New Sport is Developing Worldwide from Palm Beach Start
Almost four years ago the Kids Fitness Festival introduced a new team sport, Hanetball. Hanetball was developed right here in Palm Beach County by Fritz Valdeus, the sports’ inventor and current president of Hanetball, Inc. The sport combines many attributes from mainstream sports, such as soccer and basketball. It is the first sport of its kind to require opposing teams to score a goal by penetrating a 360 degree circular net.
Since its public debut over 3 years ago at the Kids Fitness Festival, Hanetball has experienced tremendous growth as an emerging sport. Fritz has created and promoted Hanetball on both a local and national level. The sport is now being played throughout South Florida’s YMCAs and Palm Beach County Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs. Hanetball has found a home in more than 30 After School Programs and numerous recreation leagues throughout South Florida. Hanetball also has a strong presence in recreation leagues in Georgia, New York, and Tennessee. Fritz has estimated that this new sport has already been exposed to 300,000 people and Palm Beach County is where it all began.
Fritz has a great vision for his sport. He believes it has the potential to become a popular club-sport throughout colleges and universities and could one day be played by many nations competing at the Olympic Games. Fritz is convinced that Hanetball is ready to become a mainstream sport.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is extremely proud to have helped showcase this new sport to over 6,000 of South Florida’s youth each year. There is no other stage that provides such a diverse flavor of sports as the Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches.
The Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches will feature Hanetball again this year along with 40 other traditional and nontraditional sports including baseball, basketball, soccer, football, netball, badminton, fencing, marital arts, archery, fishing and more. The Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches is the only multi-sport event taking place on an annual basis in Palm Beach County, dedicated to introducing a variety of sports to the youth of South Florida. The 2009 Kids Fitness Festival will take place at the Americraft Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds on Thursday, July 16 and Friday, July 17 from 10am to 4pm.
For more information on Hanetball, contact Fritz Vladeus at (561) 965-0964
For more information on the Kids Fitness Festival, contact Rachel Miller at (561) 233-3178.
Hanetball is played on a hard-surface court with two teams of seven, including a goalie, and consists of four 13-minute quarters. The ball is slightly smaller than a basketball, allowing players to palm it and throw it with much power. Players pass the ball by bouncing it, and cannot hold it for more than five seconds without being penalized for delay of game. The goal consists of a 4-foot-high ring, about the diameter of the circle in a basketball key, is covered with a cloth net. The goalie stands inside the ring, which looks like an adult playpen, and tries to prevent opposing players from throwing the ball into it and scoring one point. A goal is centered in each half of the court, giving offensive players a 360-degree area to try to score points, though they are allowed to venture only within a few feet of the ring.
About Palm Beach County Sports Commission
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the County as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the County, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (primarily in the off-season), and maximizes utilization of County facilities. The Commission offers a full range of event service support, corporate partnerships, sponsorships and a local membership program that support its goals. Local, regional, national and international marketing efforts are ongoing by the Commission with sports organizations and event owners. The Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Palm Beach County including the annual Lou Groza Awards program, the Sports Hall of Fame, the Kids Fitness Festival and awards the annual Sam Budnyk Student-Athlete Scholarship. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission go to www.palmbeachsports.com.