Jugger: the sport played with weapons and a skull

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Jugger, although a relatively unknown sport outside of Germany and Australia, is inspired by the movie The Salute of the Jugger. The sport imitates the general structure of most ball sports, but with a twist: it’s played with a skull, known as the “jugg”, and weapons (both of which are fake, of course!)

The main objective of the game is to score as many points as possible on the other team while minimizing the number of points scored on yours. In order to score points, your team must get the skull into the mound (a hollow frustum), which are very similar to the ball and net/basket in other ball sports. Teams are composed of eight players but only five are allowed on the field at a time, allowing for up to three substitutes. Four of the five players wield foam weapons and are called the “enforcers” and one unarmed player is called the “Qwik” (pronounced “quick”). The Qwik is the only person on the team who is allowed to touch the skull while the enforcers must handle the skull with their weapons.

Timekeeping is done by drumbeats or a gong and stones. Each match is three periods long, while a period is measured in the time it takes to throw 100 stones at the gong (or make  100 drumbeats). Enforcers may disable their counterparts on the opposing team. By tagging an opposing team members with their weapons, those who are hit stay down (ie. take a knee) for an agreed-upon number of stones. Although the rules are different for different regions, generally someone who is hit will stay down for five to eight stones.

The weapons that the enforcers are equipped with will also vary by region, but in general, weapon choices include a staff, q-tip, long sword, short sword and shield, and a chain. With the exception of the chain, there may be duplicate weapons within a team. Specifications for weapons also differ with region.

There currently is no Jugger league or club available at UW. If this seems like a sport that would interest you, starting a sports club is as simple as talking to the Sports Club Coordinator.

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