Crazy Swiss Sport
One of the world’s strangest sports is in Switzerland. It is a national sport and has been around since the 16th century. Although Stone Tossing is also unusual and a national and famous sport, this other sport, is simply wild.
Played with a 79g “Nouss” which is short for Hornouss and translates as hornet in Swiss German. It is like an air dynamic ‘puck’ from hard plastic and this sport is very aerobic.
It’s called, Hornussen. Most Swiss people have never visited a game. It is played in only a few Cantons, of which Bern is one and there several clubs in the Interlaken and Thun area and played by all ages. (https://www.hornusserthun.ch/)
Played with two teams, it is a little like a cross between cricket and golf. While the whole of the defensive team side will field the puck, there will be only a few active players as hitters on the offensive team. The hitters use a golf club like long flexi stick and the hitters must hit the Nouss as far as they can over the field. As the Nouss drops, the defending team use their “Schoufels” to prevent the black plastic from touching the ground. The defensive team run hard to prevent the hitter from scoring.
Hopefully this “Farmers’ golf” sport is gaining more popularity since Red Bull made a hitter’s distance event in 2014 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWiRphS6sIg
More detail on the traditional game can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdIHOV6VGNU
It makes a really great day out, usually played on either Saturday or Sunday from March through to end September. Watching the teams striving to stop this hornet flying toward them with the clattering of their ‘shields’ is like a glimpse into medieval days. The hornet speeds at around 300km/hr so making the defending team use their shovel like defence equipment like a shield and to run hard. The hitters require strength and their own spine must be fit and flexible to make a power filled hit. Even the Swiss novelist, Jeremias Gotthelf said of this game in 1840, "There is no game that requires so much strength, agility and coordination between hand, foot and eye as Hornuss."
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