What is Jugger?
Jugger is a uni-sex field sport that is played between two teams of eight players on a 40m x 20m pitch. Only five players from each team are allowed on the pitch while a match is in progress. The other three players are rolling substitutes. The object of the game is to score as many points as possible in two halved match, 100 stones per half (1 stone = 1.5 seconds). To do this the ball( a rubber dogs skull) is placed in either teams goal. One goal equals one point. If both teams are tied after 100 stones then the match goes to the Golden Skull in which the game continues until one team scores.
Four of the five active players carry different types of padded weapons which they try to touch the opposition on valid hit zones. A valid hit zone is anywhere on the body except the head and neck. If a player is touched on a valid hit zone they must drop their weapon, go down on one knee and are out of the match for a short period of time. Either five or eight stones depending on the weapon that the player was hit with. The fifth player is the Qwick or Runner, this player has no weapon. They are the only player though who is allowed to hold possession of the ball and score in the oppositions goal. The Qwicks are allowed to rugby tackle each other and some light grappling.
History of Jugger
Jugger is a sport that was inspired by the 1989 movie The Salute to the Jugger, released in the USA as The Blood of Heroes. The writer/director David Webb Peoples invented Jugger especially for the movie. His idea was to create a sport that would be the ultimate team sport. A sport that every player way vitally important not just a few superstar players. But every member of the team. The original transformation of the game into a real sport happened in two places independently, in Germany and in Australia in the early 1990’s.
Jugger as a sport is gaining popularity in Germany, especially with university and college teams, with its own league. There are teams in Australia, Ireland, England, Denmark, Canada, Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, France, Italy, Czech Rep, Austria and The Netherlands. A couple of variations of the sport are played in the USA. Some follow the International version (IE: Germany, Ireland etc.) while others use a model that more closely resembles The Game that is played in the movie.
The first ever Jugger international tournament took place in Hamburg, Germany on 20 May 2007 between the Irish team Setanta and a number of the Northern German teams. In 2008, Australia and Ireland came to Germany to take part in the 1st German Open, the first two-continent tournament in Jugger.
The complete rules are given in Jugger Ireland Rulebook 2018
Each goal is placed 1.8m from the baseline along the centre longitudinal axis of the field.
A goal is a mound of foam with a hole in the centre for the Skull to be placed inside.
This weapon is 200 cm in length with a maximum of 60 cm of striking surface for Q-tip on each end of the weapon.
This weapon is 140 cm in length with a maximum of 100 cm of striking surface.
This weapon is 180 cm in length with 2 sections for hand grips. The length of the middle grip and the hitting surface is 110 cm. Between the grips is a blocking area of padding that is not a striking surface. This blocking surface also prevents one hand sliding back to lengthen the “reach” of the Staff. You are not allowed to stab with this weapon.
Sword and Shield
Shortswords are a maximum of 85 cm in length with a maximum of 65 cm striking surface. These can be used in combination with the shield, or in pairs.
Shields are a maximum of 60 cm in diameter (not necessarily round).
The total length of the chain is 320 cm. The ball used is a soft foam ball.
The rest of the length can be all chain and a handle.
Two hands are needed to wield this at all times for the strike to be valid.