Believe it or not, Jugger is a sport inspired by the 1989 film The Salute of the Jugger, also released as The Blood oh Heroes in the United States, in which a game of the same name is played. And it all started with a group of German fans of the movie who decide to start to play the game, but the last international championship in September counted with 77 teams from all the world.
The film version was invented by the film’s writer-director, David Webb Peoples, most common know for be one of the writers of the famous film Blade Runner. In the film, the game is played by wandering teams who go to the towns, that hardly survive in the wasteland world, and challenge the local team. If they win, they get a tribute from the town. All the film moves around this game which it is brutal and bloody. Soo a group of friends in 1995 saw the movie and decide to play the game, of course in a safer way, they created a set of rules and all the equipment by their self.
About the rules, the jugger it is a mixed-gender 5 vs 5 game with elements from rugby and fencing. The objective is to score more point that the opposite team, to score a point you need to introduce de ball, also call Jugg, in the opposite base. In the film the Jugg is a Skull of a Dog, and actually the ball is still made with a skull shape somehow. We can divide the players in three different positions. The first one it is the Qwik, or Runner, it is the only one who is unarmed, can touch the ball with their hands and can score a point. The seconds are the Pompfers, they are armed with sticks, their mission it is to protect their Qwik. They may handle the Jugg with their stick, but not score a point. The last one it is the Kette, also known as Chain, it is armed with a 3 meters long chain with a soft ball attached at the end. The chain has some different rules than the pompfers, but same objective. The sticks have a stiff and flexible core, usually made of bamboo, that are covered with foam, so they are harmless. In every tournament the sticks pass a rigorous test to secure the safety of all the players. In the game when you are hit but one of the sticks or the ball of the chain, you need to kneel a number of stones, which you can usually hear from a speaker. It is call stones because in the film the time it is marked by a person throwing stone to a gong.
Speaking from my experience, I am very grateful from the day when one of my best friends told me: “Hey, Daniel, I want to start to practice a sport you would may like. Do you want to try play jugger? Thanks to the Jugger I decide to be healthier and become stronger. I have met a lot of lovely people who share their love and enthusiasm for this sport like me. I have travelled to new places just to play Jugger and I will. And right now, one of the things that I miss more from Spain, it is to train Jugger every weekend with my team and all the others payers. I am very proud to started to play seven peoples in a park four or five years ago, and now we are around thirty people playing in the same park. Also, I am proud that the winners of the last international championship, it was the team Fellowship, a Spanish team.
What about you? Do you want to try jugger?