WTF is Teqball? The Sport That Has Messi and Neymar Hooked

A new way to play the beautiful game.

WTF is Teqball? The Sport That Has Messi and Neymar Hooked

Teqball is a ball sport that is essentially a mash-up of football and table tennis. It may sound strange, but Teqball has been adopted around the world, with the number of fans well into the thousands. And when you consider the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar are among those fans, Teqball suddenly becomes a sport that’s well worth your attention.

When footage was released of one of Lionel Messi’s first training sessions with Paris St. Germain back in 2021, Tik Tok was sent into a frenzy with what they saw.

WATCH: Lionel Messi, Neymar & The PSG Team Play Teqball

Messi and other football superstars such as Neymar could be seen playing football on what looked like a table tennis table.

But Messi is not the only footballer to have been seen playing this variation of the beautiful game The Brazilian national team featuring the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus have also been spotted playing on the curved table, as have Harry Kane and the Tottenham Team.

Even Justin Bieber is trying out this new activity. Well, it turns out this new activity, named teqball is a sport that’s growing rapidly across the planet.

So, what is teqball and why is it taking the soccer world by storm? Read on to find out why.

What is Teqball?

Teqball was created in 2012 in Hungary. Image: @FITEQ

Teqball (pronounced, “tek-ball”) is one of the youngest, but fastest growing sports in the world. A mix of soccer and table tennis, the game is played on a special curved table with a regular size 5 football. So, as long as you have a table, teqball is pretty accessible.

Instead of using a standard table tennis net, there is a piece of plexiglass in its place, that cuts the middle of the table in half.

Much like with ping pong, you can play singles or doubles in Teqball, if you happen to have a group of mates that are all wanting to play together.

What are the rules of Teqball?

To start playing, first the ball must be served from behind a set line. Once the ball bounces on the opponent’s side of the table, the game is in play.

According to the rules, you can touch the ball with every part of your body except your hands and you get a maximum of three touches before the ball is returned to the opponent’s side of the table.

If you are playing doubles, the ball must be passed at least once between the pair before sending the ball over the net.

A player, or team, wins once you reach 12 points.

What is the origin of Teqball?

Teqball was first played in Hungary in 2012 by former soccer player Gábor Borsányi and two other Hungarian soccer fans, Gyuri Gattyán and Viktor Huszár.

They pioneered the idea of Teqball by playing with a soccer ball on a table tennis table. Borsányi worked out that curving the table changed the manner in which the ball bounced, improving the experience.

In 2014, the first table was constructed and since then, the demand for more Teqball tables across the world has only increased.

There are now over 5000 players in more than 100 countries across the world that play Teqball.

Ex-football players such as famed Brazilian maestro Ronaldinho are also ambassadors for the game.

As an ambassador for the sport, Ronaldinho regular attends the Teqball World Championship. Image: @FITEQ

Can I watch Teqball on TV?

Teqball has become accessible to watch regularly, with the sport signing an exclusive deal with U.S. sports broadcasting giant, ESPN.

This follows on from a string of new, slightly obscure sports being broadcast by the network, including OmegaBall and Spikeball.

The deal between the Fédération Internationale de Teqball (FITEQ) and ESPN is reportedly as high as $850,000.

Multiple channels including ESPN2 and ESPNU currently broadcast Teqball, airing coverage of the USA and European Teqball tours. Full games of the Teqball World Championships can also be found on the YouTube channel TEQ TV.

How much money do professional Teqball players earn?

Financially, Teqball is still not fully viable, but this is to be expected given the sport is still in its infancy. The 2021 Teqball World Cup saw a total prize pool of $200,000, but this is split between multiple winners over five divisions.

According to Forbes, Margaret Odmunson, a world number one in women’s doubles earned only $15,000 in a two-year Teqball career.  

But CEO of the Teqball Group and President of the U.S. National Teqball Federation, Ajay Nwosu says that players who participate full-time have the potential to earn up to $100,000 annually thanks to growing prize pools.

Will Teqball be added to the Olympics?

Teqball is played in over 100 countries by over 5000 people. Image: @FITEQ

Ajay Nwosu has made it clear that the ultimate goal of Teqball is for it to become an Olympic sport.

However, getting into the Olympics is a pretty complicated affair. Baseball only returned to the Olympics in 2021, after it was omitted in the previous two Games. Golf was also not added to the Olympics for over 100 years. And, given both sports are obviously have much wider exposure than Teqball, it’s unlikely we’ll see in the Olympics for some time.

But Teqball’s natural crossover with the estimated 3.5 billion soccer fans globally could work in its favour. The Olympics has started adding spin-off sports such as 3X3 Basketball to the Games. So, given Teqball derives itself from the most popular sport on the planet (soccer, in case you were wondering) it could yet see a similar trajectory.

Teqball’s case is also bolstered from its addition to the upcoming 2023 European Games.

The 2028 Olympics, which are to be held in Los Angeles, California, may well be the first time we see Teqball as an Olympic sport.

Is there Teqball in Australia?

Teqball has just started to find its way to Australia from Europe with The Australian National Teqball Federation only being founded in May 2022.

What this means for any aspiring Australian soccer fans, you may end up seeing more Teqball tables sprouting up across the country.

If you want to get ahead of the curve, now is the time to get into Teqball.