BETA ANTARES IV — The Interstellar Tetraball Federation has announced the addition of twelve new planetary teams and a new junior professional league to its organization for the 2394 season.
The sport, often simply called tetra, experienced an explosion in popularity last year, with the championship final game ranking among the most-watched sporting events of the year. The Interstellar Tetraball Federation (ITF), the sport’s governing body, has nearly doubled its number of active members.
“Last year was such an exciting time for the sport,” said ITF Publicity Chairperson Norem Kaam. “We were thrilled to see tetra take a new place of prominence among team sports in the quadrant.”
Tetraball was invented on Beta Antares IV in the 2360s, but it was not until the ITF was founded in 2383 that the sport began to gain interest on other planets. In 2392, eighteen planetary teams were selected to participate in the first professional league season.
For the uninitiated, the sport is played between two teams of fifteen players on a 45-meter square court, divided into 225 three-meter squares. The objective is to score a goal in each of the 225 squares, thereby claiming that square’s point value, while preventing the opposing team from doing the same. Teams start on opposite corners of the grid, and point values increase toward the middle of the court. A blank court has a total of 12,769 points up for grabs, and the game only ends when one team has claimed more than half of them–the so-called “magic target” of 6,385.
Norem Kaam and her colleagues on the ITF board of directors are highly optimistic about the 2394 tetraball season.
“We are thrilled to be expanding our professional organization to thirty teams in three leagues,” Kaam said, “giving more people on more planets the opportunity to get involved with this thrilling, fast-paced sport.”
The twelve incoming planetary teams–which include Andoria, Gideon, Rigel, and Trill–will compete in the new Beta League. The eighteen legacy teams will compete in the Premier and Alpha Leagues according to last season’s promotion and relegation rules.
Tetraball fans across the Federation were thrilled at the announcement, especially those on planets with incoming Beta League teams.
“I’m out of my mind!” said Orly Bulo, an infrastructure coordinator and tetra fan from Tendara. “We can’t wait to show up and support our team when the season starts. Tetra has become really popular here, I’m sure it’ll catch on even more thanks to the league expansion.”
The heart-stopping 2393 championship final was held on Delta IV last August and saw Earth defeat Bajor by 6,415|123 to 5,941|97, with only five squares left unclaimed. The playoffs also saw Casperia Prime, New France, and Risa rewarded with promotion, while Betazed, Caldos IV, and Terra Nova were relegated.
“It’s definitely a good thing for the sport,” said Earth’s team captain Ron Wu, recipient of last season’s Golden Grid Award for Most Valuable Player. “There are so many good tetraballers out there that will get an opportunity to play now. And an opportunity for tetra to attract a lot of new fans.”
All 30 teams are currently in training, with opening day scheduled for late next month.
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