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October 17, 2018
Fiteq World Cup: England call up football freestyler who did not know teqball existed
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Fiteq World Cup: England call up football freestyler who did not know teqball existed

Table tennis, but not as you know it – Chelsea stars play teqball

Ronaldinho is a whizz, Neymar’s a fan and the Chelsea team are at it in training most days.

It’s table tennis, but not as you know it.

Teqball, best described as football played on a ‘scientifically’ adapted curved ping pong table, has attracted the interest of an ensemble of world-class footballers and the sport is now aiming for Olympic inclusion.

The problem is, the majority of people don’t know it exists.

Until recently, football freestyler Ben Nuttall was one of them.

Now he is about to represent England at the World Cup in France.

“When I was at school, we’d set up a table and put bags in the middle to play header table tennis with a football,” Nuttall told BBC Sport. “I didn’t realise it was an actual sport until I got the call up.”

Ben Nuttall holds two Guinness World Records for football tricks

The 18-year-old from Birmingham readily admits it wasn’t something he was “insane at” when introduced to the game, but as someone who holds the Guinness World Record for keepy uppies with a rugby ball he adapted quickly.

“It is harder than it looks,” he said.

“As a freestyler I already have the first touch control, balance and coordination. It took some getting used to and I had to learn the rules, but it’s fun.

“I’ve seen videos of other players, some professionals who train every day, and the quality at the World Cup is going to be high.”

How the teq do you play?

  • The ball must be returned to the opponent’s side onto the table by touching it a maximum of three times
  • The ball cannot be touched by the same body part in succession
  • Players win a point if the opponent fails to return the ball legally
  • Matches are played as the best of three sets
  • A set is won by the first side to win 20 points. The final set needs to be won by two clear points
  • Points are scored in a number of ways