Updated: May 28
You came into the world of teqball with some refereeing background. What sports did you officiate and what was your initiative to become a sports referee?
PIOTR: "Yes, I am a football referee since 2014 and I already officiated more than 300 football matches. Thanks to that experience I learned how to manage and lead sports competitions. Besides, in 2016 I became an amputee football referee, it is a kind of football for people whose legs were amputated. It is a very interesting sport, helpfully for me is that the rules in amputee football are based on “regular” football but of course, there are some differences. I became a referee to be a part of the game. I understood how important is the role of the referee in sport. Thanks to this job I can take part in big sports events, not as a player but still I can feel the atmosphere of competitions and I really like it."
How did you meet teqball and why did you decide to give it a try?
PIOTR: "First time I met teqball it was on the official YouTube channel of Polish Football Federation. A lot of Polish people were watching preparations for their national team before the World Cup in Russia 2018 and, yes, I was watching, too. Some players from the national team played teqball matches, but of course, they did not even know the rules yet. I really liked teqball, it is a very dynamic sport, players must be well skilled and must think during the match all the time. Two months later my brother, Damian, found an announcement on Facebook about upcoming first Polish championships in teqball. He just asked if the organizers needed some referees. A few weeks later Damian and I officiated on the first Polish Championships and then we came to Budapest for the first-ever teqball referee course. After that, we participated in the 2nd Teqball World Championships in France. It was a fantastic experience and I met a lot of amazing people there, not only referees – honestly, I enjoyed teqball."
With teqball being a very young sport, what perspectives do you see in the future?
PIOTR: "In my opinion teqball develops constantly. Last year there were so many tournaments organised so that players and referees had more and more opportunities to practise. At the moment almost every weekend, there are international tournaments organised - for example, a Challenger Cup. I hope that there will be more teqball clubs established and these tournaments will be converted into something like national association teqball leagues. The main goal of teqball is to become an Olympic Sport in the future. I think it is possible to be a part of the Olympic Movement and be recognised by the International Olympic Committee soon. Many football players have already fallen in love with teqball, some former players, for example, Ronaldinho or Carles Puyol were present during last World Championships in Budapest in 2019 and I think that it is only the beginning."
You have sacrificed a lot for Polish teqball life as well. How do you see the development of teqball in Poland in general?
PIOTR: "Yes, in Poland teqball generally becomes a recognised sport. Two years ago teqball had appeared in my country and then almost nobody heard about it and today we have more and more teqball clubs, more than 50 teqball players and a lot of them participates in the international tournaments. We have already created the Polish Teqball Association and moreover, in Poland, there are more than 30 certified teqball referees. Damian and I led and presented on the second national referee course in the world. We want to organise one more course for new referees in Poland soon. We are going to organise at least couple international tournaments in Poland and in a few years to create -as I mentioned- the Polish association teqball league. Thus far, most teqball events and most teqball players are from Warsaw and its surroundings, but I think in the future teqball will be more common in every part of Poland."
You have been promoted to the Head of Teqball Referees in Poland. Congratulations! What are the next development steps to improve Polish teqball referees?
PIOTR: "Thank You! It is a huge honour to be the Head of Teqball Referees in Poland. As I mentioned the next step is to organise a new referee course to involve more potential technical officials. We have more and more opportunities to officiate on tournaments, not only in Poland. I would like to highlight that Polish referees are present on almost every international tournament in Europe and this fact also makes me proud. It shows that referees from my country are already very experienced and talented. Besides, we are going to organise training for referees to upskill. We created a group for Polish referees on Facebook to upload new rules, info and to discuss some situations. We are going to be the best and the most professional teqball refereeing nation in the world."
Being an Official FITEQ Presenter, a FITEQ Level B teqball referee and participating two World Championships events as a technical official, what advice would you give to people who are at the beginning of their teqball journey?
PIOTR: "First of all, I would like to turn new people on to join the teqball family and they should know that teqball is the fastest growing sport in the world. Teqball is an opportunity for people, and by having very hardworking and committed people, teqball events become more professional. The level of teqball players is rising and in my opinion referees’ level is rising as well. My advice for new referees are to learn English as that lingual knowledge helps You communicate with the players and the rest of the teqball family members from all over the world, to practise as much as You can and to follow more experienced referees. Lastly, I would like to tell You that decision about joining the teqball community could be the best decision in Your life."