Saturday, May 12, 2012

A GREAT Day for a Game of Swiss Hornusser


Omens everywhere, less than 3 weeks now!

Friday was a good day to look at more Geneva Seahawks video before going to a very upbeat Senior team workout. Spirits ran high despite our lopsided loss last Sunday. If nothing else, the Tigers are resilient.

The morning started with a trip into town for the usual daily supplies, but being a Saturday, there were farmer's market stalls all over the city like these in . . .

The Rathausplatz

I found and purchased some delicious speck and two types of quality cheeses on my walk about town today.

Yet another omen of the
impending arrival of my bride

She will like this stall I'm quite sure 

Lots of greens for sale of course 

After shopping, I had two possible plans to execute today. The first, weather permitting, was to use up my final Momma Sutter free pass gift for the funicular ride up the Niesen Mountain.

The weather was overcast and drizzily so it was on to Plan B, a short trip on the #4 bus to Kleine Allmend to watch my first ever traditional Swiss game of Hornusser.

Our beloved home team 

Our worthy opponents from Busswil

Hornusser is a Swiss farmer's game that combines elements of golf, baseball, snow shoveling and mayhem.

I like the mayhem part.

A lot.

"Home Plate" if you will 

"Bats" on the left, shovels on the right

Team Thun's pre-game huddle

Busswil's complement of oversized shovels

A Thun shovel marking 60 years
as a Hornusser Club, I suspect

As with all Euro Sports, one last
pre-game smoke is a must, a . . . 

BIG must 

The rain kept falling steadily thus delaying the 1:00 p.m. start for about 30 minutes. When the teams finally started to warm up, I decided to seek shelter until they were actually ready for play.

The Thun Hornusser Clubhouse 

It was dry and warm inside, served a much needed beverage and was festooned with interesting decorations like . . .

Horn Trumpets and . . . 

Cow Bells and . . . 

Commemorative Artwork 

Hornusser Weapons 

I'll call them "bats" for lack of a better term. The heavy wooden block at the bottom is what you use to smash a ball into outer space. The block is attached to a very flexible shaft that can complete most of a circle as the batter torques it around his body.

Sawdust to soak up the rainwater

Busswil on defense

Each player is armed with a shovel and a helmet. These first defenders are stationed about 175 yards from "home plate."

As I understand it, the team batting scores points based on how far they hit the ball between those white markers on the ground. If the defenders can hit the ball with their shovels before the ball hits the ground, the batter does not score.

To add to the excitement, defenders are allowed to throw their shovels in the air at the ball.

FUN!

Measuring his swing 

As you can see, Hornusser is a game for all ages and sexes.

Rearing Back, BE CAREFUL! 

"Coil and Uncoil" is the name of the game.

Total Concentration 

Youth Be Served

This youngster focuses on a spot behind "home plate" for as long as he can before actually swinging. 

WICKED Follow Through

Yet another chance to knock himself out as the batter spins using the "Hammer Thrower" style after contact.

Smoking his pipe as long as possible 

Quite a Majestic Backswing

He is going to hit the ball a good 200+ yards

Super Torqued Backswing

Note the movable foot pads.

Powerful Follow Through 

Big Gut 

For some strange reason, I wanted him to do well.

PULL IT THROUGH!!! 

This batter is REALLY digging in! 

Each batter is allowed to position the two foot pads to his liking usually involving precise measurements based on markings on his or her "bat."

Lots of lefties today

A litlle stiff on the Follow
Through if you ask me

Lets walk out to see the defenders'
teamwork more closely

UP!!!

Throw that shovel!!!

One defender's stance is . . . 

Different from another's

There goes another shovel! 

Rotational Power to the MAX!!!

O.K., time to see some action clips from today's game.

video
Thun Right Handed Slugger

The wind and rain were both really strong at this point.

video
And a Thun Lefty

They both use the "Overhead Twirl" style follow through as opposed to the "Hammer Thrower" style follow through that some of the younger Thun players like.

Note how, unlike their golf playing cousins, Hornusser players are hard to distract from their concentration on the ball and their swing.

video
Busswil Communicating on Defense

I was getting soaked and their was no sign of the inclement weather letting up. So, with a very important Thun Tiger game on Sunday, I opted to head home and get a bit warmer and much dryer!

I'm not as dumb as I look.

'CANES WIN, 'CANES WIN!!! 

GREAT news from Sweden as my old mates improved their record to 1-1 today be beating the Ekeby Greys 28-13 on the road! 

Cuban Creature Comforts

Time to relax and get ready because Sunday is . . .

GAME DAY!!!

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