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Jugger - A Fictional Sport

Jugger is a sport inspired by the Australian-American movie “The Salute of the Jugger” (alternative title: The Blood of Heroes), starring Rutger Hauer and directed and written by David Webb Peoples.

The sport was originally invented for the movie. In the movie, the portrayal of Jugger is incredibly brutal. They used steel weapons and make-shift armor, and not surprisingly had serious injuries. Obviously only certain elements of the sport have been replicated for the real-life version of the game.

jugger athletesJugger is a brutal sport

The movie is about a blood sport called “The Game”, played in a post-apocalyptic future where the wars waged in the 20th century have left the world barren. Teams who wander the wastelands compete against each other for food and other necessities, aiming to become powerful enough to join “The League”. The League is a powerful team and an organization of juggers that live in luxury.

From Move to Real-Life

The transformation from a movie to a real sport first happened in Germany and Australia. In Germany, there are university and college teams with their own league. The sport has also surfaced in Ireland, England, Costa Rica, The Netherlands, Spain and Denmark, also some states in the US like Ohio, Wyoming and Oklahoma.

The first Jugger International Tournament was held on 20 May 2007 in Hamburg, Germany. The teams were the Irish Setanta and a couple of teams from Northern Germany.

By 2008, Ireland and Australia teams joined the German Open for the first two-continent tournament in Jugger.

The teams comprise five players - one Qwik and four Pompfen players. The Qwik is the only player who can carry the Skull and score points. 

They use equipment such as the skull (a ball that resembles a dog skull, made of foam and covered with latex), the stakes (a loop that is connected to the skull and looped over the stake to score / in other countries, a pyramid with the top cut off), a gong and 100 stones (to throw against the gong to keep time) and weapons that are quite similar to live-action role-playing weapons.

Australian and American weapons are quite similar to one another. These include a pole arm (150-180 cm), short swords (85 cm) and chain (320 cm) while German weapons include a staff (180 cm), long sword (140 cm) and chain (320 cm).  

The objective is for the team’s qwik to get the other team’s foam dog skull or jugg. The goal is to score more points than your opponents within a time limit. Tap a member of the opposing team with your spear and then they’re down, they will be forced to kneel and be out of play.

Both teams run towards the ball with four enforcers protecting the runner, helping to clear the way and get the ball and score. Striking other members to the head, hands or neck isn’t allowed.

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