By: Mónika Zimányi-Csere, Messer Hungarogáz
Reading time: 2 Minutes
Teqball with world-class stars
It is a new sport with Olympic ambitions that the world’s best soccer players use to prepare for the next top match. At the same time, it is a sports technology innovation from Hungary: On the curved teqball table, kicking demands the finesse of ping-pong. It is manufactured with Messer gases.
Who bent the table?
In soccer, you can touch the ball with any part of your body – except your arms and your hands. In table tennis, the hollow plastic ball must touch the opponent’s side of the table before it can be returned. And with that, the essential rules of teqball are already clear. You can play one-on-one or as doubles. Like volleyball, the ball can be “set up” with up to two contacts before it must be sent back over the net, at the latest, with the third. In doing so, it is not allowed to touch the ball twice with the same part of the body. The special attraction here is the extremely intricate handling it takes to place a regular size 5 FIFA soccer ball with the requisite precision. Which certainly doesn’t exclude spectacular smash hits.
To keep rockets like that from launching skyward after their mandatory impact, ex-soccer pro Gábor Borsányi came up with the idea of the curved table. When he couldn’t play on the field, he liked to fling balls at the concrete ping-pong tables you frequently find in Budapest. A convex surface makes this game faster and more direct. Another contributing factor is also the solid, rigid “net,” which likewise send the ball flying back. Together with Viktor Huszár who came up with the technical idea, and György Gattyán, Borsányi refined the equipment. They established a company and named it after the sport that it aims to serve: Teqball.
Stable sports equipment demands optimal workmanship
They put a lot of effort into finding the right materials and the optimal manufacturing processes for the table – after all, it has to be able to take a beating and also needs to meet standard regulations for use in competition. For the surface, they use different composite materials supported by a stable steel construction. It is corrosion-resistant, waterproof, and perfectly suited for the game, inside and out. High quality cutting and welding technology help achieve this result: Rods and substructure elements made of normal as well as galvanized construction steel are cut with a tube laser cutting machine. The use of nitrogen as the cutting gas ensures that the cut surfaces do not oxidize and have optimal characteristics for the subsequent welding operations. For this application, Teqball uses high-purity Nitrocut (nitrogen 5.0) from Messer. In the future, the welding will be handled by a robotic welding machine; plans call for using a ternary mixture in that application, because it can guarantee a complete fusion and a practically splatter-free surface.
Fashionable sport with potential
The Fédération Internationale de Teqball (FITEQ) was established in March 2017 and the first official world championship was held that same year in Budapest. Today there are nearly ten thousand registered players in 138 national sports associations worldwide. There’s even a chance that the trendy, rapidly growing sport will be included in the Olympic Games. The News rubric of Teqball’s website already lists the names of world-renowned clubs and professional players who use the sports equipment from Hungary to train their technique; on YouTube you can see how much fun it is.