Skip to content

Statements banning Tercios Españoles

After the discussion on the behaviour of a Spanish team has spread, here is a summary of the statements. This is the first time that a team is banned internationally from taking part in certain tournaments in Germany, Ireland, Sweden and the US.

There are official statements from Setanta Ireland Jugger Club, over 60 Juggers of Germany (and other countries), Jugger Vancouver and some individual voices of tournament organizers.
Of course, a statement of TE in the matter would be welcome here as well.

Click on "read more" for details.

Setanta Jugger Club, Ireland

Bottom line:

The Setanta Jugger Club met and held a special meeting concerning all our first hand interactions with Tercios Españoles over the past two years. We as a club have decided, after careful consideration, to ban Tercios Españoles (the Jugger club and its members, past, present and future) from all future Irish Jugger tournaments. This ban will last until a time that Tercios Españoles (the Jugger club and its members, past, present and future) begin to play in what we, as a club, perceive to be in the good natured spirit of fair play regarding Jugger.

Long version:
Dear All
This is an open letter to the world wide Jugger community concerning the Spanish Jugger team Tercios Españoles.
We, the members of Setanta Jugger Club, have interacted with Tercios Españoles on several occasions. Unfortunately none of these interactions have been what we as a club perceive to be in the good natured spirit of fair play which defines Jugger. We had heard of Tercios Españoles (TE) before we met them. We heard stories of their ties with fascism; of their unsporting nature and also that they are a very strong team. But we always reserve judgement to make our own decisions and come to our own conclusions by what we experience ourselves. Of course we listened to what our trusted friends tell us but, regardless of what was said, we judged TE by what we experienced first-hand over the past two years of interacting directly with them as individuals and as a team.

Zaragoza, April 2013:
Members of the Setanta Jugger Club formed a team called Tank Girls. This team wore black and luminous pink as part of their team kit. During the tournament several members of the Tank Girls were called homophobic comments by members of TE due to how the team was dressed. During one of the matches members of TE were the referees and proceeded to unfairly officiate this game against the Tank Girls, so much so that even the opposing team complained. The next day TE was banned from the tournament because a member of their supporters/off field players wore a fascist symbol. TE was told before the tournament that if they exhibited any fascist symbols that they would be banned from the tournament.
Later that year, Setanta Jugger Club held a special meeting to decide if TE would be allowed to join the next Irish International Jugger Tournament. We deliberated and heard testimony from players who had first-hand interaction with TE and decided to ban them from the next Irish tournament. But we sent a message to TE stating that if they changed their ways, if they played with the spirit of fair play then we would gladly invite them to the next Irish tournament.

Jugger DM/WM Villingen 2014:
Setanta played against TE on the first day of the tournament. We found that TE had a complete disregard for safety during this match. We felt that TE were exploiting loopholes in the current Jugger rules to their unfair advantage. That they relied on compassionate and inconsistent refereeing to get away with persistent foul play and rule breaking. There were numerous fouls performed with unnecessary roughness, and resulted in players getting hurt and injured. One of our players required treatment by the paramedics and only continued playing in the tournament while taking painkillers. This injury still troubles our club member. This particular incident was treated with a complete lack of concern or care by the TE players who, rather than apologize, tried to dismiss it as not their fault. They made claims that this was a legitimate way to play and that the fault actually laid with the Setanta player. The incident was caused by a completely illegal movement on TE’s part, in which their player ran at top speed straight into the Setanta player, making contact, knocking the Setanta player down and injuring the player. During this match TE demonstrated a complete lack of regard for safety, a lack of regard for the rules of Jugger and a lack of regard for even common courtesy. There were numerous incidents in this match and other matches where they ignored hits and continued playing. They performed their own hits with unnecessary force including full force strikes against opponents who were already down on one knee and out of play. We spoke to several teams who had played against them after the first day of the tournament. All of these teams had complaints regarding their poor sportsmanship, disrespectful attitude towards the rules of the game and poor conduct on the pitch in general. It was only after an ultimatum was delivered by the tournament organizers that they would be banned for further breaches that there was any improvement in their behaviour.
Setanta Jugger Club Response:
The Setanta Jugger Club met and held a special meeting concerning all our first hand interactions with Tercios Españoles over the past two years. We as a club have decided, after careful consideration, to ban Tercios Españoles (the Jugger club and its members, past, present and future) from all future Irish Jugger tournaments. This ban will last until a time that Tercios Españoles (the Jugger club and its members, past, present and future) begin to play in what we, as a club, perceive to be in the good natured spirit of fair play regarding Jugger.
We as a club have a great respect and love for Spanish Jugger and players. We will continue to travel and compete in Spain if invited. We would like to compete in future Spanish Tournaments, even if TE are playing, but it should be noted that we as a club or individuals associated with Setanta Jugger Club will not play against Tercios Españoles nor will we referee or allow to be refereed by Tercios Españoles club members.
As a club, we will review our current rule set to make them stronger against teams who wish to bend and exploit them to their will. We also have proposed to form a refereeing course that every member of the club must take to create experienced, strong and fair Jugger referees.
We also encourage other teams and tournaments to make a stand against such blatant disregard for the spirit of fair play in order to preserve the qualities that have made Jugger into the wonderful sport it is today. We view this not as an aggressive move to punish Tercios Españoles as much as possible but, instead, as a way to show TE just how different their sporting philosophy is from our own. We hope that our stance will make them and their supporters in Spain question why Setanta Jugger club has taken such a strong position and that they will examine their behaviour and become a better fairer team.
Setanta Jugger Club

Jugger Germany with 58 signees:

"Wir, die Unterzeichner dieser Stellungnahme, sind der Auffassung, dass die Sportart Jugger nur unter dem Konsens der Fairness funktioniert. Nur so ist es möglich, Fehler im Spiel als unbeabsichtigt anzuerkennen und als Schiedsrichter lediglich moderierend auf die Spieler einwirken zu müssen. Schiedsrichtern ist es nicht in ausreichender Form möglich, das gesamte Spielgeschehen inklusive knappen Doppel- oder Streiftreffern zu überblicken. Daher haben sie eine eher unterstützende Rolle inne.

Uns ist bewusst, dass es gerade im Jugger leicht zu Diskussionen und Meinungsverschiedenheiten kommen kann. Das Ausmaß des Üblichen wurde auf der DM in Villingen Schwenningen jedoch bei Weitem überschritten. Gemäß der Beobachtung zahlreicher erfahrener sowie neuer Spielerinnen und Spieler hat Tercios Españoles bewusst die Prinzipien einer fairen Spielweise missachtet. Das Team musste mittels Androhung des Turnierausschlusses sowie mittels massiver Schiedsrichterüberwachung gezwungen werden, sich wenigstens weitgehend an die Spielregeln zu halten.
Wir akzeptieren ein derartiges Verhalten nicht. Daher sind wir nicht bereit, Personen an unserem Sport Teil haben zu lassen, die massive Regelbrüche oder gar die Verletzung anderer Spieler billigend in Kauf nehmen. Eine solche Spielweise widerspricht dem Geist des Jugger. Wer einen solchen Sport betreiben will, der soll das ohne uns tun.

Als Konsequenz werden wir zukünftig Tercios Españoles sowie damit assoziierte Spieler auf von uns organisierten Turnieren nicht zulassen und bei anderen Turnieren nicht gegen sie antreten."

We, the signatories of this statement, are of the opinion that we unite under the consensus of fairness in the sport Jugger. Only thus it is possible to recognize errors in the game as unintentional and, as a referee, to merely have a moderating role on the players. It is not sufficiently possible for referees to have a clear conception of the entire complex gameplay, including scarce double hits or glancing blows. Therefore, they hold a rather supporting role.

We are aware that, especially in Jugger, we frequently encounter arguments and disagreements. However, certain incidents in the course of the German Championship in Villingen Schwenningen exceeded the threshold of what can still be considered fair in Jugger. According to the observation of many players, experienced and new, Tercios Españoles have deliberately violated the principles of fair play. The team had to be forced to abide by the rules by threatening to exclude them from the tournament as well as by applying an extensive referee monitoring.

We do not accept such behavior. Therefore, we are not willing to let people take part in our sport who massively violate Jugger rules and even show a reckless disregard for the health of other players. Such play is contrary to the spirit of Jugger. Whoever wants to practice a sport with these techniques will need to do it without us.

Consequently, in future we will not permit Tercios Españoles and associated players to take part in tournaments we organize. Moreover, we will not compete against them in any other tournaments.

Nosotros, los firmantes de este documento, somos del parecer, que el deporte Jugger sólo puede funcionar bajo el consenso del juego limpio. Sólo así es posible el poder reconocer errores en el juego como involuntarios y que el árbitro sólo tenga un efecto moderador sobre los jugadores. No es posible para el árbitro el poder controlar todo lo ocurrido en el campo, incluyendo golpes dobles o roces. Es por ello, por lo que su papel es más bien de apoyo.

Somos conscientes, de que actualmente es fácil llegar a discusiones o malentendidos con el Jugger. La magnitud o alcance de éstas fueron en muchos casos excesivos. Tanto jugadores experimentados como nuevos jugadores/as han estado de acuerdo en que Tercios Españoles han ignorado de manera consciente los principios del juego limpio. El equipo fue obligado a respetar las reglas mediante amenazas de expulsión del torneo y mediante la vigilancia masiva del árbitro.

Nosotros no aceptamos este tipo de comportamiento. Por ello, no estamos preparados a permitir la participación en nuestro deporte a aquellas personas que cometen infracciones continuamente o ser condescendientes con las lesiones intencionadas a otros jugadores. Esta manera de jugar es totalmente contraria al espíritu del Jugger. Aquellos que quieran practicar el deporte de esta manera, deberán hacerlo sin nosotros.

A consecuencia de esto, no permitiremos la participación futura de Tercios Españoles así como de jugadores asociados en torneos organizados por nosotros. De la misma manera, nos negaremos a competir contra ellos en otros torneos." Jugger-Forum (PDF download)

Jugger Vancouver

"It is the feeling of Jugger Vancouver, that the team and players (past, present and future) of the Spanish Tercios team are banned from all Jugger events hosted by or in conjunction with Jugger Vancouver. All of the news we have heard from the recent Villingen tournament and from the Setanta Jugger Club in Dublin, Ireland, has cemented our opinion. All of our members aim to travel abroad to Europe in the future to compete, but none of us wish to compete against a team that plays as they do. We sincerely hope that the worldwide Jugger community stands together against this kind of behaviour. Jugger is first and foremost about fair play and fun, and all reports indicate that this team does not play with those same values. This decision may be revisited in the future if the team in question strives to turn their reputation around. Fair play and respect can rebuild a broken reputation. Jugger in Vancouver is comprised of local players and players from Ireland, many of whom have first hand experience with the team and people in question." -- on Jugger Worldwide on Facebook.

Individual voices of tournament organizers


From the US on facebook:
Seamus, thank you so much for the article. You have changed my mind 100% and I will decidedly not be playing in ever our own tournament if they come to play. That kind of malicious intent is unacceptable. Holy Shit. I still believe we need a little more structure to deal with future incidents, but I swear, the Tercios will not be visiting the US.

Grünanlagen Guerilla (GAG) Berlin

From the org-forum
"Firstly, we want to say that we have no problem with the physical intensity of our game against Tercios: if a team wants to play a hard, fair game, we're the last to complain about that.
Which leads us to our problem: Tercios played a hard game, but not a fair one by any measure. Our impression: TE will reclaim points and cheat at any shitting opportunity, and do this preemptively, meaning they play a discussion-based Jugger that may have existed in Germany at some time, but has fortunately changed into our current mode, a healthy combination of personal and team responsibility and fairness with as much referee support as possible. And this is what we criticise: Tercios never used the German rulebook, which is founded on consent, as orientation for their mode of play. Certain comments on certain blogs are supportive of the suspicion that this was premeditated.

[translator's comment: I'd personally say as much ref support as necessary, but as little as possible, because the responsibility and fairness should require no ref support.]

As for the intensity: contrary to their claims, we started playing as we always do. After 3-4 rounds, when we noticed that Tercios were having difficulties perceiving our hits on them, we saw ourselves forced to place our hits with more certainty, meaning harder. We also decided to place safety hits to prevent ignoring. Ironically, Tercios were playing very hard from the first round, but refused us a replay during the game, because we were "playing too hard."

Repeatedly, Tercios would ignore our shouts of "double" for a moment, hit one or two extra players and then kneel down.

As Beff's experience confirms, another well-working scheme used by Tercios is to complain hysterically after being hit (in Spanish, of course, so that no one who doesn't understand it has any clue what's going on), thus making the opponent halt or distracting them long enough for another Tercios to sneak a hit on them. This is technically legal, but refutes the consent of fairness and sportsmanship.

People have asked why we did not forfeit the game. In principle, we would. We have clear procedure for these situations, because we have encountered them in the past. But when we cancel games, we intend to make our opponents reflect their game and realise why cancelling was necessary. We all agreed that this effect was unrealistic, so forfeiting was pointless. That's why we decided to continue playing.

It's also important to mention that Tercios' games on Saturday (vs Zonenkinder, Setanta, Grünanlagen Guerilla) are not comparable to their Sunday games (vs Mainzer Marodeure, Die Leere Menge, Rigor Mortis.) The above-average number of referees distorted the setting (and also cleared up the bigger picture by proving that Tercios are able to play fair when in danger of being sanctioned.)

We agree with Moritz that playing like this can and should be sanctioned - however, it would have been the authority of a "Superreferee" at the tournament. The increasing of referees and the ultimatum were a form of sanction, but definitely a bad one, in our opinion, because it was a punishment that was easy for Tercios to accept, and that made all further actions legitimate, as they occured under supervision of the organisers.

We do not condone this mode of playing and don't want to feed it. Therefore, we will not be playing against Tercios Espanoles in the near future."


A tournament organizer at the Jugger-Forum:
"Das Team Tercios (oder eventueller Umbenennungen) ist auf unseren schwedischen Turnieren nicht willkommen*, solange ich dort etwas zu melden habe.
Und solange sie sich nicht nachhaltig und nachweislich (sehr) geändert haben ..."


A tournament organizer at the org-Forum:
"Das Team Tercios E. (oder eventueller Umbenennungen) ist auf einem von den Problemkinder organisiertes Turnier nicht willkommen und auch nicht geduldet, solange ich dort etwas zu melden habe."


No Trackbacks


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Gravatar, Pavatar, Favatar, MyBlogLog, Pavatar author images supported.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

Form options

Submitted comments will be subject to moderation before being displayed.