Following the Teqball World Cup in France, Euronews finds out what the sport is, who invented it, and what we can expect in the future.
Athletes from around the world have descended on the French city of Reims for the second-ever Teqball World Cup.
The two-day tournament ended with massive cash prizes on Saturday, as doubles champions Bogdan Marojevic and Nikola Mitro of Montenegro flew home $20,000 (€17,250) richer, while singles winner Barna Szecsi of Romania was awarded $10,000 (€8,620).
But what is Teqball, who invented it, and how popular is it?
What is Teqball?
Played on a specially-designed curved board, which resembles a ping pong table, Teqball is a football-based sport that aims to test players’ technical skills, concentration, and stamina.
The game, which can be played by two, four or more players, sees competitors trying to land the ball on the other side of the table, using different parts of their body to touch and pass.
Organisers describe Teqball as the “purest type of football” because there is no physical contact, and say it enables players to enhance their skills and master air-to-air ball handling.
What are the rules?
Teqball has four central rules:
The ball must be returned to the opponent’s side onto the table by touching it a maximum of three times.
The opponent and equipment cannot be touched.
The ball cannot be touched by the same body part in succession.
Within a play, a player can return the ball with the same body part only twice after each other.
Who invented it?
Teqball was invented in Hungary by football fans Gábor Borsányi and Viktor Huszár.
Borsányi is a former professional football player who retired at the age of 24 because he believed the game had become too aggressive and didn’t want to risk serious injury, while Huszár describes himself as a “football loving computer scientist”.
Businessman Gyorgy Gattyan is listed as another co-founder and is described as being responsible for the business strategy of the game.
Huszár told Euronews it was "a pride in Hungary that we have given the world more sports".
“A table and a curve that we believe will change this world,” he said of the invention.
How popular is it?
While many people are still unfamiliar with Teqball, it is rapidly growing in popularity.
This year's world cup saw double the number of competitors from last year, with participants from Asian, African, European and Pacific nations.
Famous players known to be fans of the game include Argentinian star Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar.
What are the plans for the future?
Huszar told Reuters that he hoped to make Teqball “accessible to everyone in the world, regardless of age, gender or ability.”
“The huge growth of the sport in just a few years' time proves that people love to play and we are working hard to bring tables to countries all around the world so that we can achieve our dream of seeing Teqball one day in the Olympic Games," he said.
Other plans include competitive events in Asia and Africa, and the possibility of a world beach Teqball games in the next two years.