If you are a headis fan, chances are you would have heard of and understand the sport of teqball a bit more than most.
For those who want to understand everything about teqball because they have only just heard about it or seen a game, here’s all you wanted to know this sport, including the teqball history, rules, equipment and the top players in the world at the moment.
History of Teqball
The sport of teqball was invented by the trio of Viktor Huszár, Gábor Borsányi and György Gattyán, in Hungary. The pair of Viktor and Gabor met and started playing football on a ping pong table by accident when they realised they could bend the table at its side and make the game more interesting.
The bent curvature allowed the ball to bounce towards the players, making the game more exciting and once they had got the height and length of the table right, the game was ready to go.
The pair warded off a lot of interest from business investors to buy the game but in Gattyán they found an investor who was ready to join them in their vision for the sport.
While there were bigger ambitions for teqball from its inventors, one of the first benefits recognised by them was for footballers who could take to the sport like fish to water. The Fédération Internationale de Teqball (FITEQ) was soon established as teqball’s governing organisation and within months of that happening, Budapest hosted 20 countries in the first ever teqball World Cup.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) which includes countries like India and China have approved teqball as an official sport which added to its credibility, as did the fact it was ratified by 45 national Olympic committees. It took them just three years to get to that stage.
42 countries participated in the second World Cup held in Reims in France in 2018 and this was followed by the 2019 edition back in Budapest that saw 57 countries on show. In the meantime the sport was also included in the African Beach games played in mid-2019 where teqball – along with our favourite beach tennis – was held as a demonstration sport.
What are Teqball’s Rules?
There’s a playing field at the centre of which is the teqball table. Players can use the entire playing field for their effort.
The teqball table is curved at its ends, unlike a typical ping pong (or table tennis) table, measuring 3 meters by 1.7 meters. The highest point of the table is at 0.76 meter in the middle before it tapers downward.
The ball used to play teqball can be a football (or a soccer ball), as is the case when it’s played by footballers to practice their skills, the official ball recommended by teqball inventors is the size 5.
The ball can bounce only once before the player/team has to return it back to the server, but has three chances to do that. Players cannot use hand or arms however and nor can the same body part be used twice in a row while returning the ball (i.e. cannot head the ball twice in a row while returning it).
Two service attempts are allowed, with serves changing after four points each. Most matches are best-of-three sets with each set needing players to reach 20 points apiece.
Players cannot touch the table or their opponents but if the ball touches the edge of the table, the point needs to be replayed.
Doubles matches mandate the need for both players in a team to touch the ball or else the point is awarded to the opposition.
- Best of three sets, first to reach 20 points with a difference of two
- Four serves for each player, concept of second serve if the first serve is a fault (like in tennis)
- Each team has up to three attempts to return ball; can use all body parts except hands and arms
- Same body part cannot be used twice in a row
- Point to be replayed if it hits table edge
Teqball in Olympics?
If there’s one sport which looks like it could soon make its way to the Olympics, it’s teqball. Sure, it’s very young right now, hasn’t even caught on in many parts of the world, but the big thing in its favour is how a lot of footballers are taking to it as a part of their training routine.
Media reports suggest teqball tables are found at most of the top European clubs including Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, Arsenal and FC Barcelona among others.
Why is teqball becoming famous at these famous football clubs?
It’s a form of training for footballers who are using a game of teqball to improve their footballing skills and coordination along with spatial awareness, all of which gives them a huge edge over their opponents in an actual game of football (or soccer as it’s called in America).
As mentioned earlier, teqball has quickly gone from a sport only just invented to one which is followed in multiple countries in Europe and some parts of Asia and now hosts its own World Cup.
According to its inventors, the target for teqball is to make it to the 2032 Olympics, but for that to happen it will need to be recognised by multiple other Olympic councils before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allows them a chance.
Teqball World Cup
As mentioned earlier, FITEQ is the organising body for teqball and they have been holding the Teqball World Cup since 2017. What’s interesting to note here is there aren’t separate categories for men and women, they play together in the same teams (i.e. an all-male team can take on a team consisting of a man and a woman).
The 2017 Teqball World Cup was played in Budapest. 20 countries participated in this competition. Ádám Blázsovics won the singles gold beating fellow Hungarian Máté Szolga in the final while Romania’s Zsolt Lázár came third.
Romania edged out Hungary in the doubles gold medal match while Serbia won the bronze.
The top three was completed by Serbia.
This was followed by the second edition in 2018 in France and the number of players went up to 90 in this season.
Bogdan Marojevic and Nikola Mitro of Montenegro won the doubles competition while Romania’s Bárna Szécsi was the winner of the singles event. The pair of Ádám Blázsovics/Csaba Bányik was the runnerup in the former while Árpád Sipos lost his singles final which meant Hungary had to be content with silver in both events.
Romania won the bronze in the doubles competition.
The third edition of the Teqball World Cup was hosted in Budapest yet again with 57 participating nations, featuring more than 150 athletes.
This time around Blazsovics, who was the previous doubles finalist, came back strongly to clinch both, the singles and the doubles gold medal. Banyik was his partner yet again. Teams like Argentina, Djibouti, Norway, Ivory Coast and the Cook Islands participated in the tournament for the first time.
The main teqball equipment is the teqball table and the ball. We will get into depths of this in another piece but for starters, there are two types of teqball tables; Teq ONE and Teq SMART. The ball used can be a football but most ideally, a size 5 ball should be used for a game of teqball. Read more about these teqball tables and reviews here.