Ice stock sport makes a demonstration appearance

Picture by IOC

A close cousin of curling and pétanque, ice stock sport (Eisstock in German) is a sport that has been played for centuries in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Like curling it is played on ice and involves sliding a heavy object (known as a “stock”) in the direction of a target. And like pétanque, the target in question, known as a daube, moves when it is hit, with points being scored by the stocks closest to it.

Weighing 4.3kg, stocks are much lighter than curling stones, however, and come with a handle, while the daube is a rubber disc that is 12cm in diameter. Competitors hold the stock by the handle and swing it back and forth before releasing it onto the ice, the aim being to get as close as possible to the daube or to dislodge any rival stocks around it.

Several Eisstock competitions were held on Lake Rießersee as part of Garmisch 1936, namely men’s international team and individual events (target shooting and distance shooting), and a national competition for men and women and also involving team and individual events. With admission free, a large number of spectators turned up to watch the action unfold.

Eight teams entered the men’s international competitions, three representing Germany, three Austria and two Czechoslovakia, with each team facing each other once. In recording six wins and a solitary defeat, Austria’s first team, made up of Wilhelm Silbermayr, Anton and Otto Ritzl and Wilhelm Pichler and Rudolf Rainer, all of whom hailed from the Tyrol, took the honours from Germany III and Austria II.

The individual distance shooting event was again contested by German, Austrian and Czechoslovakian players, with each competitor having three throws. Austria’s Georg Edenhauser sent his disc sliding fully 154.6m with his second attempt to win by some distance from compatriot Friedrich Mosshammer and Germany’s Ludwig Retzer.

The target shooting competition went the way of the Austrian Ignaz Rieterer, who scored 15 points, while Germany’s August Brunner and Czechoslovakia’s Karl Wolfinger both totalled nine points in taking second and third places.

The spectacle continued with the national competitions, with local club SC Rießersee beating 13 other outfits in the 88-match men’s team event, while the spoils in the women’s team competition went to Altona of Hamburg. Johann Hacker won the men’s German distance shooting title with a throw of 95.2m, and Josef Kreitmeier and Mathilde Seyffarth respectively came out on top in the men’s and women’s target shooting.

Eisstock would make its return as an Olympic demonstration sport 28 years later, at Innsbruck 1964.


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