The ASU Jugger club combines live action role playing with athletics

Club members play a sport while also forming their own unique community

Students looking for a mix of physical exertion and live action role playing, better known as LARPing, can find the best of both worlds within ASU Jugger.

The recreational sport club plays the game Jugger from the movie "Blood of Heroes" and is currently in its first official year at ASU.

For most, the game is hard to follow, especially for those who have never seen it, and there are shields, spiked balls on chains, a skull-shaped ball and many other pieces of equipment to use during the game. However, the one main rule is to get the skull ball into the opposing team's goal, something only one person on the team can do. 

Corey Crossen, an aerospace engineering junior, became interested in Jugger when he saw the club playing at a park while he was LARPing.

Crossen said he enjoyed how the sport mixed live action role playing and athletics and found it fascinating. 

"(I saw it and thought), 'this is like what I'm doing right now but a sport,'" he said. 

Crossen said when one of the clubs members came up to him and asked him to be friends, he knew he liked the club's community as well.

According to Crossen, even though there is a powerful Jugger community in the U.S., the sport is more popular in Europe. He has traveled overseas twice to play it recreationally with other competitors and said plans for a third trip to Europe to play Jugger are in the works.

"Jugger is like taking the combat simulation rules that a lot of LARP games use and turning it into a sport," he said.

Crossen said the game is mostly comprised of sprinting and that many ex-soccer players find themselves playing it. The other group of people playing the sport usually get involved from being active in LARP games like Dagorhir, which is what Crossen played prior to Jugger. 

Crossen said if he had to pick one defining moment of his Jugger career, it would be his first day playing the game after he eliminated one of his competitors. 

"I still remember the look on his face," he said. "It was so satisfying that I committed myself to playing for years."

Kumail Hirmandi, a freshman biochemistry major, is the current president of the club.

Hirmandi said his older brother taught him how to play Jugger, and he's played the game since youth. 

He said there are currently around five ASU students who play as members of ASU Jugger, and the club primarily competes with Jugger Arizona

Hirmandi said the club is important to him because it allows people who wouldn't otherwise be involved in sports to participate in something similar. 

"There are people who don't like mainstream sports, so I wanted to bring this to ASU as an alternative," he said. 

Hirmandi said he wants to raise awareness about Jugger at ASU, so the club won't have to be combined with Jugger Arizona, and in the future, he hopes the club can play other colleges with Jugger programs. 

Preston Jarvis, a sophomore studying electrical engineering, said he enjoys the camaraderie Jugger fosters.

Jarvis began playing the game three years ago and said traveling to Europe with Crossen was one of his favorite memories since getting involved with the Jugger community.

"It's a sport that brings a lot of people you relate to together," he said. "There is a niche for everyone."


Reach the reporter at ajhowar6@asu.edu and follow @andrew_howard4 on Twitter.

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