LOS ANGELES — It is not a ping pong table, but it is a table that will have you moving and jumping.
Teqball is a blend of soccer and table tennis, and while the competitive sport has already become popular abroad, it is making headway in Los Angeles.
Carolyn Greco, a former soccer athlete and local, is now a committed teqball player and says the sport has limitless potential.
"We like to think of ourselves as pioneers of the sport, and we feel really lucky to be in the place that we are — and hopefully one day we'll get to play on a world stage, and maybe even one day be an Olympic medalist," Greco said.
Like soccer, you can hit the ball with any part of the body except the arms and hands. The gender-neutral sport, played on a curved table, can include up to 4 players and has already been added to the 2023 European games.
"I know I'm not the only one with this goal to go to the world cup, go to the Olympics, which is really neat — for a lot of professional soccer players, this is a whole new opportunity, and a lot of people are excited about it," she said.
And that excitement includes LA Galaxy midfielder Victor Vazquez, who said he warms up with teqball before his soccer games.
"People from South America, Latino people, would love this kind of sport, like football. I think also in the U.S., they are getting used to it. I think everyone should try it because you're gonna have a lot of fun," Vazquez said.
Ajay Nwosu is the CEO of Teqball USA and has been busy building roots in LA.
"For us, bringing the sport to the U.S. is something special. In the community, we've kind of graduated and culminated here in LA," Nwosu said.
Teqball is one of the fastest-growing sports, but Greco said it is the spirit of community that makes the game so special.
"We definitely make it into a community and family, and I think that's why people love teqball too. It is a whole soccer community that we're a part of — a soccer culture that we're a part of here in LA."