Small balls, big impact: how Spikeball, Padel, Pickleball or Teqball are shaking up the sports scene
Written by Benjamin Frangi
Digital Partnership and Acquisition Specialist at Telecoming
Sports have always been a source of excitement and entertainment, but sometimes we crave something fresh, something unexpected, to get our adrenaline pumping. Enter Spikeball, Padel, Pickleball, and Teqball – the underdogs-turned-superstars of the sporting realm. These four sports have overtaken the world, transforming from obscure pastimes to global sensations. In this article, we’ll dive into the unique journeys of these games, filled with surprising twists, unlikely heroes, and much fun.
Let’s start with Spikeball, the rebel of the group. Picture this: a mini trampoline, a small rubber ball, and four players diving, spiking, and laughing through intense matches. With its casual yet competitive nature, Spikeball has captured the hearts of players around the world. It’s like volleyball’s rebellious cousin who always knows how to party. Currently popular in the US, where most spikeball players can be found. Back in 2015, more than 1 million people played the game in the US alone. Today it’s a recognized sport in the US and countries such as Belgium and Germany that have implemented official Spikeball tournaments.
Who needs sandy beaches when you can set up a Spikeball net in your backyard, at the park, or even on a rooftop (preferably fenced)? Get ready for epic rallies and some serious acrobatics!
Now, let’s switch gears and explore the world of Padel. Compared to Spikeball, it’s a more mature product that pathed the way to other new racket sports (keep reading!). If tennis and squash had a lovechild, it would be Padel. This sport combines the best of both worlds with an extra dose of sociability. Played on a smaller court enclosed by glass walls, Padel is all about strategy, agility, and smashing the ball past your opponents. Oh, and did I mention the best part? You have to play doubles, so you’ve got a partner in crime to share the victories and blame each other for the defeats!
Counting 25 million players worldwide, Padel has been around for a while; just ask tennis star Andy Murray who has been aware of the sport since he was a teenager training in Spain. Today it’s an emerging professional sport and social media trend and a massive real estate investment opportunity. Over 20 thousand courts have been built in Spain in the past 10 years. Whilst it competes with many other racket sports, it quickly emerges on top with good old tennis—game, set, match.
Next up is Pickleball, the sport that sneaked into our hearts. Mixing elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, Pickleball is an absolute blast. Grab a paddle, a wiffle ball, and head to the court. Don’t be fooled by the name – it has nothing to do with pickles! Pickleball has become a favourite among all ages, from energetic youngsters to spirited seniors. The beauty of this game lies in its accessibility and inclusivity.
Legend has it, this sport saw its first dawn in Seattle, US and today, according to the 2023 APP Pickleball participation report, 14% of Americans played Pickleball at least once between 2021 and 2022. Oh, and yeah, over 8.5 million people played Pickleball eight times or more. A sport for the retired or weak, they say, but don’t tell this to Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Tom Brady, who are not only regular players but also big investors. Question: is the rest of the world ready to welcome a sport that defines itself as a sport for ALL? Qui vivra verra.
Last but certainly not least, we have Teqball – the ultimate fusion of football and table tennis. Imagine a curved table resembling a football goal post, a small football, and players showcasing their fancy footwork. Teqball takes ball control, precision, and agility to a new level. It’s like playing table tennis with your feet, requiring lightning-fast reflexes and a touch of finesse. This game brings out the showboater in all of us as we attempt jaw-dropping tricks and attempt to outsmart our opponents. Prepare for intense battles, contagious laughter, and some inevitable spills.
Most popular in Europe and, of course, Brazil, Teqball is a sport that is rapidly gaining traction. Compared to the above-described sports, Teqball is by far the fresher of them all, as it was introduced in 2014 by 2 Hungarians: Gabor Borsanyi and Viktor Huszar. The first was a professional soccer player who found the ball was becoming too aggressive and, fearing injury, began looking for an idea for a different sport. The second is a computer scientist who became curious about the sport’s technical side. After less than 10 years, more than 100 countries already have their own Teqball association. Time to swap your table tennis court for a curvier court!
In a world dominated by traditional sports, the rise of Spikeball, Padel, Pickleball, and Teqball is a breath of fresh air. These sports have broken free from the norm and captured our hearts with their unique twists and contagious energy. Finally, none of these sports would have made it without the power of social media. Videos of epic Spikeball rallies, intense Padel matches, and mind-blowing Teqball tricks have gone viral (did someone say mobile consumption?). Whether you’re a fan of high-flying spikes, strategic rallies, fast-paced paddle action, or fancy footwork, there’s something for everyone.