundnet World Championship took place! To honor this special month, we asked different participants how they perceived the World Cup. After all, the stories that weren’t necessarily streamed on center court are what made this event such a special weekend.

We will publish an interview with participants from Canada, Taiwan, Egypt, Chile, Australia & Finland in the following days.


How did it go for Team Australia at the World Cup? 
The Australian Quokkas smashed expectations. Coming in as a pretty unknown element, I think we were underestimated by most countries – and by ourselves. Having our mixed team and men’s squad end up T-9 was a massive achievement, considering where we were expected to finish – and with two men’s teams in the top 32, there are great signs for the future. It was also super encouraging that we had a full women’s squad at the tournament and we are keen to see the female scene continue to gain traction throughout Australia. 

How did it feel for you to participate? 
It was an incredible experience. We have never experienced crowds with such passion or games with such intensity as there was at worlds. An amazing atmosphere with a wonderful group of athletes – it was a pretty perfect weekend for the inaugural worlds. 

What was your personal highlight? 
Two major highlights: The atmosphere during the first mixed game was insane. Having a whole squad cheering us on, and then winning the game with a no-touch ace and having the quokkas all join in the celebration was absolute madness. And then spending some time on Sunday playing some 8v8 with players from 6 or 7 different countries and getting to enjoy the sport we all love with people from across the globe was rather special.

What surprised you? 
I was surprised at the culture of the competition. We came in expecting countries to be incredibly particular about rules and were anticipating lots of re-dos and observer discussions, but the culture was incredible. Everyone was so lovely and willing to have discussions around points and it made such a positive difference while holding to a high level of professionalism. Also the German team were such good players, but also had such an incredible culture – it wasn’t necessarily a surprise, but it was amazing to experience in person. 

Did you notice different playing styles? How is Roundnet as it is played in your country different from Roundnet at the World Cup? 
Australia still has some work to do in growing the sport throughout our country, and we learnt a whole lot from this tournament! We haven’t had the chance to develop our defense – because we can’t regularly play other countries who have incredible offense that would force our defense to get better! We also saw a vast array of new serves that we’d never experienced. One of the other big differences is that many Australians enjoy sand more than grass – which is a far different style of play – resulting in a closer defense style and more boom ball. Also our tournaments are normally only one day and 5-6 hours – so these 4 days felt like a marathon!  

What do you wish for the next World Cup?
I would love to see women be increased to 5 team squads to match with men. I’d love to see space for a casual hat/ king of the hill tournament on the Sunday – allowing the ability to mix and mingle with players from more countries! And obviously, we’d love to see 40 or 50 countries showing up to play! 



How did it go for Team Chile at the World Cup? 
Mixed 17
Boys 33
Men’s Squad 17
Women Squad 9

How did it feel for you to participate? 
We were looking forward to the world championship for a long time. Since it was cancelled 2 years in a row by Covid19, it was a long awaited tournament.
On the other hand it was amazing to play with other countries. Most of them were at a better level than us and we received incredible serves from several Europeans and North Americans.
It was a very nice experience for the whole Team Chile to be able to travel from the other side of the world, with many sacrifices to play against the best in the world. Maybe we could not come in men with the best of our country for different personal reasons but I think we did a good job. The men’s result with Chile 1 in 33rd place is very good, and leaves Chile as the best in Latin America in the category, news that makes us very happy.
On the other hand the ladies with the 19th place of Chile 1 and the 9th place in the women’s team leaving behind several Europeans was a tremendous surprise and a great result.

What was your personal highlight? 
The 1st match of the Mixed. Chile vs Great Britain was incredible. The match ended with a difference of 2 (18-20) very exciting and it seemed like a final. A lot of fans and the Chilean supporters who never stopped cheering us on. It is one of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced in my life.

What surprised you? 
The level of serves they have in Europe and North America is superlative in relation to South America. But I am also surprised that many of them make foot fouls that are not charged. I think it was very decisive for the matches we lost, that there was an observer. Especially in Mixed, there were a lot of people who could have collaborated.

Did you notice different playing styles? 
In Chile we played more with 1 block and 1 defender. In the World Cup it was more varied, they were changing roles or even both were blocking. It’s a matter of the level of play in the end.
I realized that everyone is very used to the cut but a serve over the body complicates them quite a lot.

What do you wish for the next World Cup?
To play 3 sets of 21 points EVERY match please!
With this, that it lasts more days too. And in the least rainy country possible?
Improve the position obtained individually and as a group in men.
To have better serves that do more trouble to the European or North American game.
Also, we would have liked it better if it wasn’t possible to mix country teams. Maybe this can be changed at the next tournament.



How did it go for Team Egypt at the World Cup? 
It was our first international tournament ever, very challenging and not the best results but huge experience.

How did it feel for you to participate? 
Just amazing, was so great to get introduced to the world roundnet community.

What was your personal highlight? 
I believe this is just the beginning for a new era for the sport taking it be recognized as a worldwide sports.

What surprised you? 
Level of women is really surprising. 

Did you notice different playing styles?
Yes much different 😄 we need to play a lot rather than some fun time by the beach.

What do you wish for the next World Cup?
– More teams
– More fun
– Better performance from our side



How did it go for Team Canada at the World Cup? 
Overall, Canada had a very successful run for the first ever Roundnet World Cup. Our women’s team placed 4th overall as a country and our men’s team placed 2nd. As a team, we turned some heads and had a lot of eyes watching. Though we fell short in coming 3rd for women’s, and 1st for men’s, on the final day of the event our team did a fantastic job in getting Canada known for this sport.

How did it feel for you to participate? 
There were many emotions that I have experienced while participating in this event. There were moments of pure joy and happiness when I was able to celebrate this sport with many different countries and people from around the world. It felt surreal to know that hundreds of people have come to Belgium with the same interest and love as I have for roundnet.

There were also moments for nervousness and excitement when playing so many female players who had many skills sets that really impressed me. Many of these individuals gave my partner and I an intensity that we have never felt before when playing roundnet. Having to continuously build this intensity and this drive to just keep up with the best in the world made us both see sides of ourselves that we have never seen before. These challenges not only made us feel physically tested, it had also tested our perseverance. If I can learn more about myself as an individual, then participating in this event was worth it.

What was your personal highlight? 
For me, the game between Canada vs. Belgium in the round of 32 was a highlight itself. All four players during this match put their whole heart into the game, ensuring that no ball drops to the ground until our bodies were physically unable to move. This game is a personal highlight not because my partner and I won, it’s because it was a moment that made me realise how much we wanted to win. Every point we gained we celebrated as loud as we could – so did the other team. Personally, I do not express myself through these types of celebrations and cheers, but with the intensity of the game, it was the first time I found myself cheering as loud as I could to show the supporters, my partner and myself how much this game meant to me.

What surprised you? 
Europe is amazing! Their welcoming vibes and culture is what surprised me most. Overall, the loud cheers and fantastic support that each European country, especially Germany, Austria and Belgium had. They showed so much support to their players, the costume, drums, and loud chants really brought the vibe up for the tournament and even made quiet individuals scream until they no longer had a voice! Seeing all the different colours on jerseys and all the different countries’ flags left me at awe with this growth of this sport.

Did you notice different playing styles? 
From what I noticed with other countries, not only are their fundamentals for roundnet at an elite level, their athleticism and willingness to lay out their whole body for one point is very clear for every play.
I did find that there were many rallies and defensive plays that the women’s division in general had. Yes, there were individuals who had serves that were unreceivable, but overall, the long rallies, defensive touches and extreme finesse of the game were the playing styles that I have noticed the most. In Canada, our women’s game is beginning to grow! We have many talented females who have fantastic fundamentals to the game and are currently exploring and trying to find the style of play that best suites them. As of now, the women’s game in Canada has a love for the defensive / rally game.

What do you wish for the next World Cup?
My wish for the next world cup is to be able to have more countries attend this fantastic event. Unfortunately, some countries were not able to attend this past tournament due to Visa issues. I do wish for these countries to be able to attend next time to experience Worlds and see the community that we have all developed. Hopefully, there will also be new countries that are currently learning about the sport who will have teams ready to compete in the next World Cup. My other wish is to have a larger women’s attendance for the next World Cup. I do believe this will happen as this sport is only getting more popular as each day goes by. In the end, there are currently 195 countries in the world… lets one day get all 195 countries together for some roundnet 😉.



How did it go for Team Finland at the World Cup?
Pretty well! In men we were 13. and in women 17. That’s a bit better than I expected! I’m also happy that we got into upper bracket in both men and women in the individual side.

How did it feel for you to participate?
It was amazing to see all the people we’ve mainly seen in the social media and get to know them and to play against them. It was a special feeling to be part of the first World Cup in a sport! It was truly an experience I will remember for the rest of my life and I believe many in our team feels the same way.

What was your personal highlight?
Playing against Germany in men’s Squad. The atmosphere with German supporters was awesome and the German players were so good but also just nice human beeings to play with!

What surprised you? 
That although we are not in the top countries, the top level is not as far as I thought it would be. It was great to notice that we can compete against them and do it even better in the future if we keep up the good work.
Also I was surprised how well the current rules worked and we didn’t have much problems with them.

Did you notice different playing styles? 
I feel like the general European style was pretty similar to us. North American players on the other hand had more emphasis on serving and boomball. In Finland we aren’t the best body blockers and divers yet so that was a difference in playstyle compared to other Europeans but not because we don’t want to do it but because we are still practicing it 😀

What do you wish for the next World Cup?
Better field (artificial grass maybe) would be nice. Also more space and people should stay a bit further away when watching the games. I also expect the rules and equipment to keep getting better and can’t wait for the sport to get better in every way. Overall this event was amazing, a stunning effort from Roundnet Belgium, IRF, Spikeball and all the others who were organizing it.



How did it go for Team Taiwan at the World Cup? 
The men’s squad finished 19/28 and the women finished 13/22. 
Individual Men: 29/83/97/97/113
Individual Women: 25/33/53
Mixed: 23

How did it feel for you to participate? 
It’s amazing to participate in such an international event with 33 countries coming all over the world. Having the chance to see all the best players compete and play against them was the best part for me. It really gives us a great lesson and motivation to improve further. In addition, the way Europeans host a tournament is another thing that impressed us a lot and it’s gonna help our community to grow a lot.

What was your personal highlight? 
It’s definitely gonna be the R64 game against Matt and Fredric from the US. With a couple of their mistakes, we took a chance and won one set (16:14) against them. I’m happy to hear people talking about Taiwan on the field or the podcast afterwards. I couldn’t imagine a better debut for Taiwan than this and I’m happy to be part of this. However, the difference is definitely still there and a lot more to work on. 

What surprised you? 
The biggest difference comes from serve and serve receive. I was shocked everytime getting no-touch-ace and saw all the top players make it look like jam serves. However, the women’s level is amazing compared to any players I saw in Taiwan. A lot of incredible athletic plays and clean finishes which were amazing.

Did you notice different playing styles? How is Roundnet as it is played in your country different from Roundnet at the World Cup? 
Playing style differs from each team. I think the Men’s squad final is the best explanation for this as we can see AT vs. Swamp Donkeys with amazing defensive touches and long rallies which on the other side Wonky Sauce shows dominating serving skill against Matt and Fredric. I think most teams are just somewhere in between.
In Taiwan, we have a higher set with a boom-ball finish and more rallies happen. 
More people did body block then we did as the hitter has more angle at their hitting. It makes the way we used to be not always efficient.

What do you wish for the next World Cup?
I wish squad wise we can make it to top16 for men and top12 for women. Individually, I wish I could manage a way to keep up the level with the US and Europeans and serve receive will be the most difficult part. Just a shout-out as we might be using “Chinese Taipei” next time and I hope people will still remember us as Taiwan and we could manage a way to keep our name.


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