Merging two sports into one isn’t all too uncommon, but some combinations are, lets be honest, a little more creative than others. Germany’s game of Headis, which was invented in 2006, is one of those creative ideas that fits in quite nicely with the country’s love of soccer.
Headis, a hybrid of ping pong and soccer, was created when the University of Saarbruecken soccer fields were occupied and sports science student, René Wegner, and his friend improvised heading the soccer ball back and forth at one of the available ping pong tables. Two years later the spur of the moment idea became an official part of the sports program at Saarbruecken.
The rules are fairly straight forward and similar in many ways to ping pong. Headis is played with a 7-inch, 100 gram rubber ball and passed back and forth using your head. Volleys and touching the table is allowed, often to get that game winning power play. A game is played in two sets of 11 points, with a 2 point lead needed to win the set.
Each year there are about 10 to 12 Headis tournaments that take place, involving men, women, and youth separately competing for their title.
Check out a recap of one of the latest tournaments that took place in Saarbruecken this past fall to get an idea of what Headis is all about.