Hammerschlägen Rules

We know there are other variations to this game.  The following rules describe the particular way we will be playing at the Denver Beer Olympics…

Each team will have two participants; one girl and one guy.

We will be playing with a 3 ½” 16d framing nail and a standard framing hammer.

The Hammerschlägen Judge will start the nail in the log (equally, for all participants).  The goal will be to hammer the nail into the log (making it flush with the top) with as few swings as possible.  Each participant must make their own swings and complete their own nail.

The team with the fewest swings (combined) will win and be ranked number one.  Points will be allocated to teams based on their rank.

The hammer must be held with only one hand.

Touching the nail with your hand is prohibited.

Touching the hammer to the nail (other than swinging to hit it) is also prohibited.

Each swing will count, regardless if you connect with the nail or not.

If you bend the nail, you cannot ‘unbend’ it; you must continue with swings of the hammer to make the nail flush with the top of the log.


“Flush” – A nail is determined to be flush if, in a determination by the Judge, the nail is embedded into the log so as to be even with the top side of the log.  Some judges may slide the hammer along the top of the log, where the nail is embedded to see if any part of the nail is not flush.  The determination of whether a nail is flush is the complete discretion of the Judge. 

“Swing” – Any attempt to strike the nail.  Any time the nail is touched with the hammer or the participant’s hand; accidentally or on purpose.