German start-up HEADIS (an amalgam of header tennis) is trying to introduce a fun new sport to the world that incorporates elements of soccer, table tennis and tennis – basically ping pong with your head. Using a special ball, you are allowed to touch the table with every part of your body during play but only allowed to touch the ball with your head.
The sport was invented in 2007 by Rene Wegner, a 26 year old sports science student from Germany. He was looking for a way to get students more interested in playing sports and also for an opportunity to use old equipment that normally is left lying around. With an enormous fun factor, HEADIS teaches kids coordination and most importantly gets them moving. The learning curve for rules and technique are fairly quick and to play only requires a ball and a ping pong table.
The rules for HEADIS are very similar to those for ping pong. A normal match is best of three sets, with each set played up to 11 points. A specific HEADIS ball is made just the right size and weight for optimal play. The company sells all sorts of HEADIS gear from the special ball and pump set to HEADIS hoodies and T-Shirts.
Numerous official HEADIS clubs have popped up all over Germany and the game is played at over seven Universities. This weekend is the HEADIS Cup, the official HEADIS tournament for university students in Germany. The much bigger, international HEADIS Mountain Cup takes place in March next year. Three days of non-stop HEADIS tournaments and skiing at the Portes du Soleil ski area in France and Switzerland.
So why not give HEADIS a go with that old ping pong table in your basement and wear off some of yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner!