“Gesprochen wurde von all den Menschen wenig; nur wenn ein Kapitalwurf geschah, hörte man wohl einen Ruf der jungen Männer oder Weiber; oder von den Alten einer nahm seine Pfeife aus dem Mund und klopfte damit unter ein paar guten Worten dem Werfer auf die Schulter…”
(from Theodor Storm: “Der Schimmelreiter”)
“Lüch up und fleu herut”
When travelling East Frisia by car one will sooner or later come across a warning sign saying: “Attention! Boßeln!” And here they come: one or two dozens of East Frisians, some with long poles in their hands, concentrating on a wooden ball that is scooting and swishing down the road.
Not quite as traditional as the Klootschießen, Boßeln was developed with the arrival of tarred roads in East Frisia at the end of the 19th century.
Its roots are probably to be found in skittles, which people were playing on the roads in front of the pubs, as most of them lacked proper skittle-alleys. East Frisians loved to gamble and drink during these events, and eventually the (church) authorities attempted to prohibit Boßeln altogether. But East Frisians were quick to relocate their game to the roads outside their villages.
In 1902 the “Frisian Klootschießer Association” was founded and Boßeln became a true people’s sport which today claims its own leagues and championships. Sportsmen from the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy gather together with East Frisians for the Europe Boßeln Championship.