All Aboard the Teqball Train: Q&A with USA Teqball Star Margi Osmundson
We released the first ever women’s specific indoor shoe for futsal and soccer back in 2021, and the best thing about releasing a new shoe is seeing where YOU all take it.
The Ida Spirit has travelled the world and adorned the feet of players from the grassroots to the professional game. And one of our greatest surprises? Seeing it make its way into the world of Teqball.
One of the many players wearing our Spirits is Margi Osmundson, a twenty-nine-year-old professional Teqball player taking the game by storm. We were lucky enough to have caught up with her just before the Teqball World Series in Paris to learn all about Teqball and her journey through the sport, which includes representing team USA!
IDA: So, how did you get into Teqball?
MARGI: I was a soccer player, I played my whole life since I was four years old, like collegiately, professionally down in South America. I coached the game as well at the collegiate level and the youth level, and so, I've been kind of around it. It's been a part of my culture in my life for two and a half decades now. My college teammate, Carol, who's also my women's doubles partner, gave me a call two years ago, and I saw her on Instagram playing the sport, I'm like this looks fun. I would love to play something like this. And she actually gave me a ring and invited me to come down to Southern California, try the sport out, and see if I wanted to actually get a job with Teqball. I jumped at the opportunity right away, because naturally, I was making a transition from playing and figuring out what I wanted to continue to do. And as a competitor, as an athlete, it's always been my goal to just stay in the professional realm. I'm super competitive, and have been my whole life. Once I came down, and she introduced me to the sport, I instantly fell in love. So right away, I packed up all my bags and moved down to Southern California and have been with the company now for about two years.
IDA: What is the scoring system like?
MARGI: So, you play a match, it's best to three sets of 12. And then if you go to the third set, you actually have to win by two. Once you complete four serves, or you serve for four points, then the other team actually rotates and they'll serve for four points. There's a lot of intricate and unique rules outside of the recreational, or what we call “freestyle rules”, that makes the game very unique and a little bit more difficult in itself.
IDA: The skills look insanely hard to master, how did you manage it?
MARGI: Oh, it's very difficult at first, for sure. I mean, it's not something that you just pick up naturally on the very first day. I mean, yeah, you can have a good touch, but getting to the level that a lot of the professional football athletes are right now, it definitely takes months to be able to nail down a technique and nail down certain skill sets that kind of elevate your game. So you see a lot of the players doing what we call a smash, whether you set yourself up in one touch, and then you use the inside of your laces to smash the ball down. And it can either send it out of bounds or it's very hard to return. That's something that takes a little bit of time and practice to generate power and get the right technique to be able to land it consistently. So those are things that you know, people don't necessarily always pick up right away. There may be a few people who naturally are good at those things and so they can smash and have that sort of technique be a part of their game quicker, but it definitely is a lot of hours of practice to be able to elevate your game.
IDA: How did you come to represent your country?
MARGI: So there's representation and athletes playing Teqball in 123 nations, which is huge for us. Each country will have a certain way or criteria to be able to qualify to represent your country in the world cup. For instance, for the US, we had a single weekend qualifier. And there's five categories that you compete in to be able to try and win one. If you win your category that weekend, then you're the representative for your country, in that category. So we had men's doubles, women's doubles, men, singles, women's singles, and then mixed doubles.
And so in September, we held this competition in Los Angeles and all the Teqball athletes around the nation came and competed to try and garner the first spot to be able to represent the country, and me and my next partner, were able to win first place for the mixed doubles category. And then me and my partner were able to win first place for the women's doubles category. So that's how you kind of compete and become able to represent your country, at least here in the US. Other countries are a little bit different. Sometimes they'll hold a series of tournaments. So it's an accumulation of your points based on maybe three or four tournaments. So you don't have to win every single one but it's more of an average if you're consistently the best then you're the one representing so each country does it differently, but that's how the US does it.
IDA: You also run a club called Bella Teq. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
MARGI: So myself, Carol Greco, and Nancy Avesyan, were the three co-founders of Bella Teq, which we founded in April of 2020. It was the first all female Teqball club in the entire world. At the time, we were sort of pioneering it here in the US, and essentially our club and our mission is to create gender equity in sport, and to create opportunities for women by utilising Teqball and the power of Teqball in order to create these opportunities for women. So we also don't just include Teqball, we like to partner with multiple different sports because we're highly active in making sure we're supporting all female athletes. And so it's not just about Teqball and empowering Teqball athletes. It's about empowering all women athletes, and all women in general. So Bella Teq is something that we utilise obviously, to compete in these tournaments, as that's our club. But we also do a lot of social impact and community events in order to be able to provide experiences and opportunities for youth and other women in sport.
IDA: How do you see Teqball growing? Do you see it potentially being at an Olympics?
MARGI: Yeah. So, the end goal right now for Teqball as an organisation is the Olympics by 2028. And so, we are well on our way to becoming an Olympic sport. There are multiple different criteria that you have to meet in order to be selected and have the Olympic Committee add the sport as a medal sport. We’re definitely well on our way. The growth has really hit a massive stride in multiple different countries, and now it's keeping that momentum and continuing that push to be able to meet our goal by 2028.
IDA: When can we see you in action next?
MARGI: We actually have a big tournament coming up in Paris on March 18, to the 21st. It's actually a Teqball World Series. So, the Teqball World Series is just one step down from the World Cup, in the sense that there's a large prize money that's going to be offered, but just not as many categories. The categories are mixed doubles, men's doubles, and women's doubles, and then the prize money, I believe, is $100,000 split amongst the top athletes. So, it's top 16 and each of those categories receive prize money.
Editors’ Note: Margi has since competed, and placed third in the women’s doubles competition!
IDA: How did you hear about IDA?
MARGI: So, I actually had seen the shoe, probably about a year, year and a half ago, maybe. And I was just interested, because a lot of what we do for, like I said, is connecting with women's or women-owned brands, or clothing, apparel, anything specifically meant for a woman. Based on the fact that we are all women's Teqball club, that's kind of our first approach is looking for other brands that have similar mission and similar goals to us. So that was kind of what sparked my interest the most is, you know, I'm always looking to support other female owned brands, or female-inspired brands, that's the biggest thing for us.
And then I took a little bit of a deep dive into the shoe and I spoke with one of your representatives at the [United Soccer Coaches] Convention and she told me about the way that the shoe is made and how it fits the foot. And it's really more into the scientific approach to be able to actually elevate the play in how your feet are. Because for us, as football athletes, as Teqball athletes, I mean, I'm on my feet at a tech ball event for seven hours a day. I need the proper shoe. I'm playing matches. I could play anywhere from four to six matches that can last 30 to 40 minutes. I need the proper shoe to be able to make sure that I'm comfortable for the majority of the day. Anyone playing that much on their feet is going to naturally have some sort of soreness. And so I'm always looking for the right proper shoe, and so that is kind of what brought me to Ida.