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12th German Championships in Berlin: 36 teams, great atmosphere

36 teams joined us at the 12th German Jugger Championships in Berlin. Even Ireland came to the tournament, Team Setanta.

Being the biggest Jugger event ever held in history, the teams were divided into eight groups with games on five separate pitches. The main pitch was equipped with galleries for numerous spectators, with Jugger League flags flapping in the wind. Weather on Saturday was perfect, sunny, but not too hot, whereas there was some moderate rain on Sunday (the Irish brought their weather with them, thanks) - no reason to stop playing.

Setanta - Läufer
The Irish Qwik during the Special Irish Weather Game Setanta vs. Falco jugger. Photo: Susanne Serwe

When Grünanlagen Guerilla, Berlin, former Champion, challenged Rigor Mortis, also from Berlin, in the 300 stone finals, emotions rose high. A very energetic game was met by enthusiastic spectators with choruses and screams, a stunning atmosphere indeed. Finally, Rigor Mortis beat GAG and won the German Championships trophy back.

Some excellent pictures are shown at flickr. And here is a first glimpse at one of the other games held at the main pitch. More to come!

Cranium Hunters Lüneburg versus Hannoverian Living Undeads.

For a report in German, please refer to Uhus finest-assorted Weblog Droppings.

Local Berlin League

This spring, we start the local Berlin Jugger League. With the Berliner Juggerpokal, a tournament for local teams, being staged for the third time, we thought it might be the right time to have a local league as well. And it will be excellent training - for players as well as for referees.

Every week-end, a pair of teams takes part in a challenge. Each challenge consists of separate games.
Each game lasts until a team scores 7 points (no stone count limit).
The team winning 3 games has won the challenge.
The results uncover the further pairings.

Teams participating:
Skúll (TSV Rudow)
Lluchse (TSV Rudow)
Rigor Mortis (jugger e.V.)
BSR (jugger e.V.)
GAG (jugger e.V.)
Falco jugger (jugger e.V.)

The Falcones44, a project of the Albert-Schweitzer-School Neukölln (9th grade), will only participate in the Berliner Juggerpokal.

We also changed the rule for staying down for Berlin.
When hit, a player gets down on at least one knee, takes one hand from his Pompfe and starts counting with the hand behind his back. As soon as he has finished counting (5/8 stones) and lifts the knee from the ground, he is allowed to strike - since he first has to grab his pomfey, there is no need for the artificial "get-up-don't-hit-time" we had before.

Let's look how it works...

PS. Also the step-by-step pomfey making PDF (in German, but lots of pictures) has been updated.

1. German Open in Berlin: Green Surprise

The first German Open of "League Jugger" were held in Berlin at the 13th/14th of September. The weather was excellent, about thirty teams came and fought for the dog skull.

The biggest surprise happened in the finals. Rigor Mortis, unchallenged for years except by the old Hamburg team, was beaten in a stunning game against Grünanlagen Guerilla. A Golden Jugg finished the game after a 10:10 skulls draw at 300 stones. Grünanlagen Guerilla never won a tournament game against Rigor before, along with all other Jugger teams except Hamburg ... now, with a new chain from the former team KSJ, they rocked the house.

GAG-Siegesfeier / LLL
Photo: Liquid Eye / Susanne Serwe
More pictures

Along with the Irish, the Australians seemed to have a really great time - also they were quite intrigued by some national traditions:
"The captain of the Irish team displayed a great rapidity of verbal output as well as great pride in his undergarments which he insisted on displaying down the field (a display which was returned with pride by one of the German qwiks later in the day)."
Also great was the game Australia vs. Ireland, played by a combination of Oz and Èire rules. The Oz Redbacks played with great enthusiasm and loved to beat up a German national team by playing by their own rules: The skull in the center circle, stakes, doubles and hits to the elbows and knees do not count as hits - a very fast game with long sequences of pomfey fighting, very different to German style Jugger, and very fascinating! As Adam put it:
"the experience of more than 100 Juggers yelling that chant is somthing that will be with all of us for a very long time."

Mark, in Deckung von Simon

FINALLY: The first book on Jugger is available in English!


Addendum: The Jugger book is also available in Black & White print, at Lulu Marketplace, for small budgets. But be assured, the color print looks much, much better ...

After days and days of translating, layouting, picture-cmyking, typesetting, typesetting, typesetting and a lot of furious cursing, I managed to get the first book on Jugger translated - with loads of new, stunning action shots, a detailed pomfey making step-by-step guide (now with pictures as well) and news on the international section. Here we go: "Jugger. A post-apocalyptic sport for all occasions"!

Thanks to Adam Horsten of Jugging Brisbane who did a thorrough proofreading and who was a great help with Jugger terminology, the book may now be purchased at Lulu (it will be available via amazon as well soon, but it does not always have to be the big fish who gets the worm, should it?). Of course, it is not cheap - 110 pages in full-color print do cost a bit ... but this is not my fault, to avoid all suspicion: I am earning incredible 31 cent (as in "small change", not as in "percent") share per issue sold; except if you buy it directly at Lulu's, where I get a bit more. Bahamas, here I come!

I hope that the book may help a bit in spreading the fascination for this unique sport. It would be a pleasure to play versus
British (especially for the Irish, I assume ...), Canadian and US teams as well, and maybe even all the many others who might not be that proficient with German but with English.

Any publisher who is interested in printing this title may contact the German publisher, Verlag an der Ruhr (rights at verlagruhr dot de) for licensing. As soon as that happens, the title will no longer be available via the current printer, of course.

Ruben Philipp Wickenhäuser: Jugger. A post-apocalyptic sport for all occasions, Morrisville 2008, 29,95€, ISBN 13: 978-1-40922920-9 (soon to be applied) - details and ordering. Website support will be online soon.



Tech Tags:

Pompfen, boffers or weapons?

A question is rattling around El Uhus little brain for some time now. How should we specify the "weapon" we are using in Jugger?
Since a weapon is by itself a little (or big) nasty thingie to injure or to kill, that term might be used well to put gravel on the wild and anarchic aspect of Jugger. But it certainly doesn't fit to describe the stuff correctly.

At least in Germany, Jugger Pompfen are a type of padded "weapons", some designs not comparable to LARP weapons, while others, like Hamburgian/Heidelberg staffs, are also used at LARP events. Some designs are specifically made for high-speed sportive use and have their own tight safety regulations, measures and materials, based on years and years of experimenting and usage (for example, a Jugger Pompfe does not have blade-style applications or points). Nota bene: The term "Pompfe" is also used for LARP weapons as well.

In Germany, the term "Pompfe" has more or less won the race. It is told that it roots back to LARP events where it has been derived from the sound it makes at impact. For the English speaking world, it might be a bit unusual to pronounce. Or not? What do you think?

I stumbled across the term "boffer" for LARP weapons in the US (see corresponding entry in wikipedia: Foam weapon), which sounds great in English. So that could be a real alternative for international use.

It would be interesting to hear what Juggers think - which term fits best for Jugger "weapons" to describe their qualities best?

a.) (Jugger-) Pompfen,
b.) (Jugger-) Boffers,
c.) ... do you have a good idea?

Australia has also set up a poll related to this question.

Erstes deutschlandweites (Mehrbenutzer-) Jugger-Blog ist online!

Die Lüneburger möchten alle aktiven Jugger herzlich zur aktiven Teilnahme am neuen Jugger-Blog einladen, das kürzlich online gegangen ist. Dank einer redakteurbasierten Nutzerverwaltung (wie auch hier im internationalen Blog) können einmal angemeldete dort eigenständig Neuigkeiten schreiben.
Es findet sich dort schon ein Einblick in die geplante Trainingswoche im August.

Damit sind es nun drei in der Runde: Neben dem Jugger-Blog dieses hier für internationale Themen und mit der Jugger-Kategorie von Uhus finest-assorted Weblog Droppings das "älteste" seiner Art, das aufgrund der verwendeten lokalrechnerbasierten Software (Thingamablog) ein Einbenutzerblog ist.

Erste Turniertermine - German (and Irish) Tournament Dates

Here we go - quite a lot this year ... to be continued:

04.-06.04. Dún Laoghaire (Irland)
19./20.04. Berliner Juggerpokal
03./04.05 Schleswig-Holstein-Meisterschaft (Bad Oldesloe)
17./18.05. Niedersachsen-Meisterschaft (Lüneburg)
24./25.05. Badische Meisterschaft (Freiburg)
31.05./01.06. Jena (?)
06.-08.06. Lübeck
20.06. Bayrische Meisterschaft (Waidhaus)
05.-06.07. bzw. 12./13.07. Lippstadt (?)
??./??.08. Paderborn (?)
Ende 08. Hamburg (?)
13./14.09. Deutsche Meisterschaft (Berlin)