News 01.10.2015 00:00

History of futnet in Slovakia, Part I (1945-1974)

Futnet came to Slovakia from the Czech Republic where it dates back to 1922 and where at that time it was popularly known as futbal cez šnúru or “football over the rope”.

It was brought to Slovakia after the war, in 1945, by Prague footballers who used to come to the famous spa town of Piešťany for spa treatment. While there, they would spend lots of their free time at the volleyball court of the outdoor swimming pool, enjoying the “game over the rope”. Gradually they were joined by local water polo players and swimmers who very quickly got the hang of the game.

Later on, the owner of a local leather shop, Štefan Bartovic, made the first futnet net, 30-40 cm wide, fastened onto the poles with rubber bands. He was even an active player himself until the age of 75 and he can be considered the founder of futnet in Slovakia.

58

Miloš Fabian

Another famous futnet place was the town of Martin, again thanks to Czech players. In 1963, a municipal league was founded in the town of Piešťany by Miloš Fabian and the first match between two towns – Piešťany and Martin – took place.

This year, 1963, could be considered the official beginning of futnet in Slovakia. Here we should mention names such as Bartovic, Fabián and Stankovský from Piešťany and Mazal and Sobek from Martin whose efforts were aimed at creating an organised futnet movement in Slovakia.  

Futnet in Slovakia was spread above all by youth organisations which organised Slovak as well as Czechoslovak tournaments, especially in late 1960s. In 1968 an unofficial, but regular Moravian-Slovak league started, with the participation of the Slovak teams from Piešťany and Martin. The first year was won by a Moravian team, but the following two, 1969 and 1970, were won by Piešťany.

Finally, in 1973, a futnet Commission at Slovak Central Committee of Czechoslovak Sports Association (Komisia nohejbalu pri SÚV ČSZTV) was set up which started to manage first official competition – I Slovak National Futnet League (I. Slovenská národná nohejbalová liga) with 6 teams.

In 1973, first official friendly match between Slovakia and the Czech Republic took place, resulting in a clear victory for the Czech team.