Klootschieten ("Ball shooting" in English) is a sport in the Netherlands and East Frisia, Germany. In the game, participants try to throw a ball (the kloot) as far as they can. It is most popular in the eastern regions of Twente and Achterhoek.
There are three styles: field, street, and standing (veld, straat, and zetten).
In the field (veld) version of Klootschieten, it is the intention, alone or in a team, to reach a particular patch of grass and/or sand in as few throws as possible (similar in this respect to golf). The course contains curves and variations of height (small hills and valleys and such), so that skill as well as strength is an important factor.
The field kloot is a round ball of wood or synthetic material, made heavier with lead. The diameter of the kloot is mostly between 7 and 8 centimetres, but these can deviate according to the preference of the participants. There is a minimum diameter of 5 centimetres.
In the street (straat) version of Klootschieten, the rules are approximately the same as in the field version, except that the course (being a street, country lane or similar) and the ball (being heavier) are different. An important consideration in the street version is to keep the ball away from obstacles such as ditches, gutters, streams, long grass etc., which would reduce the distance of ones "shoot". The experienced player will sometimes deliberately aim for such places on uphill stretches, to avoid the possibility of the ball rolling back downhill.
The goal in the standing or setting (zetten) style is to see how far the ball can travel in the air. Thus the measure of the throw ends at the point where the ball hits the ground (in contrast to the field and street variants).
In Germany a sport similar to field style Klootschieten is played, named "Boßeln" (Bosseln), while Klootschießen is the German name for the standing style. It is primarily played along the coast and borders of North Germany, such as in Ostfriesland, Oldenburg, Butjadingen, Dithmarschen, Nordfriesland, Emsland, and Grafschaft Bentheim. It is also played in some parts of the United States by German and Dutch immigrants.
In Ireland, a similar game is played under the name road bowling.
In May 2004, the European Championship was held in Westerstede, Germany.
At the adult level, the German FKB (Friesischer Klootschießer Connection) won all competitions. The individual winners:
- Catriona O'Farrell (women's, veld)
- Rena Ahlrichs (women's, straat)
- Ute Uhrbrook (women's, zetten)
- Dirk Taddigs (men's, veld)
- Henning Feyen (men's, straat)
- Stefan Albarus (men's, zetten)
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