On Thursday 3 October, The “Eltham and Caterham Lions” flew to Austria for the Blood Bowl World Cup.

Looking across the table into the eyes of your opponent at the start of a Blood Bowl game is always something special, sharing the knowledge that, between you, the next two hours will promise drama, tremendous concentration through a series of chess-like puzzles, and incredible good fun in a competitive, yet good-natured, atmosphere. Doing that at the biggest tournament of its kind, the Blood Bowl World Cup in Austria, made it all that more special, as the students met Blood Bowl teams from across the world.

Walking into the convention centre to register the two teams, The “Eltham and Caterham Lions” A and B teams were treated to an electric atmosphere, as over 1,500 players from 6 continents collected their passes, put on their lanyards, and gathered the skill markers for their teams’ combinations. With live music, including a special acoustic percussion band to hurry play along in the dying minutes of each tie, the excitement was palpable. Playing as a team of six (each with an individual game), every draw mattered to the overall fixture, which could be won 4-2, drawn 3-3 etc. The students did themselves incredibly proud, with the A-team emerging with a winning record of 5-1-3 and coming 95th out of 236 teams, and the B-team coming 218th with a record of 2-0-6. The students played against squads from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, as well as a number of teams from the UK. This was truly a unique experience that the team will remember forever, and are already looking ahead to the next world cup in 2023!