The United States competed for the first time in the Speedball World Championships, which took place in late October. In its 31st year, the competition was held in France this year. The U.S. team is based in Murrieta and consists of mostly players from Murrieta Mesa High School. The team placed fifth for junior-level events and sixth for senior-level events.
The eight-player team included Erin Shaffer, Emily Phillips, Emma Lee, Victor Porras, Giovanni Hanna and Matthew Munoz of Murrieta Mesa; Jolie Hanna from Temecula Valley Charter School and Moheb Beshay from San Diego State University. Waleid Hanna, the president of the American Federation of Speedball, selected the American speedball team to compete as the first American delegation.
“We are very proud of our team,” Hanna said. “This is just a start and is a great achievement for our delegation. We competed with 10 other countries, some of them they have been playing this sport for more than 20 years.”
Hanna said the goal now is to spread the excitement of this sport all over the United States with Murrieta as the epicenter for speedball, which will support students for the 32nd World Championship in 2020.
“We will be collaborating within our school district schools and all over the city to connect the younger generations to this sport,” Hanna said. “Since we were in France, schools here in California as well as other states have expressed interest.”
The American Federation of Speedball also signed a protocol of cooperation with the French Speedball Federation, which will help host sport camps for the players and referees between the two countries.
“We continue to be so very thankful to Murrieta Mesa High School principal Steve Ellis and club adviser Amy Leigh Vollmar, as well as Mrs. Sherin Hanna, executive director,” Hanna said. “These individuals are helping this sport become a reality in America.”
For more information, visit www.speedballusa.com.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.