Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random sport: Hornussen

By: David Hicks

There are plenty of crazy sports that don’t seem like a good idea to do and plenty more that are not safe to do. This is one of those games. Hornussen originated from the sheep fields of Switzerland. Shepherds wanted a game that was fun, a cardio work out, and required a lot of people to play to create camaraderie with the other shepherds. Herding is a long and lonely job taken place in the fields away from towns. So, when given a chance they wanted to play, and that is how this game came into existence. It’s been around since the 1600 and is now apart of the Swiss leagues and tournament that are popular today.

This game is much like tee-ball and hockey mixed in with the strength and iron wits. A puck or hurnuss is put on top of a ramp and is stuck there with a special type of clay. The hurnuss is hit by a whipping type stick with a wooden solid cylinder attached at the end. Each player gets two hits each and the velocity of the hurnuss reaches up to 300 km/h, which is approximately 184 mi/h. The score of the hit is related to the distance on how far the puck gets from the ramp.

The fun part is that you are not just hitting it and waiting for it to land; you have a group of people, or another team, trying to bat your ball down. A team holding schindels, or sticks with a catching board on it, tries to throw the schindels up in the air to hit and knock the puck down. Once every person on the team has hit twice, the teams switch and the hitting team becomes the defensive team.

These players must really be crazy. Even if there have been about two cases a year of injuries occurring, you still have a plausible chance to lose an eye. This is a sport of true courage and just being able to gut it out and conquer your natural fear. So if you ever want to have a rush and play baseball at the same time, get some buddies and play hornussen, because you are guaranteed a giant dose of crazy to spice up the rest of your day.

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