When you think of Finland, you instinctively think of hockey and cross country skiing. To the fact that it’s run by a woman, Sana Marin. These Scandinavians are often cited here as a model in many ways, particularly in education. Even in mölkky. For many things, then, but definitely not in baseball. However.
Sometimes mixes of species lead to surprising creations. This is what happens a little when Lori Pekkala, a Finnish athlete and teacher, goes to study baseball in the United States and returns the rules of his future home version, circa 1920, who will be married to traditional team games.
Pesäpallo was very popular in the following decade and was often considered the national sport of Finland, although hockey and soccer had more participants.
So how do we play ball in Northern Europe? Really different …
Of course, we’ll get to know the essence of American baseball. But among the notable differences:
The shooter is near the house board and throws the ball vertically.
Tracks home outside the field are not evaluated. It’s even a foul bullet actually;
The four targets are not set in a diamond shape, but in a zigzag shape.
These are three clear rules that astonished us (see The Rules briefly for more details).
To follow these characteristics, let’s add that the challenge is not to touch and hit the ball as closely as possible, but to position it precisely to move your teammates forward. Tactics and anticipation, 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 sightings, armed with a coffee machine, you should start to emerge …
Not for Lassi Lappalainen
National sport or not, even in Finland, pesäpallo is not unanimous.
“Finnish baseball, whether you love it or hate it,” reads this Finlandia website.
From Helsinki, Montreal express midfielder Lacey Labalainen has opted for his long-term camp. Here’s what he had to say in the exchange of letters sent to us by the club’s communications department. Messages interspersed with some of the expressive faces of a man laughing to tears …
“To be honest, I don’t know him much, I’m not a big pesäpallo fan. I’ve played many times in school but all I can say is that it’s a lame version of baseball [lol]. »
And “lame” is not the word I use!
Lappalainen is certainly not among the onlookers, but there is the Pesäpallo World Cup. Among the countries represented are Australia, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and India.
In the ten World Cup finals held since 1992, Finland won all gold medals! Men, women and mixed teams.
At the end of the 1990s, the bisabalu world was rocked by a cheating scandal in its home circuit. Five matches were rigged on the Finnish Bookmaker’s list. After questioning more than 400 people, about thirty found themselves in court, and some will be sentenced to pay fines.
> Consult The Finnish Elite League website
The rules in a nutshell
Only internal circuits are allowed.
He played nine to nine, but in two sessions of four sets. If there is a tie after two periods, a third is added.
– The hitting team can enter up to three surprising hitters (The Jokers) At any time by half a km.
– The latter ends after three times, or if a full round of throwing ends without scoring at least two points. But beware, the idea of quitting is different to American baseball. This one was also taken, by the way …
– … In short, we come back to him: Go watch the video! It is impossible to summarize everything here.
Next topic in the series: Netball
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