This is the heavily anticipated first post about schleuderball. Since I’m pretty sure that there won’t be anybody (except for a select few people that I know) reading this that will have any idea what schleuderball is, this post will simply be a brief explanation of the game. I will include some pictures and a video, to help me out with showing you how this works. I will start with explaining the dimensions and layout of the field that the sport of schleuderball is played on as well as a description of the ball itself.
Let me start by saying that the first rule on the official American schleuderball website is “if it doesn’t hurt then you’re not doing it right.”
The ball is made of leather and it weighs 1.5 kilograms (or about 3.3 pounds) most commonly filled with cork, similar to that which a baseball is filled with. Attached to the ball is a leather strap, there is a picture of two schleuderballs above, on the right side of the page. The field is 100 meters long and 15 meters wide, and is broken into three sections. Two thirty-meter sections on the ends with a 40 meter section in the middle. At the ends of the 100 meters there are end zones that extend indefinitely. So the way that the field looks is demonstrated by the picture below, it’s not exactly in proportion to itself, but you should get the idea.
The game can be played with up to 8 people on each team. Though similar to basketball, football and other sports you can play pick-up games with less than the total of 16 people, such as 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and so on. The object of the game is to get the ball to land in the opponents end zone. The game starts with each team standing at their own 30. The team starting with the ball throws (schleuders) the ball from their 30, and the other team tries to stop the ball as soon as they can. As soon as the ball’s momentum is stopped, it is the second teams turn to throw. They then schleuder from the the new line of schleuder, which is where the balls momentum was stopped. Then this process continues to repeat itself. Each team has a throwing order, similar to a batting order in baseball, determining which player’s turn it is to schleuder when it’s his or her team’s turn to schleuder.
Now it gets really interesting when a player catches the ball. If Team A schleuders the ball and a player from Team B catches it then the player that caught the ball then gets to shock the ball. A shock is when a player throws the ball without using the strap. After the shock, it is still Team B’s turn to schleuder from where the shock was stopped. So essentially if a player catches a ball then that team gets two throws, the first being the shock by whoever caught the ball and the second being the schleuder where normal throwing order resumes. A shock itself can be caught and in term shocked back, but only three shocks can occur per schleuder, though this is a rare occurrence.
When a team gets the ball to land in bounds past the other teams goal-line, then they score one point, and they then start back at the 30, with the team getting scored on starting with the first throw. However if a team scores with a shock then they get two points, and this is known as a shock-point. There are quite a few other specifics to the rules, but hopefully this has given you a general idea of what it’s all about. To show you what the sport is like in action, I’m inserting this video that was put together by some German students here at KU. They were doing a class project and were assigned an area of German culture, and this group was supposed to put together a demonstration on the sports in Germany. With that said, you can watch the whole thing if you want to, but you don’t actually get to see schleuderball clips until you get about two minutes into it. Here it is: