Internationales einradhockeyturnier report

At the weekend 45 (ish) unicyclists gathered in Darmstadt ( germany) for
an Internationales Einradhockeyturnier ( International Unicycle Hockey
Tournament to the english speakers among us). A group of riders from the
Frankfurt area had come up with the idea of holding a hockey weekend for
which one entered as an individual , not as part of a team. All the riders
names were muddled up and assigned a team, leading to ( hopefuly) a-
fairly equal teams. b- A less predicable result than most German
Einradhockey meets and c- an interesting exercise in team building as a
multi lingual group of riders worked out how to play together as a team.

The participants turned out to be mostly German riders, but with six
UK riders and one Belgian , each of the seven teams did have a non
German player.

For Paul and myself the event started with a walk form the Youth Hostel
down to the sports hall on a cold but sunny saturday morning. We arrived
to find that the hall was HUGE, about twice the size of the hall that
Lunis practise in in London. It also had a rather slippery floor with a
fine dusting of french chalk, so some care was needed with those tight
turns. Our local hosts took a small group on a town tour, to explore the
arts quarter and the park, and the local paper sent a photographer to get
some snaps of well wrapped unicyclists , it was pretty cold outdoors all
weekend ( hovering around frezeing).

The Hockey kicked of at Lunchtime , each team was scheduled to play each
other team twice, there would be slightly more games on the saturday than
the sunday. From early on it became clear that one team ( two sheep (
don’t ask)) was a very strong team. The rest of us struggled a bit to
start with, finding it hard to play as a team however good the individuals
were. By Saturday evening team work was starting to show however as we
worked on positional play, calling for things and getting used to
different peoples style.

Hockey stopped before dinner ( thank you to all the cooks and washer
uppers) and the rest of the evening was spent trying out unicycle
pyrimids, watching other preople doing stupidly hard tricks and chatting,
before pulling up a gym mat and crashing out on the hockey pitch for a few
hours sleep.

Sunday , after a genorous buffet breakfast ( so genourous we were still
eating it at tea time) the Hockey recomenced.We paused at 11.11 for the
traditional regional polonaise ceremony to mark the start of Carnival
season. Normally the polonaise is danced on feet but we did it on unis, a
long snaking line of dancers making two hand arches for the riders from
the back of the line to ride through and become the front riders. One of
those very silly but great fun moments that give an international event
like this distinctive local flavour.

By the time the Hockey match was played at 3pm , it was clear who the
winners were, the tussle was for second and third. team “two sheep”
swept the board, beaten in only one game, they won with 22 points. In
second place with 16 came team “high five”, closely followed by the
third placed “one kiss”. Medals were distributed, thank yous voiced,
back packs and cars packed and by 5pm the riders from the
internationales einradhockeyturnier were wending their varioud ways
home, Michel had started his 6 hour drive, the UK riders had left for
the airport and the locals should have been congratulating them selves
on a well organised weekend.

sarah miller

Unicycle Meet and Uni barn Dance , Sat Dec 1st Harry Cheshire
High School, Habberley rd, Kidderminster e-mail for details