Jugging (also known as Jugger) is often described as "medieval style football." It utilizes padded safety equipment (our normal gear), two teams, a ball (known as the "skull"), and two goals. A gong, drum, or other way of keeping a beat is utilized to count time (known as "stones").
As a sports-game, there are no abilities or classes used; just two teams of fighters, their weapons, and the skull. Armor does not count (though you may wear it if for some reason you want to).
There are five positions per team, with an additional two alternates allowed. While variations exist, the basic positions are:
- Quick: armed only with a dagger, the Quick is the only position which can deliberately touch the Skull.
- Chain: the chain is generally armed with dual flails. Depending on host, sometimes a jugger chain is utilized.
- Shield: armed with sword/club and a non-tower shield
- Heavy: armed with a two-handed weapon (such as spear, glaive, or great sword)
- Slash: armed with two swords or clubs
At it's core, the standard rules of Dargarth are used (hit locations, hit calibration, etc). Exceptions are noted below.
The "official" Dargarth jugging rules can be found here, though it should be noted that these rules are somewhat outdated, normally modified in some fashion (such as shorter counts for Death/Wounding/Stunned, and using chains instead of flails).
Standard Dargarthian rules of play include:
- players must take a knee when leg is hit (no posting in jugging)
- players (aside from the Quick) start on their goal line
- players may not move until one of the Quicks touches the Skull
- the Heavy cannot cross the half-court line
Field & Periods
The field is generally 100ft long by 50ft wide (though this is normally eyeballed during casual play, or established pre-existing boundaries are used, such as walls in an indoor game).
Each period consists of 100 "stones," with each "stone" lasting approximately 2 seconds. The game continues until a given score is achieved. The most common score is 5pts, but tournament games have been known to be played to 3 pts. If two periods finish with neither team scoring the three to five points, the team who is ahead at the end declared as the winner. In the event of a tie one additional period is played, with the first team who scores declared as the winner.
After an period the players switch sides of the field. Alternates may be subbed in after a point is scored, or at the end of an inning (or in the event of an injury).
Sometimes variations to the rules are used. If used, they will be announced in advance.
- two slashes per team, in place of a chain and a slash (because of the common lack of flails)
- the heavy may cross the half-court line
- the heavy can shield break (if wielding a red)
- a circle in the middle of the field; only the Quicks may enter the circle until the skull is removed
- Quicks may not take daggers into the center circle at round start
The official Dargarth jugging tournament is known as the Skullbowl. It is a yearly event which has so far been held in the winter, though Dargarth tends to jugg throughout the year (especially in the nice seasons) and at events such as All's Faire.
Jugging was first introduced in the movie The Blood of Heroes. Since then it has spread across the world in several independent movements. In Europe and Australia actual amateur sport leagues exist, while in America the sport as become popular with medieval combat and LARP organizations, most notably Amtgard, though other groups such as Belegarth and the SCA also occasionally participate.
Here are some clips of Dargarth jugging tournaments in the past.
- 2014 Skullbowl III tournament
- 2014 Goal-cam footage (POV, very neat!)
- 2013 Skullbowl clip (1:32-2:25)
- 2012 Skullbowl I, aka the "Mudbowl"
A few other random clips of jugging can be found on the Dargarth Youtube page