When you think of Finland, you instinctively think of hockey and cross-country skiing. To the fact that it is run by a woman, Sanna Marin. That Scandinavia is often cited here as a model in several respects, especially in education. Even on milky cows. Too many things, then, but certainly not in baseball. And still.
Mixtures of genres sometimes lead to surprising creations. There is a bit going on when Lauri Pihkala, a Finnish athlete and teacher, goes to study baseball in the United States and returns with the bases in her future home version, around 1920, which will be married to team play. Traditional.
Very popular in the next decade, pesäpallo was often considered Finland’s national sport, although hockey and football had more participants.
So how do we play our ball in Northern Europe? Really different …
Of course, we will recognize the essence of American baseball. But among the notable differences:
· The jug is next to the home plate and throws the ball vertically;
· Driving home outside the field is not appreciated. It’s even an ugly bullet, actually;
· The four dimensions are not placed in a diamond shape, but in a zigzag manner.
These are three obvious ones that struck us (see the rules in brief for more information).
To follow up on these qualities, let’s add that the challenge is therefore not to touch the ball and hit it as far as possible, but to place it with precision to move teammates forward. Tactics and expectations, both offensive and defensive, play a big role.
To fully understand Finnish baseball, we strongly recommend that you watch the following video:
After three or four screenings, armed with a coffee maker, it was about to start coming in …
Not for Lassi Lappalainen
National sport or not, even in Finland, pesäpallo is not unanimous.
“Finnish baseball, whether you love it or you hate it,” says the website This is Finland.
Greetings from Helsinki, the fast CF midfielder Lassi Lappalainen chose his camp for a long time. Here is what he said in an exchange of messages sent to us by the club’s communications department. Messages drawn by a few emojis of a man laughing to tears …
“To be honest, I do not know him much, I am not the biggest pesäpallo fan. I played it a couple of times at school, but all I can say is that it’s a lame version of baseball [lol]. ”
And “lame” is not the word he used!
Lappalainen is certainly not among the spectators, but it is a Pesäpallo World Championship. Australia, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and India are among others represented.
In the 10 world championships held since 1992, Finland has won absolutely all the gold medals! Men, women and mixed teams.
In the late 1990s, the pesäpallo world was shaken by a cheating scandal in its large circle. The results of five matches on the Finnish gaming agency’s list have been rigged. After questioning more than 400 people, about thirty are in court, some of whom will be ordered to pay a fine.
> Consult the website of the Finnish elite series
The rules in brief
Only internal circuits are allowed.
– Played nine against nine, but in two periods in four sets. If there is a draw after two periods, a third is added.
– The playing team can insert up to three surprising hitters (jokers) at any time in a half sleeve.
– The latter ends after three outs, or if a complete round of the percussion roll ends without at least two points having been scored. But be careful, the notion of withdrawal is different from American baseball. By the way …
– in short, we’ll get back to it: go and watch the video! It is impossible to summarize everything here.
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