Ruggitt World Cup on Hold

Detractors say sport should have clear objectives first

Mar 2nd, 2010 | By Paul Moth | Category: Sports

Proposed logo of the International Ruggitt Union

Talks aimed at creating an International Ruggitt Union broke down today in Cancan, capital of the Caribbean resort island of Isles das Berhamas.  Delegates from ruggitt associations throughout the Least Antilles had been hoping to finalize plans for a World Ruggitt Challengeship to take place next year.  Reasons for the breakdown in talks were not immediately clear.  Blaat Seffer, a spokesman for the Berhamian League of Dutch Ruggitt (Orthodox) denied reports that Raymond-Pierre Voerwort, a legendary ruggitt star from the neighboring island of Cap Bruno, had been stomped by Berhamian delegates after a shouting match in the lobby of the Sheralta Hotel where talks were taking place.

The game of ruggitt, little known outside this chain of former colonies of minor European states, involves a series of elaborately choreographed but largely informal and undefined maneuvers over an elastic playing field.  Anthropologist Jurgen Palme, who has studied the game in depth, calls ruggitt “sport by other means”.   Scoring, or “squeezing the bulb,” can be done in a variety of ways according to an unspecified range of largely unpredictable factors including lunar anomalies and the labour requirements of the spice harvest.  Matches can last weeks or even months, while decisions by the referee can be appealed in special district court tribunals known as rorkes.  Ruggitt is said to have originated when the initiation rituals of African-based secret societies were adopted by offshore bank employees.

Orthodox ruggitt, still the dominant form in the Berhamas, permits the random deployment of livestock to destabilize opponents into “lancing a wiggly” (making needless concessions in a moment of tactical confusion).  Proponents of ruggitt modernization, including those from Cap Bruno, say the orthodox game is too complex to be broadcast live on television.  Observers of the talks who asked to remain anonymous said that violence broke out when the Cap Bruno delegation insisted the sport had to have clear objectives before a World Challengeship could be mounted.

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