MJR XV programme
:::: SPORTS ::::
Football, ripka, orienteering and other games for body and brain


:::: MJR XV Football Competition for the Horn! ::::

As always, an improvised football field will be set up on the beach near the Festival entrance. Kickers will compete for a prestigious Horn of Mėnuo Juodaragis XV! If you are up for a play and refreshment on a Saturday morning, be sure to carefully read these lines.

Registration of teams will take place during the Festival – from Friday, 5 PM at the MJR Information Centre or by phone +370 606 54948. Teams can also register in advance by sending applications to societe(eta)post.com. 10 to 12 teams will be competing for the prize; one or two teams may be formed of individual players.

Laws of the game:

  1. Each team consists of 5 players (4 field players and 1 goalkeeper).
  2. There are 2 halves of 10 minutes. Half-time break is around 2 minutes.
  3. There is no limit to substitutions.
  4. Each player can represent only one team, i. e. the one in which he/she began the competition.
  5. All Laws of the Game defining association football apply except for the offside rule.
  6. If a team gains 5-goal superiority over the opposing team, it immediately wins the game.
  7. Rough play and strong language (yellow card) is punishable by sending-off for 2 minutes. Extremely rough players (red card), will be sent off for the rest of the match and thrown into the lake.
  8. Passion is good, but fair play is better.
  9. The referee is god. He will tolerate the chants of the ultras, but strong language is not welcome. The referee also promises to ignore streakers (we’ve already seen a few in the competition of 2011).


Persons of both sexes and all age groups with an MJR ticket are eligible to participate in the competition. At first, the teams will compete in two groups and the four teams finishing in the top two positions of each group will progress to the semi-finals. The matches will take place on Saturday (10 AM to 4 PM). Precise schedule of the competition will be made on the field on Saturday.

In the evening, the winning team will be awarded the MJR XV Horn on the Greater Stage. They will be cheered by the crowd and carry the honour of the champions for at least a year!

:::: Orienteering ::::

The lovers of sports, puzzles and running will have an opportunity to prove themselves in the orienteering competition. It is a game of fun, resolution and speed. Each visitor will receive a compass and a map of the Festival area and Zarasai town and will have to use them to find control points marked on the map.

The island and the town are perfect for orienteering and running sports. To add fun to the game, the control points will be hidden in the most unexpected spots, e. g. in the trees or even under the water.

The competition is individual and each competitor will start at a different time. Participants are welcome to join the competition at the MJR Information Centre on Saturday, 11 AM.

Registration can be made in advance by sending an application to societe(eta)post.com or during the Festival at the MJR Information Centre. The number of participants is limited, so be advised to register early – you will be competing for valuable prizes.

:::: Traditional Lithuanian game – ripka ::::

This year, two types of ripka will be played: the “real one” and the one that has been officially registered as a unique sport with the Department of Physical Culture and Sports of the Republic of Lithuania. The latter has official championships taking place in the stadiums in Kaunas, Plungė and Vilkaviškis.

During the Festival, ripka will be played on the race track of the island; the exact spot will be marked on the leaflet of the Festival. Be there at 11 AM on Sunday and join one of the teams if you dare: the puck weighs 800 grams, so this is no child’s play!

A more gentle version of ripka will also be introduced for those who are not willing to risk their health, so even kids will be able to enjoy the game. Don’t miss the chance to get familiar with this unique Lithuanian sport.

In case you have never heard about ripka be sure to read the brief introduction below.

Ripka was one of the Lithuanian folk sports games mentioned in written sources from the 17th century. It is said to have been played by both young and mature men in rural areas. Warriors of the army of Grand Duchy of Lithuania also used to enjoy the game before the battle.

In the old days, each team would consist of men from a certain village; now the game involves two teams of 7 players with 1.5 m long clubs (sticks) with a curved head. The players attempt to manoeuvre a disk across the opposing team’s goal line. The disk used to be made of a burled birch bound with a steel ring, but more recently has been replaced with a rubber puck.

With the villages fragmenting into homesteads, the popularity of this folk game diminished, but was never really gone. In 1923, during the period of independence, ripka was introduced in stadiums for the first time. The game was once again revived after the war: in 1958 the Federation of Lithuanian Folk Games was established and official ripka competitions were held. In 1990, Lithuanian Ripka Federation was set up; now it has around 180 players with teams in Plungė, Vilkaviškis, Plateliai and Kaunas areas. Traditional matches and events include national championships of adults, juniors, youth and veterans; the Federation Cup; Plateliai Cup; and Suvalkija Cup.

For more information about the game of ripka during Mėnuo Juodaragis festival, send inquiries to societe(eta)post.com, call +370 606 54948 or approach the MJR Information Centre.


:::: Viking Football ::::

The goal of the game is very simple, but it can only be achieved by a bold and persistent team. It is a game that requires masculine strength and resolution. Gather a team of strong husky men and win the game! The goal of the team is to touch the shield boss of the opposing team using a pole. Sounds simple? Give it a try!

A round shield with a metal boss (a part of the shield covering the hand under the shield) is placed in the middle of the opposing end lines of a rectangular pitch. The shield boss of the opposing team has to be touched with a 2–3 metre long pole. The game is played by two teams. Prior to the beginning of the game, the teams line up behind their shields. When the referee makes sure that both teams are ready, the pole is thrown in the air at the middle of the field. Once the pale is in the air, the game begins.

It is illegal to make intentionally crippling and aggressive actions, such as kicking, hitting, twisting, strangling, lacerations, use of martial arts etc. in an attempt to injure an opponent. Wrestling is allowed, except for twisting and otherwise crippling actions. Tackling is acceptable, but not above the shoulders.

The pole can be clasped, pushed, pulled etc. The girls of the tribe will cheer those who will attempt to cover the shield with their bodies as this is allowed. However, the shields may not be moved. If the players leave the pitch, the game is stopped and both teams have to return to the middle of the pitch in the section where the side line was crossed. Then both teams have to line up between the pole and their shields. The game continues after the signal of the referee. When a team scores a point, the pole is given back to the referee, the teams line up behind their shields, while the referee throws the pole in the air signalling the next stage of the game.

It should be noted that the referee is God and should be heeded as such. His orders and decisions are indisputable. There is no limit to the number of team members. The players contest barefoot and without upper clothes.

Are you ready? Come to the pitch near the Crafts Yard on Saturday! More information on the time of the game will be available from the Information Centre or from the men of Varingis Club in the Crafts Yard.