Join us for our first HammerSchlagen Tournament! The tournament will be held on Friday from 8 pm until we have a winner! Enter on Friday night. Cost is $10 to enter. There will be a prize for the winner and bragging rights!
Oktoberfest | Harvest of the Arts will be held on Friday, September 28th and Saturday, September 29th in Downtown Saline.
What is Hammerschlagen?
Hammer-Schlagen (the "Striking Hammer" or "Hammer-Striking") is a brand of the German game Nailspielen (the "Nail Game" or "Playing With Nails"), which reportedly dates to the first Oktoberfest in 1810. Shortly after opening in 1966, the first instance of Nailspielen in the United States was reportedly found at the Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter in Stillwater, MN. It was played there in the traditional fashion until the restaurant owner's father branded the Nailspielen service and vested the brand of Hammer-Schlagen and the related intellectual property in WRB, Inc..
Both Hammer-Schlagen and Nailspielen are essentially the same. Nailspielen is played with an axe while Hammerschlagen is played with a hammer.
The game is typically played with a Cross-peen hammer or blacksmith's hammer and a large (24-36") 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.
Sound easy? It is more challenging than you think! 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.
Challenge your friends! Challenge your enemies! or just come and challenge anyone!
This event is a fundraiser for Saline Main Street.