• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • "Headis" Or Header-Table Tennis Is A Thing And We Can't Believe We Didn't Know About It

"Headis" Or Header-Table Tennis Is A Thing And We Can't Believe We Didn't Know About It

"Headis" Or Header-Table Tennis Is A Thing And We Can't Believe We Didn't Know About It
By Mikey Traynor
Share this article

Have we at Balls.ie had our head in the sand? Or have the Germans invented the greatest sport of all time and told nobody about it?

'Headis' is the official name given to header-table tennis, a sport combining most of the standard rules of table tennis, but instead of a paddle and a ping pong ball, the players use their head and a seven inch rubber football. The sport was created in 2006 by a German student in Kaiserslautern who studied sports science.

The game was invented when the Saarbruecker University football pitch was in use, so René Wegner and his friend started heading their football back and forth over a tennis table. Two years later, 'Headis' was recognised as a sport at his university, and it soon spread throughout Germany. By 2010 there were national tournaments taking place regularly, and now 15 universities throughout Germany have headis involved in their sports programmes.

So how do you play?

Wikipedia explains the rules:

The two most important things in HEADIS are the head and a table tennis table. The rules are similar to the table tennis ones with a few exceptions. The HEADIS ball is 7" inches, weights about 100 gr. Is made out of rubber and has special bouncing qualities. Volleys are allowed as well as touching the table. A game is up to 11 points and 2 sets. You have to be 2 points ahead of your opponent to win the set.

Seems straightforward enough, but what does it look like being played?


(credit to redit user Lut0x)

Absolutely brilliant!


It turns out there are national championships taking place in Germany, and even a world rankings table. Here you can see the final match of the 2014 World Cup, where the top two players from the tournament face off in an intense match to crown a champion:


Or, if you're not willing to spend 10 minutes watching two lads head a ball around a table tennis table, then here are the Top 10 plays from that tournament, and they are truly incredible!


So what now? Well, unfortunately there is absolutely no recognition of Headis in Ireland. In fact, if you google search 'headis ireland' you are asked "Did you mean 'Woodies' Ireland?" No, I did not. But that is fair enough as the sport doesn't really seem to exist outside of Germany right now, although Google images did offer us this photo of someone in an Ireland jersey playing Headis, presumably just a German lad who respects the effort of the boys in green:

For the time being we are going to have to settle for calling over to our mates house who owns a table tennis table, and bringing one of those mini-footballs you can get in Lifestyle Sports with us, but we definitely are going to have a go and we suggest you do too.


You never know, maybe one day Balls.ie could be reporting from the Irish Headis Championships.

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com