On 25th January 1430 Hof, after hardly offering any resistance at all, was taken in storm by the Hussites and completely destroyed.
In desperation the townspeople turned to the Margrave of Brandenburg, who granted them a charter guaranteeing ten years’ exemption from taxes on condition that they armed themselves with handguns to be able to defend themselves against any more such attacks. This led to the founding of a shooting club in 1432, which mainly recruited its members among the local tradesmen. The municipal authorities required them to take part in regular target practice and shooting competitions.
In order not to be fined for not complying, many of these marksmen hurried on the morning of the last possible day for shooting (the first Monday after Trinity Sunday), still wearing their working clothes and their wooden clogs (“Schlappen”) to the clubhouse. There they were shown how to use a musket by a master marksman. Over the years, the number of marksmen wanting to get their shooting practice done on this Monday became so great that a long procession of marksmen in clogs paraded through Hof to the shooting range.
The shooting club was rewarded for its services to the ruling lords with privileges such as the right to brew beer. The successor of this company of marksmen, a club called Privilegierte Scheiben-Schützengesellschaft von 1432 Hof, has been responsible for organizing and conducting Hof’s “public holiday”, the “Schlappentag”, for well over 570 years.