A new sport is emerging around the world — and finding huge popularity in the United States. Teqball is a cross between football and table tennis where you can use any part of your body except your hands to score points and manipulate the ball without it ever touching the ground.
Its success has grown to the point where it now aims to become an Olympic sport by 2028.
BellaTeq, the world’s first all-female club, is working to help Teqball achieve its goal by drawing more women across the US and around the world to play.
Founded in Budapest, Hungary in 2014, Teqball has national federations across the world and hosted three World Cup tournaments before making its way to the US. Teqball USA is now on track to host 52 tournaments across the country in 2021.
BellaTeq was launched last year in Los Angeles by co-founders Carolyn Greco, Margaret Osmundson, and Nancy Avesyan, who had been playing with and against men in singles and doubles matches. They saw an opportunity to utilize the momentum behind the success of the US Women’s National Team to get women involved.
“This is the United States where women dominate in soccer, and I don’t see it going any different in Teqball,” says Greco.
“We want to see really a wave of a new era of a sport come to the United States,” adds Osmundson. “It’s emerging and it’s growing and spreading like wildfire already.”
Several famous footballers serve as Teqball ambassadors, including World Cup winner Carles Puyol, Portuguese great Luis Figo and two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldinho.
“Over the course of time, it’s grown and compounded by the power of social media and several notable athletes playing the sport across the world to the point where our North Star right now is to be an Olympic sport by 2028,” said Ajay Nwosu, president of the USA National Teqball Federation.
Teqball’s Olympic dreams provide a unique opportunity for those currently involved to act as pioneers for the sport, while also pursuing personal goals of competing in the Olympics.
Greco, currently ranked 11th in the world, said when the Olympics are held in Los Angeles she plans on being there. “You can dream big with this sport because you have time to train and focus if you choose to do so.”
Games are played on a uniquely curved ping-pong table using a ball the size of a football but slightly lighter. Controlling the ball requires technique over strength, leveling the playing field between men and women in a competition where finesse is everything.
Avesyan, who plays for the Armenian national football team, said that Teqball has helped improve her touch tremendously and the emphasis on technique over power in the sport evens the playing field when it comes to competing against men.
“It’s an amazing sport for anyone who’s involved in soccer or is transitioning,” Avesyan said. “We’re hoping we can get more women out to compete with the men.”
With Teqball at such an exciting and early stage, the message from BellaTeq co-founders is to get started now while there’s a wide open opportunity to become a competitive or professional athlete in this sport — maybe even an Olympian.
Watch the video at the top of the page to see more about Teqball and BellaTeq