What type of player will you get if you can combine the skills of top ranked players from table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis?
Will the top spins of Xu Xin, the net play of Kento Momota, the drop shots of Ali Farag and the service returns of Novac Djokovic combined, help create the ultimate player?
It is a moot question. But to find out if someone could fit the bill, head to Leipzig in Germany from November 20-24 for the Racketlon World Championships.
More than 450 racketlon specialists from around the world would be vying at the event dubbed as the Ironman of racket sports.
In Racketlon you play your opponent at table tennis, badminton, squash and then tennis. Each sport is played to 21 points and the player who scores the most points across all four sports wins the match.
Racketlon is said to have originated n Finland and Sweden although it was Sweden’s Peter Landbergh who was attributed to having patented the game in 1990.
Racketlon is more popular in the Europe, although Asian countries like India, Singapore and Hong Kong have started their own competitions.
Despite its slow growth outside of the Europe, Federation of International Racketlon (FIR) expanded their World Tour since 2016 to 23 events including an annual World Championships.
The current top player in the men’s singles is Denmark’s Morten Jaksland while the women’s top ranked player is Austrian Christine Seehofer, the most decorated female player of all time with five Women’s Doubles World titles, two Mixed Doubles, two Singles and two Teams titles.
To promote Racketlon, it’s tournaments have classes for all abilities and all ages, open to everyone to play: from beginners to elite players.
One set is played in each sport, in the order from the smallest to the biggest racket. Each of the four sets are played with running score to 21 points, with a margin of two points needed to finish a set. In team competitions, however, the individual matches are played to 11 points.
Each player serves two serves at a time, and except in table tennis, this is always one serve from the right side and one serve from the left side of the court. Lots are drawn to decide who starts serving in table tennis, and this player will also start serving in squash.
The winner of a racketlon match is the player or doubles pair who has won the most points in total. When a player leads a match with more points than there are points left for the opponent to obtain, the match is over.
If the score is tied after all four sports, a “gummiarm”-point is played. This is a single extra point played in tennis, with only one serve to start off the rally. Lots are drawn to decide the server, and the winner of this rally wins the entire match.
In doubles, the squash set is played individually. One player from each pair plays until someone reaches 11 points. From here, the rest of the game is finished by the two remaining players.