Footbag Reference: History of the IFPA World Footbag Championships

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History of the IFPA World Footbag Championships

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The IFPA World Footbag Championship started in 1980. Here's how it all began and how the championships developed.

The first Footbag Championships, at the time merely a national event, were held in Oregon (United States) in 1980.

The Golden Years

In 1983, the competition moved to Boulder, Colorado for two years until 1985, when the championships began a nine-year stint in Golden, Colorado. In this suburb of Denver, several unforgettable pages of Footbag history were written, including the first official World Footbag Championships, held in 1986. During these formative and critical years in the development of the sport, the Championships were organized and run under the auspices of the World Footbag Association (WFA).

On the Road to IFPA

Under player pressure, the Championships eventually moved away from Golden and the WFA, and became a roving event under the newly-formed International Footbag Players' Association (IFPA).

The first stop was San Francisco in 1994 and 1995.

In 1996, the Championships left U.S. soil for the first time, bestowing Montreal with the honour as its host. The year was to become a landmark year in the sport's history: for the first time, a Canadian, Sébastien Verdy, secured a title in the open (and strongest) category, winning Net singles and doubles, with Emmanuël Bouchard.

In 1997, the competition returned to the game's roots in Portland, Oregon, where a record 212 players registered for the event, a number unsurpassed until 2003. In addition to the great sums of players, the level of talent made an immense jump from previous years, with top players receiving much attention. Peter Irish executed a show-stopping performance in freestyle finals, winning his fifth singles title, a world record he still holds today. The Championships were held in conjunction with a huge music festival, which attracted 200,000 spectators to the site every day.

In 1998, the World Championships returned to Montreal, and once again the event was an enormous success. The players greatly enjoyed Montreal, and tens of thousands of spectators witnessed the Freestyle finals at the Jardin des Etoiles and the Footbag Net finals at La Ronde. The year was especially memorable for Eric Wulff, Emmanuel Bouchard, and Carol Wedemeyer, all winning their first world champion titles in singles freestyle, singles net, and women's freestyle, respectively. All delivered exhilarating performances, pushing the level of play to unprecedented heights. Bouchard has since defended his singles world champion title five times, and remained unbeaten in his last 30 tournaments, while Wedemeyer has won four of the last five women's freestyle world champion titles.

Destiny brought the Championships to the Windy City, Chicago in 1999, where Scott Davidson claimed the singles Freestyle title on his home turf, upsetting hopeful up-and-comer Ryan Mulroney.

Mulroney returned with a vengeance in 2000 in Vancouver, and crushed the competition. At 21, he broke the judging system with a score that was theoretically impossible, in a decisive win that would make him the youngest player to win the singles freestyle title in at least 10 years.

2001 brought the Championships back to San Francisco, where Emmanuël Bouchard won singles net once again, and Ryan Mulroney defended his singles freestyle title, proving to be a huge step above the competition.

A New Era

In 2002, again in San Francisco, the sport of Footbag saw a new era in its evolution. Ryan Mulroney, hoping to tie the record of three straight singles freestyle titles was upset by a controversial call, and handed over the title to the newest phenomenon, Vasek Klouda, a 15 year old prodigy from the Czech Republic. On the courts, Bouchard dominated once again in singles, while the players from the U.S. reclaimed the doubles crown.

Footbag took another grand, evolutionary leap in 2003, when the World Championships touched down outside North America for the first time, gracing Prague, Czech Republic as its host, and drawing a record number of 215 competitors from 21 countries. Vasek Klouda and Emmanuel Bouchard continued to rule their respective events, and Europe saw a thrilling display of athleticism they will not soon forget.

Worlds 2004 were hosted in Montreal, Canada, for the third time. The audience had a chance to witness the dream match in singles net finals when Emmanuel Bouchard and the legendary Kenny Shults finally faced each other over the net. Emmanuel managed to turn this thriller into a victory and at the same time ensured his place as the worlds best net player. In freestyle finals Vasek Klouda continued his triumph by taking his 3rd successive World Championship title and the Finns reached their biggest achievement this far, when Jere Linnanen managed to take the 5th place. For the first time, there were four different nationalities represented (US, Canada, Czech Republic and Finland) in the freestyle final, which was a huge landmark in freestyle footbag history.

The 26th World Footbag Championships were held in Finland in 2005. At the Helsinki Sports house (Urheilutalo) a hugh crowd witnessed Emmanuel Bouchard winning the World Footbag Championship in open singles net for the eighth year in a row. In doubles Net he completed his title collection for 2005 when he and his partner JF Lemieux , also from Quebec Canada , won the battle against Florian Goetze from Frankfurt and Patrick Schrickel from Berlin. This was the first time a European Net Team advanced into the final of the World Footbag Championships ever. In Woman Freestyle Carol Wedemeyer once again proved to be very cool under pressure and executed a sweetly smooth and difficult 3 drop set that proved good enough to eek out the closest victory in her 7 year run. Tina Aeberli, a 15 year old phenomenon from Switzerland, put the pressure on by hitting a difficult and beautifully choreographed 3 drop routine just prior to Carol's and became second after all. In open freestyle, 5 times World Champion Peter "The Executioner" Irish, USA, performed his final World Championship routine in nearly flawless fashion and in front of an adoring crowd. It was a one drop classic. Peter finished 5th overall and went out in style by setting a new world record in making the cut to the final round of Open Singles Freestyle at the World Championships for the 15th consecutive time.

The IFPA World Footbag Championships 2006 were hosted in Frankfurt, Germany. On the net court, the audience witnessed a landmark year in the Footbag sport's history: for the first time, a European team, Florian Goetze and Patrick Schrickel both from Germany, won a title in the open category of Doubles Net. In open single net Emmanuel Bouchard won the final and the World Footbag Championship for the ninth year in a row against his Canadian team-mate Jean- Francois Lemieux. The women Freestyle competition was won with a beautifully choreographed routine by Tina Aeberli, who became second in the year before. Vasek Klouda executed a show-stopping performance in freestyle finals, winning his fifth open freestyle singles consecutive title and remains the man to beat at the World Footbag Championships for now.


Summary of IFPA Worlds Results

Single male Freestyle Champion


2007 Vasek Klouda

2006 Vasek Klouda

2005 Vasek Klouda

2004 Vasek Klouda

2003 Vasek Klouda

2002 Vasek Klouda

2001 Ryan Mulroney

2000 Ryan Mulroney

1999 Scott Davidson

1998 Eric Wulff

1997 Peter Irish

1996 Rick Reese

1995 Peter Irish

1994 Kenny Shults

1993 Peter Irish

1992 Peter Irish

1991 Peter Irish

1990 Kenny Shults

1989 Kenny Shults

1988 Rick Reese

1987 Kenny Shults

1986 Lon Lind

1985 Kenny Shults

1984 Andy Linder

1983 Jack Schoolcraft

1982 Event not held

1981 Event not held

1980 Event not held


Single female Freestyle Championesse


2007 Tina Aeberli

2006 Tina Aeberli

2005 Carol Wedemeyer

2004 Carol Wedemeyer

2003 Carol Wedemeyer

2002 Carol Wedemeyer

2001 Carol Wedemeyer

2000 Carol Wedemeyer

1999 Sam Conlon

1998 Carol Wedemeyer

1997 Sam Conlon

1996 Sam Conlon

1995 Sam Conlon

1994 Sam Conlon

1993 Sam Conlon

1992 Tricia George

1991 Sam Conlon

1990 Constance Constable

1989 Heather Muggleton

1988 Constance Constable

1987 Sam Conlon

1986 Tricia George

1985 Nancy Reynolds

1984 Event not held

1983 Event not held

1982 Event not held

1981 Event not held

1980 Event not held


Open doubles Freestyle Champions


2007 Vaclav Klouda/Jan Weber

2006 Michal Ostrowski - Tomasz Ostrowski

2005 Vasek Klouda / Jan Weber

2004 Vasek Klouda / Jan Weber

2003 Ale� Zelinka & Vaclav Klouda

2002 Daryl Genz/Rick Reese

2001 Daryl Genz/Rick Reese

2000 Daryl Genz/Rick Reese

1999 Tuan Vu / Eric Wulff

1998 Daryl Genz/Rick Reese

1997 Greg Nelson and Tuan Vu

1996 ?

1995 ?

1994 ?

1993 ?

1992 ?

1991 ?

1990 ?

1989 ?

1988 ?

1987 ?

1986 ?

1985 Jim "JimmyC" Caveney / Bruce Guettich

1984 ?

1983 ?

1982 ?

1981 ?

1980 ?


"Women doubles Freestyle Champions"


2007 not played

2006 Tina Aeberli - Lena Scheiwiller

2005 not played

2004 not played

2003 not played

2002 ?

2001 ?

2000 ?

1999 ?

1998 Evanne Lamarche (Phoenix, AZ, USA) and Ann Kaplan

1997 ?

1996 ?

1995 ?

1994 ?

1993 ?

1992 ?

1991 ?

1990 ?

1989 ?

1988 ?

1987 ?

1986 ?

1985 ?

1984 ?

1983 ?

1982 ?

1981 ?

1980 ?


"Open Mixed doubles Freestyle Champions"


2007 Gosia Nycz - Wiktor Debski

2006 Gosia Nycz - Wiktor Debski

2005 Samuel Hufschmid / Isabelle Widmer

2004 Sam Conlon / Greg Nelson

2003 Sam Conlon & Greg Nelson

2002 ?

2001 Greg Nelson/Sam Conlon

2000 Greg Nelson/Sam Conlon

1999 Lisa McDaniel (Berkeley, CA, USA) & Greg Nelson

1998 Carol Wedemeyer and Eric Wulff

1997 ?

1996 ?

1995 ?

1994 ?

1993 ?

1992 ?

1991 ?

1990 ?

1989 ?

1988 ?

1987 ?

1986 ?

1985 ?

1984 ?

1983 ?

1982 ?

1981 ?

1980 ?


Single male Net Champion


2007 Emmanuel Bouchard

2006 Emmanuel Bouchard

2005 Emmanuel Bouchard

2004 Emmanuel Bouchard

2003 Emmanuel Bouchard

2002 Emmanuel Bouchard

2001 Emmanuel Bouchard

2000 Emmanuel Bouchard

1999 Emmanuel Bouchard

1998 Emmanuel Bouchard

1997 Randy Mulder

1996 Sebastien Verdy

1995 Randy Mulder

1994 Randy Mulder

1993 Danny Borsky

1992 Kenny Shults

1991 Randy Mulder

1990 Kenny Shults

1989 Kenny Shults

1988 Kenny Shults

1987 Gary Griggs

1986 Kenny Shults

1985 Kenny Shults

1984 Kenny Shults

1983 ?

1982 ?

1981 John Stalberger

1980 John Stalberger


Double male Net Champions


2007 Patti Schrickel, Florian Goetze

2006 Patti Schrickel, Florian Goetze

2005 Emanuel Bouchard, J.F. Lemieux

2004 P.T. Lovern, John Leys

2003 Emmanuel Bouchard, Yves Archambault

2002 Peter Shunny, Chris Siebert

2001 Alexis Deschenes, Yves Archambault

2000 Danny Borsky, Randy Mulder

1999 Emmanuel Bouchard, Sebastien Verdy

1998 Emmanuel Bouchard, Sebastien Verdy

1997 Kenny Shults, Randy Mulder

1996 Emmanuel Bouchard, Sebastien Verdy

1995 Kenny Shults, Randy Mulder

1994 Kenny Shults, Randy Mulder

1993 Kenny Shults, Randy Mulder

1992 Kenny Shults, Randy Mulder

1991 Chris Routh, Jim Caveney

1990 Kenny Shults, Mag Hughes

1989 Chris Routh, Ken Hamrick

1988 Kenny Shults, Mag Hughes

1987 Kenny Shults, Mag Hughes

1986 Kenny Shults, Mag Hughes

1985 Kenny Shults, Mag Hughes

1984 ?

1983 Shults / Hughes

1982 ?

1981 ?

1980 ?


Single Female Net Champion


2007 Jody Welch

2006 Julia Tikhomirova

2005 Tina Lewis

2004 Julie Symons

2003 Jody Welch

2002 Jody Welch

2001 Jody Welch

2000 Lisa McDaniel

1999 Tricia George

1998 Jody Welch

1997 Tricia George

1996 Lisa Mc Daniel

1995 ?

1994 ?

1993 Jody Welch

1992 Jody Welch

1991 Jody Welch

1990 Jody Welch

1989 ?

1988 Jody Welch

1987 ?

1986 ?

1985 Tricia George

1984 ?

1983 ?

1982 ?

1981 ?

1980 ?


Doubles Female Net Champions

2012 Jody Welch, Julie Symons

2011 Jody Welch, Julie Symons

2010 Jody Welch, Julie Symons

2007 Jody Welch, Julie Symons

2006 Lisa Uebele/Helena Schlichting

2005 Tina Lewis Sam Conlon

2004 Genevi�ve Bousquet, Maude Landreville

2003 Amy Westberg-Lisa Mc Daniel

2002 Julie Symons / Jody Welch

2001 Lisa McDaniel, Amy Westberg

2000 Jody Welch, Julie Symons

1999 Jody Welch, Julie Symons

1998 Jody Welch, Julie Symons

1997 Jody Welch, Julie Symons

1996 Jody Welch, Julie Symons

1995 ?

1994 ?

1993 Jody Welch, Tricia George

1992 Jody Welch, Tricia George

1991 Jody Welch, Tricia George

1990 Jody Welch, Tricia George

1989 Jody Welch, Tricia George

1988 ?

1987 ?

1986 ?

1985 ?

1984 ?

1983 ?

1982 ?

1981 ?

1980 ?


Mixed Doubles Net Champions

2011 Jody Welch, PT Lovern

2010 Jody Welch, PT Lovern

2007 Lisa McDaniel / Florian Goetze

2006 Julia Tikhomirova/Andrew Ronald

2005 Andy Ronald / Sam Conlon

2004 Alexis Desch�nes, Julie Symons

2003 Amy Westberg-Emmanuel Bouchard

2002 Lisa McDaniel / david Butcher

2001 Marilyn Demuy, Emmanuel Bouchard

2000 ?

1999 Sebastien Verdy (Outremont, QC, Canada) & Tricia George

1998 Amy Westberg, Emmanuel Bouchard

1997 Randy Mulder, Julie Symons

1996 Brent & Jody Welch

1995 ?

1994 Brent Welch, Jody Welch

1993 Brent Welch, Jody Welch

1992 Brent Welch, Jody Welch

1991 Brent Welch, Jody Welch

1990 ?

1989 Brent Welch, Jody Welch

1988 ?

1987 ?

1986 ?

1985 ?

1984 ?

1983 ?

1982 ?

1981 ?

1980 ?

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