The Great Wisconsin Hammerschlagen Tourney!

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Wisconsin Harley-Davidson

1280 Blue Ribbon Dr

Oconomowoc, WI 53066

View Map

Event description

Description

It's not Oktoberfest without Hammerschlagen!

Tourney Runs from 1:00pm-4:00pm, awards ceremony for all competitions begins at 4pm

South Grounds (Front of Dealership)

What the Heck is Hammerschlagen?

Hammerschlagen is a German game reportedly dating from 1940,] in which several contestants try to hammer a nail into a stump.

Hammerschlagen (“Hammer-Striking”) is a variation of Nailspielen (“Nail Game” or “Playing With Nails”). Both versions are essentially the same, Nailspielen is played with an axe, Hammerschlagen is played with a hammer.

The game is typically played with a Cross-peen hammer or blacksmith’s hammer and a large cross-section of a soft hardwood. Cottonwood is suitably soft for this game. The hammer must have a wedge-shaped (but not sharp) end on it and should be at least 2.5 pounds.

The log is set up waist high with the flat sides facing the floor and ceiling. A bright common nail (12/16d) is driven about a half inch into the wood in front of each player. Each player’s turn consists of setting the wedge-end of the hammer on the log next to their nail and taking a single swing at it. The swing must be done in a smooth up and down motion. Male players must use one hand. Female players may use both hands.

Frequently, a player will bend their nail in such a way as to make driving it further nearly impossible. In this case, the player may use their turn to make a single-motion swing at the nail from the side in an attempt to straighten the nail. You are not required to stand in the same place for the entire game. Often it is necessary to switch sides of the log to get a better angle on your nail.

Play continues to the right and lasts until one player has driven the head of their nail to (or below) the surface of the wood.

In a bar setting, each player pays a nominal amount to get into the game (~$2) and the winner is rewarded with a small prize or a shot of a German spirit, often Apfelkorn. Conversely, the last player to drive his nail into the wood might be forced to buy the next round of drinks.

Nailspielen is a northern German game. Traditionally, the sharp end of an axe was held against the vertical edge of the slab, and swung at stag nails. In some German taverns this game sits in a corner and losers are bound to buy the next round.

Nailspielen made its way to the United States in the mid-twentieth century. A commercial version was established and named “Hammer-Schlagen”.

Another derivation of Hammerschlagen in the United States is called Stump (game). Stump has several large deviations from the rules of Hammerschlagen, primarily that the goal is not to drive your nail in first, but to be the last to have their nail drive into the stump.

Hammerschlägen Rules

We will be playing with a 3 ½” 16d framing nail and a standard framing hammer.

The Hammerschlägen Judge will start the nail in the log (equally, for all participants). The goal will be to hammer the nail into the log (making it flush with the top) with as few swings as possible. Each participant must make their own swings and complete their own nail.

The player with the fewest swings (combined) will win and be ranked number one. The hammer must be held with only one hand.

Touching the nail with your hand is prohibited.

Touching the hammer to the nail (other than swinging to hit it) is also prohibited.

Each swing will count, regardless if you connect with the nail or not.

If you bend the nail, you cannot ‘unbend’ it; you must continue with swings of the hammer to make the nail flush with the top of the log.


Date and Time

Location

Wisconsin Harley-Davidson

1280 Blue Ribbon Dr

Oconomowoc, WI 53066

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved