2017 World Footbag Championships, Portland, OR, USA       Freestyle       Akisphere 2017
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2017 World Footbag Championships - All the Net Finals Collection from Pro Kicker
Portland, Oregon is the craddle of Footbag sports. They were born there in the 70's and they had a very successfull return in 1997 with the World Championships. 20 years later here we come again but this time a lot of things changed. Worlds are now held completely indoors so bye bye 3,000 + crowds like we had on finals day at the Bite festival in 97. Might be better for the playing conditions but bad for exposure. In this edition we were inside the Portland convention center for the whole thing, it was OK but surely not as exciting as the previous Portland Worlds. For me it was fun to see old friends that made it as spectators from various parts of the USA where the sport used to flourish. A lot of European players didn't make it though due to long distances and expensive flights. Still it was a good level of competition and now it's time to talk about that.

Here's a recap of the finals

Women singles net finals

Lena Mlakar from Kranj, Slovenia - Club Footbag Kranj vs Kerstin Anhuth from Frankfurt, Germany - Club Frankfurt Footbag E.V.

Format Best of 5 games to 15 points, rallye scoring

Lena and Kerstin were both in their first singles finals. It had been a long time that no Montreal woman wasn't part of this event's conclusion but Lena took care of Geneviève Bousquet in the semis en route to a well deserved first ever World title for Slovenia. To be honest the match wasn't that exciting with few power strokes or long rallyes. Lena was in control most of the time except in set 2 where Kerstin took a short advantage.

Mlakar  wins: 15-6 13-15 15-11 15-9

Open singles net finals

Walt Houston, Memphis, USA - Club Memphis Footworks vs 
Matti Pohjola, Helsinki, Finland - Club Footbag Finland.

Format Best of 5 games to 15 points, rallye scoring

Walt Houston was looking at a third title in open singles in 4 years. He was, once again, facing a finnish player. Matti Pohjola had taken care of his partner Tuomas Karki, the 2016 finalist, in a very exciting semi finals the day before. Probably the best match that I've seen during the tournament. Probably that Matti left a lot of energy in that match as he was not satisfied with his performance in the finals. Walt strafed him with his big lefty serves and Matti couldn't set most of these offerings properly. Starting every play at a disadvantage on the court isn't a winning proposition and Pohjola paid a hefty price. On his side Houston had no problem handling Matti's ordinary serves and was pounding some heavy spikes on the other's defence. So that was a great moment for the Memphis, Tn resident to win at home in the US in front of his supporters.

Houston wins in 3  sets 15-6 15-11 15-10 

Women doubles net finals

Geneviève Bousquet  from Montreal, Canada - Club Aki Québec + Julie Symons, Santa Clara, CA, Chaos Footbag Club vs Kerstin Anhuth, Frankfurt, Ger, Club Footbag Frankfurt E.V. + Lena Mlakar from Kranj, Slovenia - Club Footbag Kranj

Format: Best of 3 to 15 points, side out scoring

Probably the best finals match of the 2017 edition of the World Footbag Championships. It was North America vs Europe. The Europeans won the first game easily as Symons and Bousquet were still building some chemistry. Julie didn't play much at all in the year coming to this and it showed. The problem for Kersing and Lena is that Symons is a seasoned veteran and every kick she had brought some of her game back. In the end she set Bousquet beautifully and the newly elected Footbag Hall of Famer would miss much in games 2 and 3. The Europeans started to panick a little bit and made some questionable play choices at times. Also Kerstin started missing on her best spike, the toe reverse, that was always over the net in game one and scoring a lot of points for ther team. In the third game the North American team had to mount a come back after a poor start to finally come on top.

Bousquet and Symons win 6-15 15-8 15-11

Mixed doubles net finals

Wiktor Debski from Warsaw, Poland - Club Footbag Poland + Lena Mlakar from Kranj, Slovenia - Club Footbag Kranj vs Luc Legault +Geneviève Bousquet  from Montreal, Canada - Club Aki Québec

Format: Best of 3 to 15 points, side out scoring

This match marked another first for that edition with the first ever open title for a Polish player. Wiktor and Lena dominated the Aki Quebec team in all aspects of the game be it serve receptions, sets, spikes and defence. They made very few mistakes and Wiktor showed impressive spiking skills as we knew he could. My teammates from Montreal on the other hand showed their lack of training for that year and, at times, poor communication on the court. Lena and Wiktor have been playing for long enough that it was their turn to dominate after years and years of heavy duty practicing.

Poland - Slovenia wins it by 15-9 15-4

Open doubles net finals

Walt Houston and Benjamin Alston, Memphis, USA - Club Memphis Footworks vs François Depatie-Pelletier and Manu Bouchard, Montreal, Quebec, club Aki Quebec

Format: Best of 3 to 15 points, side out scoring

It had been so long that we didn't see a US team in the double finals that I don't even remember when it was. Alston and Houston, cousins from Memphis, TN, had made their way up to 3rd place the year before and were continuously improving. They probably have the best combination of hard serves in the history of the sport with the added advantage of Walt's being a lefty. The first game was pretty tight and the Montreal team of Depatie-Pelletier and Bouchard created an illusion for a while when they took an early lead. Walt and Ben were just too strong for that illusion to hold for long. They came back hard in the end of that first set and then just crushed the Canadians in the second game. Of course François had been struggling with a minor knee injury for a few months before the big clash and couldn't train as much as he could have but excuses are for loosers aren't they?

Memphis Footworks all the way:  15-12 15-6

If you want to see the complete matches don't forget that they are available on demand on Vimeo/ProKicker

The results of the Footbag Net competition: 

Open Singles Net
1. Walt Houston
2. Matti Pohjola
3. Kenny Shults
4. Tuomas Karki
5. Benjamin Alston
6. Wiktor Debski
7. Jeremy Mirken
8. Grischa Tellenbach
9. Daniel Greer
10. Luka Weyler-Lavallee
11. Jim Hogan
12. Tuan Vu
13. Jasper Shults
14. Anthony Ritz
15. Russ Arsenault
16. Chris Cleaver
17. Benjamin De Bastos
18. Dan Baron
19. Julien Coblence
20. Santeri Karvinen
21. Brett Milliken
22. Edwin Veltman

Open Doubles Net
1. Benjamin Alston/ Walt Houston
2. Emmanuel Bouchard/ Francois Pelletier
3. Tuomas Karki/ Matti Pohjola
4. Wiktor Debski/ Luc Legault
5. Daniel Greer/ Christopher Siebert
6. Kenny Shults/ Tuan Vu
7. Dan Baron/ Jeremy Mirken
8. Russ Arsenault/ Luka Weyler-Lavallee
9. David Bernard/ Grischa Tellenbach
10. Yves Archambault/ Santeri Karvinen (Yves Archambault is the author of that article)
11. Chris Cleaver/ Anthony Ritz
12. Jake Dodd/ Edwin Veltman
13. Julien Coblence/ Benjamin De Bastos
14. Fletcher Funk/ EJ Gammage
15. Rob Adams/ Jim Hogan
16. Cory Current/ Scot Hansen
17. Anthony Intemann/ Brett Milliken
18. Jasper Shults/ Patrick Weinberg

Womens Singles Net
1. Lena Mlakar
2. Kerstin Anhuth
4. Sarah Femmel
4. Genevieve Bousquet
5. Audrey Tumelin
6. Leanne Makcrow

Womens Doubles Net
1. Genevieve Bousquet/ Julie Symons
2. Kerstin Anhuth/ Lena Mlakar
3. Becca English-Ross/ Evanne Lemarche
4. Leanne Makcrow/ Audrey Tumelin

Mixed Doubles Net
1. Wiktor Debski/ Lena Mlakar
2. Luc Legault/ Genevieve Bousquet
3. Matti Pohjola/ Kerstin Anhuth
4. Kenny Shults/ Evanne Lemarche
5. David Bernard/ Becca English-Ross
6. Grischa Tellenbach/ Audrey Tumelin
7. Christopher Siebert/ Anneleissa Coen
8. Chris Cleaver/ Sarah Femmel
9. Benjamin De Bastos/ Leanne Makcrow
10. Anthony Intemann/ Renee Sheets-Johnson

Intermediate Singles Net

1. Patrick Weinberg
2. Jason Hicks
3. Paul Vorvick
4. Theodore Fritsch
5. Anneleissa Coen
6. Steve Femmel
7. Drake Shults
8. Jesse English-Ross
9. Merlin Veltman

Intermediate Doubles Net
1. Theodore Fritsch/ Jason Hicks
2. Sarah Femmel/ Steve Femmel
3. Jesse English-Ross/ Drake Shults
4. Daryl Genz/ Ethan Red Husted
5. Anneleissa Coen/ Merlin Veltman

Masters Singles Net
1. David Bernard
2. Tuan Vu
3. Chris Cleaver
4. Rob Adams
5. Steve Femmel
6. Dirk Janssens
7. Dan Baron
8. Leanne Makcrow
9. Justin Sexton
10. Edwin Veltman
11. Theodore Fritsch

Masters Doubles Net

1. Kenny Shults/ Tuan Vu
2. Tuomas Karki/ Justin Sexton
3. Rob Adams/ David Bernard
4. Steve Dusablon/ Christopher Siebert
5. Steve Femmel/ Jim Hogan
6. Chris Cleaver/ James Roberts
10. Tricia George/ Julie Symons
10. Becca English-Ross/ Evanne Lemarche
10. Ban Baron/ Dirk Janssens
10. Jim Hankins/ Edwin Veltman
11. Anthony Intemann/ Leanne Makcrow

Other references about this tournament: Official web site http://www.footbag.org/worlds2017/ Complete results http://footbag.org/events/show/1471686537

My personal blog entries about WFC17

Days 1 and 2  http://www.yevez.com/2017/08/world-footbag-championships-2017-my.html
Day 3         http://www.yevez.com/2017/08/2017-world-footbag-championships-day-3.html
Day 4         http://www.yevez.com/2017/08/2017-world-footbag-championships-day-4.html
Day 5         http://www.yevez.com/2017/08/2017-world-footbag-championships-day-5.html
Day 6         http://www.yevez.com/2017/08/2017-world-footbag-championships-day-6.html
Day 7         http://www.yevez.com/2017/08/2017-world-footbag-championships-day-7.html
Day 8         http://www.yevez.com/2017/08/2017-world-footbag-championships-day-8.html
Day 9         http://www.yevez.com/2017/08/2017-world-footbag-championships-day-9.html

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