VIDEO. Teqball, a sport popularized by Ronaldinho, explained by two French champions

Teqball was born in 2015 from two more twisted than sporting minds. Since then, he has rebounded and emulated. Among them Ronaldinho. Closer to home, we went to meet professional and international players in Thann (68). Incongruous but true. Explanations.

The discipline is very young: barely eight years old. Two Hungarian football fans created it in 2015. Gábor Borsányi, a former professional football player, and Viktor Huszár, a computer scientist. Head and legs. Since then, Teqball has bounced here and there around the world, especially since it quickly found a powerful ambassador in the person of Ronaldinho. Yes yes.

And definitely the discipline is full of surprises. It is in Thann, in the Haut-Rhin, that we find not only the biggest teqball club in France but also these two unique national champions. Julien Grondin and Hugo Rabeux.

He was the first, a former professional footballer in Saint-Louis, who founded the club in September 2021. With a nudge and a toe from the town hall who made the Steinby gymnasium, Julien is now at the head of 25 licensees and a fine elite team.

« Our club is above all focused on performance. We obviously have a whole leisure section, but our goal is still competition. We have around ten professional players, elite players who play on the professional circuits and who are -same internationals: Portugal, France Kosovo and Cameroon. We are small but we are getting better and better known. We are the only ones in the region so yes, that definitely helps. Our goal is gold, we are in the four best in the world so now the goal is to perform and go for the gold. We train daily, 3 to 4 hours a day with medical monitoring, in short, everything you need. »

And training, regular, there no surprise, well it pays off. The track record is impressive. In men’s doubles, Julien Grondin and Hugo Rabeux won gold with the French team at the Mediterranean Games in Oran. Medalists also in Miami at the end of August. In singles, Julien Grondin is vice-world champion.

And for the six other tequeurs engaged in competition, it also starts rather well. Amélie Julian, a 21-year-old student from Colmar, who has been playing teqball for three years, is a promising player. « What I like about this sport is that it’s very technical and also I have to admit that you don’t have to run. I don’t really like running. You have to be flexible, technical and be on the move all the time. I am currently preparing mixed doubles in Krakow. »

A sport where you don’t have to run but where there is a ball, it’s rare enough to be underlined. So yes it’s time to ask ourselves, what is teqball exactly.

Well, it’s a sport. A ball sport yes but practiced on a kind of table of Table tennis arched. In the middle of a small field. A table created and marketed by the Teq brand, hence the name of the discipline (that’s simple) and which is found nowhere else. The sport combines football and table tennis. The practice is a bit like ball tennis which, for its part, rather borrows the codes of tennis.

A versatile discipline, teqball today has some 5,000 followers in France. Rare but motivated. Like Grégory Pchani, who came to train in Thann to represent his country of origin, Cameroon. « We feel like an actor in our discipline, it’s still little known and ultimately it’s very rewarding. Personally, I’m preparing for the World Cup and the African championships. »

Teqball can be played by two players in singles, four players in doubles, or multiple players in a round. The ball can be touched three times before being returned to the top of the opponent’s half table. Any part of the body can be used to play the ball, except the arm and the hand. Feet, knees, head and chest are mainly used. A point is scored if the opponent drops the ball, cannot return it, or breaks other rules.

Still exotic in France, teqball is mainly organized and promoted internationally by the International Teqball Federation (FITEQ). In 2020, it brought together more than 122 nations, including 81 officially recognized. And besides, for Thann players, travel will soon resume. Montenegro on Saturday then Poland (Krakow) at the end of September for the Teqball World Series.

In 2024, teqball will be on display at the Paris Olympics. Julien and Hugo will obviously be there. Before, and it is a dream of the latter, to go play, in competition, at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028 where for the moment the discipline is not on the program.

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