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Football tennis[1] is a hybrid sport originating in Czechoslovakia; in both the Czech and the Slovak languages it is called nohejbal. In German it is called Fußballtennis, and in French it is Tennis-Ballon.



In 1922 the members of the soccer club Slavia Prague started playing a game which they called soccer over the rope, because it was initially played over a horizontally suspended rope, which was later replaced by a net. This new game had similar rules to volleyball, except that an arbitrary number of players - usually 2 or 3 on each side - played with their feet instead of their hands.

In 1936 the first official football tennis rules were written. The first football tennis cup was played in 1940, although up to 1962 football tennis was essentially considered a purely recreational sport. However, in this year the Czech football tennis league was founded, though it was centered largely in Prague. In 1971 the "Český nohejbalový svaz" (Czech football tennis association) was founded.

Up until the 1980s, the sport gained little international recognition; however, in 1987, the International Footballtennis Association (IFTA, now the FIFTA, the Federation International Footballtennis Association) was founded. European championships have been held since 1993, and world championships since 1996. Footballtennis remains popular in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but also has a following in France, Hungary, Brazil, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Croatia and Macedonia as can be seen from the list of FIFTA members.

In 2010, the game of football tennis was re-introduced in the UK by a group of football tennis enthusiasts at Collingwood College, Durham (Durham University). These visionaries are widely respected as the forefathers of the British version of the game which holds slightly different rules to the international version of football tennis. This British version of the game has been growing rapidly since its creation in mid to late february. Crowds of 4 or 5 have already been known to attend matches which can last up to 20 minutes. The sport's popularity already is on the rise and an application for JCR society status is currently been considered with the hope of becoming a university recognsied sport.


  1. ^ Federation International Footballtennis Association

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