About Us


Volkssports, literally "popular" or "folk" sports, are organized walking, swimming, bicycling, roller skating, and cross-country skiing events providing exercise that contributes to physical fitness.

Volkssporting originated in Germany and is now an international sport involving more than 20 countries. Volkssports started in the USA in 1976 in Fredericksburg, Texas, and in 1979 the American Volkssport Association (AVA) was recognized internationally (IVV).


All volkssporting events are non-competitive and are to encourage everyone to participate in physical activity at their own pace. For example, start time for most walking and biking events is usually between 8:00 AM and 12:00 noon. Finish time is usually by 4:00 PM.

Volkssporting includes people of all ages. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Some events are suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. Dogs on leashes are welcome on most walks.


Walks are the most common and the most popular of the volkssport events. Walks are rated for difficulty from 1 to 5, with a rating of 1 being fairly flat and on paved surfaces. To be a sanctioned event for AVA credit, the walk must be at least 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), but if you are able to only do a portion you are still welcome.

Walks are organized to take participants through local areas of interest. For example, Oregon walks have featured the historic Victorian homes in Albany; the tulip, iris and dahlia fields in bloom; state parks and other scenic areas in the state. Many events are in conjunction with a local festival.

Other events are also allowed for credit. Bikes normally cover a distance of 25 kilometers (15.6 miles) or more. Swimming, roller skating and cross-country skiing events are also sponsored by clubs.

Many events are held on weekends, but more and more events are considered Year Round Events (YRE) and arrangements have been made so that walkers can go any day of the year that the start point (usually a business) is open. Frequently, avid volkssporters plan their vacations to coincide with walks in several states.


All events are free. However, the International/National Volkssport Association offer optional achievement awards to those participants who wish to keep track of the number of events that they have attended and the distance that they have completed. The fee, usually $3.00 is paid at the event by participants who want to have IVV/AVA credit. Participants purchase event or distance books, or both, which are stamped at the end of each event to log credit.

After completing specific milestones, such as 10 events or 500 kilometers, participants send their record books to the American Volkssporting Association and receive a pin, patch, and certificate without additional cost.

Most participants also collect medals, hat pins, patches or other "awards" that are designed for the specific events and are offered for sale to commemorate the event.


A good way to find out about events is to join a local club. Clubs sponsor events in the area and often club members travel together to take part in events in other parts of the state.

Another way to find out about events in Oregon is to consult the following websites: walkoregon.org ; walking@teleport.com or www.ava.org.

A monthly publication of Oregon events and volkssport news is available for $20.00 annually by subscribing to Northwest Walking Magazine. OTSVA Subscriptions, Wendy Bumgardner, P. O. Box 1422, Tualatin, OR 97062-1422

To obtain a 1 year subscription for the bi-monthly newspaper that includes events all over the United States, mail a check for $20.00 to The American Wanderer, 1001 Pat Brooker Road, Suite 203, Universal City, Texas 78148.



The Eugene-Springfield Mossback Club is one of many Oregon Clubs who are affiliated with the OREGON TRAIL STATE VOLKSSPORT ASSOCIATION, INC. (OTSVA) and with the AVA and IVV. We are a volunteer organization established to encourage outdoor physical activity by organizing volkssport events in our local area.


The Mossback Club usually meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Willamalane Senior Adult Activity Center, 215 West C Street, Springfield. Please call the Center at (541) 736-4444, to vertify meeting location.


Everyone is welcome to come to the meetings. You do not have to join a club to be a participant at any volkssport event, either at the local level or anywhere else in the world.

When you join the Mossbacks as an individual or a family, you will received a semi-monthly newsletter and have a chance to meet other volkssporters. Most important, you will have the opportunity to help promote fun and fitness to others while you enhance your own.

If you want additional information, please contact Sally Ross at (541) 726-7169.