The first Teqball National Challenger Series, Phase- 1 matches began in Salem on March 26 at Notre Dame of Holy Cross School, Salem. Sona College of Technology which has always been at the forefront of promoting sports and nurturing new talents is the key patron of the tournament.
Fifty players from across the country are taking part in the tournament and Sona College is playing host to them. Mr. Vithal Shirgaonkar, the Vice President, Teqball India, has come as an observer along with internationally recognized referees. The matches will include singles, doubles, mixed singles, and doubles and the performance of the players will be evaluated for international rating said Mr.Sideshwaran, Founder Tamilnadu Teqball Association.
The tournament will go on till March 29. The best performers will be picked for representing India in the upcoming Asian Beach Games in China. Six players from Sona College are participating in the matches. Teqball is a unique football-based sport played on a special curved table. The game is a combination of freestyle and football says Mr. Vithal Shirgaonkar. Developed in Hungary in 2012, it is one of the fastest-growing sports attracting young athletes and amateur players.
The game came to India only two years back, but within a short period it has gained widespread interest among the youngsters says Mr.Sideshwaran. Teqball is governed by a strange set of rules which however makes it all the more interesting, fun, and challenging. For example, players cannot touch the ball with the same body part twice consecutively.
The game is recognized by three continental Olympic associations (OCA, ANOCA, ONOC) and has gained GAISF (Global Association of International Sports Federations) full member status. In 2018, the Olympic Council of Asia recognized the game and soon it can be expected to have Olympic recognition. Teqball India has been trying to include the sport at the school level and has appealed to the Indian School Sports Associations, says Mr. Vithal Shirgaonkar.
“This indicates vast opportunities are opening up for young talents to display their skills and get recognized. The game can be played by anyone of any means and background – rural or urban background- as it requires only a football and a table to practice. “Free stylers and existing football players can soon gain skill,” says Mr. Vithal Shirgaonkar. It is likely to catch up widely as a lifestyle and recreational game, he adds.
The National Challenger Series Phase – 1 being held in Salem is the first official national-level tournament said Mr.Sidheswaran.