Thinley Namgay   

Three months after introducing beach volleyball in the country, Bhutan introduced another relatively new sport called “Teqball”.

Teqball was introduced last week at Ugyen Academy (UA) in Punakha in collaboration with the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC), Bhutan Football Federation and the International Federation of Teqball (FITEQ).

Teqball is a football-based sport played on a curved table (teq table). It involves a combining element of football and table tennis.  During the game, players can hit a football with any part of the body except arms and hands.

The match can be played between two or four players.  The sport follows a points-based scoring format and can be played on various surfaces such as sand, acrylic or indoors.

During the game, it allows players a maximum of three touches before returning the ball to the opponent, so if you can juggle a football three times, you will excel at teqball as well.

Officials say that teqball is good for especially athletes as it develops technical skills, concentration and stamina.

BOC’s official Sonam Tshewang said that UA’s footballers are club members at present and more enthusiasts are expected to join. “UA has a coach to teach them. BOC has also requested him to attend the online teqball seminar to gain more experience.”

Sonam Tshewang said that the inception of the first club at UA would provide the foundations for the sport to develop in Punakha and the 19 other dzongkhags by attracting players.

He said the game has scope for the youth to participate in major FITEQ competitions, and multisport events in Asia, such as the Sanya Asian Beach Games and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

Teqball started in Hungary in 2014 and is a gender-equitable game.