"INCLUSION IN ACTION ON THE COURT" HOW FXC LEVELS THE GENDER PLAYING FIELD
Ryan P. Smith
Washington D.C. September 28th, 2022
With the simple elegance of its rules and its minimal equipment requirements—a ball and a suitably large space to pass it around in, Fireball Extreme Challenge™ (FXC) is a sport defined almost entirely by its players. From its inception, FXC has made waves with its all-inclusive approach to competition, inviting competitors of all backgrounds to push themselves, work together, achieve great things, and forge memories to last a lifetime.
One key pillar of this inclusive model is FXC’s commitment to mandatory coed play. Every team is required to have gender diversity, and the design of the game ensures no one is at an advantage or disadvantage because of who they are. 50% of Fireball competitors and 60% of referees are women, making it one of the most representative sports in the world.
“I love the fact that the sport is mandatory coed,” says Giorgetta Keuter (USA/ITA). “I had been looking for a sport like this since high school.” At the time, Keuter was turned away from the men’s football program—now, Fireball offers her the chance to sharpen her athletic prowess with a game whose unique blend of agility and physicality means women players are on level footing with the men.
For Keuter, FXC provides 'a sense of belonging.' She explains: “You are part of a team and playing as equals with your counterparts.” This gives her “the sense of being part of something that is greater than the sport itself”—a feeling of real camaraderie and shared triumph. In this way, Fireball Extreme Challenge™ isn’t merely welcoming—it’s empowering too.
Giorgetta Keuter's pictures below
Teresa Berenice Martínez Leyva (MEX) shared with us that Fireball is “the only sport where I can compete at the same level as any man, starting with my husband, who is 6’3.” She reiterates that “in FXC, there is no difference between the performance of the two genders, and this makes it awesome!” Asked what she gets out of playing, Leyva’s answer was clear: “Recognition, satisfaction, motivation, overcoming my limits, and earning happiness from my efforts.”
Teresa Berenice Martínez Leyva's pictures below
“I love how inclusive it is!” agrees Sany Nguyen (USA). “FXC does not separate or discriminate against anyone. I love how it has a range of players from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, skill levels, genders, heights, degrees of athletic knowledge, and ages.”
FXC recently welcomed its first openly transgender player as well. “Anyone can play it,” Leyva enthuses. “You need only a ball and a free space to start practicing. Once you start honing your motor skills with FXC, you can’t stop! It’s so rewarding realizing your potential and overcoming your opponent.”
When we asked Nguyen her thoughts on FXC's potential worldwide reach, she was unequivocal: “I know people all over the world can enjoy FXC, because it’s a sport for everyone. I know that folks from all walks of life can pick up this game and enjoy it.”
As she puts it so well, “Sport changes lives and FXC really opens the door to include so many folks in the action.”
Sany Nguyen's pictures below
FXC represents both a revolution for inclusivity in sports and a return to the roots of intense yet amicable competition and mutual respect underpinning some of the world’s most beloved athletic events, such as the Olympic Games. It reminds us of the power of sports to bring us together, brighten our days, and show us what’s possible when we come together to realize a collective dream–all while delivering fantastic exercise and a fierce competitive spirit. FXC™ burns bright with possibilities: of connection, of collaboration, of compassion. It’s the future of sport and the sport of the future.
Remember, regardless of who you are and where in the world you’re based, FXC can be the sport for you! Follow us on social media and feel free to reach out to us about local opportunities. We would love to help you get in the game!
FXC Tutorials in english below
Ryan Patrick Smith graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Science, Technology & Society and now writes for the World Bank’s Connect4Climate team and is a longtime contributor to Smithsonian Magazine. In his free time, he enjoys screenwriting, moviegoing, and crossword puzzle construction.
Ryan Patrick Smith's past articles on FXC: