Teqvoly at Hajraa outdoor tournament

Although the Hajraa Buitentoernooi (‘Buto’) – as you know the biggest grass volleyball tournament in the world – does draw inspiration from its 42 previous editions, it will also have a new feature this year. All teqvoly tables available in the Netherlands will be set up next to the match courts, to be used freely by the volleyball players. There will also be seventy new signs and a unique Hajraa song written for the occasion. The prep week is in full swing and the Hajranen are taking the Volleywood theme and running with it.

photo Hajraa Buitentoernooi 2022

Among the thousands of participants representing five hundred teams, there won’t be many who’ve had the chance to try their hands at teqvoly. There are only four tables in the Netherlands on which this combination of table tennis and volleyball can be played. The table is curved, a team consists of two people and the volleyball rule book is used. All four tables will be set up on the astroturf fields at the Student Sports Center from 16 thru 18 June.

These special circumstances are thanks to committee member Sanne van de Ven. “She’s had to make a lot of calls and send a lot of emails to the originally Hungarian organizers of this sports, which is rapidly gaining popularity (especially in the US). But she managed to convince them to let us borrow the two tables from Aalsmeer and the two from Sliedrecht,” says Industrial Design student and chair of the 2023 Hajraa Buto committee Marit van den Tempel.


On the last Sunday before the prep week, the board decides which of the hundreds of signs displaying vital and/or humorous information around the campsite, the courts and the party locations can stay and which ones will be given a white coat so they can be used again. “Every year there’s a new theme and everything has to be in keeping with that of course. We’ll be overhauling seventy signs this week. They’ll be adorned with lots of stars, because the theme is Volleywood.”

“The theme was chosen after we had a good laugh about the typo made by the Hajraa board (“or at the printer’s”) on the promotional shirts. These T-shirts showing the date of the tournament are worn by members throughout the year. This year it says ‘vollybal’. “ ‘Just like in Hollywood,’ someone said and that quickly led to Volleywood,” says PR coordinator and Fontys student Nynke den Biggelaar.      

Praying for good weather

Another quirky tradition is the organizers’ donation of a basket of sausage and cheese to ‘professional’ worshippers in order to ensure good weather. The original beneficiaries were the Eindhoven nuns, who were succeeded by Brother Wigbert of the Our Lady of Koningshoeve Abbey in Moergestel. “We want to avoid a worst case scenario,” Van den Tempel says. “No rain or thunderstorms, but we could also do without last year’s heat. The nine of us already visited and prayed at St. Mary’s Chapel. We lit a candle, observed a minute of silence and sacrificed a package of sausage and cheese. After that, we had a La Trappe beer at the outdoors café. Brother Wigbert wished us a great time.”


Last year, Hajraa received a huge surprise from its sister association in Leiden. Student volleyball club SKC Leiden had composed a song especially for the Hajraa tournament, called Hard op Hajraa (loosely translated: all out at Hajraa). This year, music committee SKC Mineur came to Eindhoven to collect input for a new song, Volleywood. It incorporates the theme, as well as some quotes captured on video during the previous tournament, and is already available on Spotify. “It’s a real party anthem. We’ll play it all the time at the campsite and we’ll try to put the makers in the spotlight at some point.”

Lower net

The organizers will make sure to have all hundred courts ready by Wednesday, with lower nets at first. “It would be a pity for the courts not to be used yet, so we invited kids who attend Korein day-care center to a few volleyball workshops. Social involvement is important to Hajraa and entertaining the kids gives us a lot of energy,” Den Biggelaar says. “Many Hajraa members will pause their studies for a week and a half when the tournament is on. That requires moving up deadlines and working like crazy in the weeks preceding Buto,” says Van den Tempel. Just like the eight other Buto committee members, she’s been busy organizing since November.

Red carpet

“All two hundred volunteers will get a chance to shine, in a way that’s entirely fitting with the theme. Our slogan is ‘Come with us to the walk of shame’ and we are creating a big canvas and getting all of our volunteers to put their hand prints on it with paint, transforming it into a ‘wall of fame’. There will also be a red carpet, red drapes everywhere and a photobooth to completely capture the theme. We’re almost ready for the 43rd tournament. Let the volleyball, but also the dancing at the campsite party, begin,” says Den Biggelaar.

A little painting given to Hajraa by the Eindhoven nuns when they permanently left the monastery is traditionally brought to the tournament by the Buto chair. It depicts a nun. Van den Tempel: “I’ll put her in front of a window facing outward at our headquarters, which is the Rust Roest cafeteria at sports facility De Hondsheuvels. With her watching over the courts, everything will be okay.”

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