(Yes, pun intended.)
It was late August 2017 when I first got introduced to something that should be turning out to become a new passion of mine.
Some friends and I were playing table tennis at Gerberbruch when the table next to us was occupied by some other guys. They quickly drew our attention when they started playing a strange combination of ping pong with the header technique from soccer. Since we couldn’t hide our amazement, they soon asked us if we wanted to try it ourselves. My friends weren’t as eager as I was, so I said, “yes, I would love to”, and started to play, which surprisingly turned out to be not even as complicated as I had imagined it to be.
You had to hit the ball, which is a handball-ish size softball about a 100 grams of weight, with your head following the rules of table tennis, meaning that it first has to hit the table at your own side, then pass the net and land again on your opponent’s side where it is returned by use of the aforementioned technique.
The guys, who were exclusively men, asked me if I was sure that I had never actually played Headis (how this fusion is called) before because I apparently didn’t play like a beginner, but I seriously hadn’t, which was quite funny and motivating at the same time. I felt like a prodigy!
We continued playing for like 2-3 hours, eventually I said goodbye to my friends, until dusk.
So this was the beginning of a weird love that still lingers. Headis is indeed an actual sport and not just some funny drinking game, which my friends and I initially imagined it to be, as I was taught. A pretty young one, but nonetheless. There are even tournaments held in Europe but mostly Germany-wide.
I started to attend the Headis class in Oktober 2017, which was offered in the context of the sports program by the University of Rostock and little time afterwards even joined the “Baltic Heads” – our (now I can say “our” as I include myself) team that is attached to the SV Warnemünde, a sports club in Rostock.
Since then I have attended three tournaments so far, the last one in Darmstadt. Tournaments are always a lot of fun, especially as we drive to them together and enjoy the sport along with loads of other cool people, who are indeed also a bit crazy, which, if I’m completely frank, makes it even more enjoyable for me to blend in. I don’t know how you feel about it, but in my humble opinion “crazy” in most of the cases is a good thing because it means non-conventional and consequently more fun.
Just to give you some examples: Each player has a combat name (most of the times including “head”) like “Headsinfarkt” (you could translate it loosely as “head attack” derived from “heart attack”), “Headbrötchen mit Zwiebeln” (derived from the german “Mettbrötchen” which means pork tartare on a bread roll), “Headsdugern” (loosely derived from “Das hättest du wohl gern!” which translates as “You wish!”), or mine: “Headingale”, derived from the nightingale. Some of the attendants also play in costumes. So far we saw Chewbacca from Star Wars and other strange creatures, in Darmstadt, one of the guys even competed in a blister foil suit – the whole day!
You might be asking yourself by now – what has all of this to do with me?
Well, if it isn’t perfectly obvious yet, I will tell you: You can try out Headis yourself! Either by simply coming to one of the classes of the University sports program which takes place in the gymnasium in the Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3 every Friday 7:30 pm – 9 pm (SS 18) or by joining one of the club trainings in Lütten-Klein which is on Mondays and Thursdays 6 pm – 9 pm.
Decide head over heels – or rather heart over head? (Yes, still pun intended.) You will love it!