My oldest son has played baseball for most of his life. I showed him a few videos of pesäpallo and now I'm wanting to take a trip to Finland just to take him to a game haha.
Apparently it has **the most** foulmouthed fanbase, so if your son is young don't ask anyone to translate lol
He’s 14 and has probably said just as bad lol. I don’t ban “swear words” in my house, but I do teach my kids when it is and is not appropriate to use them. Like casually dropping F bombs at the playground isn’t ok, but yelling “the fuck was that?!” when the umpire makes a call at a Braves game might get some looks but it’s ok lol. I’m learning Finnish and they’ve probably heard me mumbling “mitä vittua…” on more than one occasion 😂
TBH, with basic Finnish skills you would not understand anything at people yell at games..
I feel like they would understand "vitun puusilmä" just fine.
That sounds like something from ice kendo audience.. /s
And here I fully thought it universal in finnish sports. :D
I've no facts, but my feeling is that the language used in pesäpallo games is pretty colorful. Don't know about places like Tampere though, where pesäpallo culture is not so deeply rooted.
Probably not but at least the game would be fun to watch!
American here who grew up playing baseball. I played a game of pesäpallo on a trip to Vantaa about 10 years ago and it was a blast.
Going into it I thought I'd struggle "running the wrong way" around the bases. Nope - that wasn't a problem; it was pretty easy to adapt.
My biggest problem was I kept running when I _shouldn't_. In American baseball, you're taught that as soon as you make contact with the ball you start running to 1st base. (Even if there's a chance it's a foul ball or it's 'obvious' it will be caught, you still run - because there's a chance it stays fair or is dropped.)
That was SO deeply ingrained in me and I couldn't shake it that day. I can't speak for all Americans, but that was my biggest issue....
The thing that turned me off to pesäpallo is pitching. It completely gets rid of the chess match between pitchers and hitters, and that’s the most exciting part of baseball. Yeah pesäpallo is fun to occasionally play, but man I just can’t fully get into it for that reason.
Edit: I hope nobody interprets this as me saying baseball is better than pesäpallo. I’m just saying my personal opinion about what makes baseball one of my favorite sports and why that passion never translated to pesäpallo for me.
There are some fun little tactical depths in the game, like intentionally hitting a very short little plink of a shot that barely clears the plate, so the catchers have to run way forward to get it. As this often involves visibly changing your grip, you can also fake it out in the hopes of catching people out of position - I knew a lad at school who was a master at this, frustrating the rest of us who were trying to mind-read him.
They have those in baseball too! They’re not as common in baseball I guess (analytically speaking you’re better off most of the time just hitting normally). Across the pond we call those bunts :D
For some reason those never got the highlights I see here in Finland :)
While when someone does a technically great "little plink" in pesäpallo, at least TV commentators go crazy. Eg this from last season: https://twitter.com/superpesis/status/1529196847759298560 (the older video features one commentator)
Yeah those rarely make the highlights in baseball. Only hardcore fans of baseball pay attention to the little things like that so it’s interesting how much more appreciated it is in pesäpallo.
There’s this saying in the States “Chicks dig the long ball” (talking about home runs) which would explain why hahaha
Oh wow, I'd never seen that behind-the-neck trick before, that's a good one.
There is "chess match" between hitter, pitcher and guys advancing on the field.
The pitcher can choose different kinds of pitches, timings and bluffs.
The guys advancing try to steal as much possible, which the pitcher tries to prevent.
The hitter tries to hit a hit that's gives as much as possible time for advancing guys to reach the next base.
The speed and subtle choices (eg if the pitch is front or back of the plate) might make it hard to observe though.
I mean the sports look similar. Both have players trying to steal bases and batters hit the ball where fielders aren’t. Those bluffs pitchers do in pesäpallo can be compared to a pickoff move in baseball. All of those little nuances reflect how pesäpallo got its roots from baseball.
But it’s a very different game when it comes to actually hitting the ball. The way pitchers mix speeds, locations, and movement of the ball in baseball is completely different to pesäpallo. Pesäpallo took that aspect away and it’s my favorite part of baseball. That was my point.
I'm not too familiar with baseball, but I think baseball is more hitter vs batter, while pesäpallo is more whole outfield together against active infielders. I got an impression that you you're thinking pitching is just "tossing the ball up", instead of any tactical aspects. As you said, there's no throwing ball 100 mph towards the hitter, and if you're expecting that as a main thing, I understand you're not into pesäpallo. But on the otherhand, it's a different sport, one should not expect same things :)
Yeah you get my point :D
That game looks awesome!! Wish we had it here in Sweden.
I think some people in Sweden do actually play pesäpallo. Be careful you might get burned!
I will have to look it up :)
Boboll in swedish
Everyone loves it in school but 95% don’t play it ever again.
The problem is that even for a casual game you need so many players
Idk, 8 people can already play a decent game with a shortened field (2 bases).
If one had even 2 friends…
If you have 1 friend that has 2 friends that each have 2 friends, you’re set.
Unless you have two friends and they are friends with each other. Then your friendcircle is closed loop.
That's just three friends.
I’d redo your math.
You have one friend who has two friends, one being you, and the other being someone you both know. All of you have two friends. There's three of you.
Ok, my bad, I wasn’t clear enough, but assume all of those are new friends.
I have one friend, he has 2 besides me. I'm not totally sure one of those two has any more. we might end up a bit short.
In cities there are various "höntsä" groups that get together to play whatever they play. Having friends is not a requirement.
Here in Helsinki it was the number one disliked sport when I was in school (I liked it though). My guess about why would be:
1. It has a lot of passive time while waiting for your turn etc. (= boring)
2. Some kids just couldn’t understand the rules of the game as it’s not just “2 teams, each tries to get a ball to the other team’s goal/basket”
When I lived in the capital area in the 90's, one could go to Hesperia park in Helsinki on saturdays and find a group of people playing. You'd soon be asked to join. It was greaat fun. Do they still do that?
I don’t think I have ever seen people just casually playing pesis in a public park in Helsinki. I live in the center and nothing like that is happening. That’s really interesting if people used to do that back then!
Where in Helsinki? Because we absolutely loved it.
Kontula, Kulosaari, Töölö etc.
Schools in different regions with kids from different backgrounds. Never ever the other kids liked pesäpallo! Well, some did but most didn’t.
[Nimenhuuto](https://nimenhuuto.com/joukkueet/pes%C3%A4pallo/helsinki) website (in Finnish) has a few hobby groups. In winter, there are hardly any events and not all those listed are active.
Pesäpallo is challenging game for school, it is up to teacher if they can manage it:
1. The game needs successful performances to advance, and those performances (hitting, catching, throwing) need some skills.
2. Due 1., if there are not enough such performances, there's a lot of idle time for non active players.
3. Rules are more complicated than in most other sports
3. => frustration
My kids are attending Swedish-speaking school near Helsinki and they play pesäpallo too. After I heard this I accepted that it is indeed the national sport.
Regarding point 1, I remember our schoolyard games made all kinds of concessions to the very low skill levels of a lot of boys. One rule change I remember was *kanala* ("the chicken coop"), which was a zone where you were sent if you failed to hit, and then when someone else managed a hit, you would advance from the coop along with the hitter. I don't remember how these house rules dealt with the obvious outcome of a wild stampede of 3-4 uncoordinated kids trying to advance at the same time, but I suspect the point of the exercise was more to make us run around for a few hours rather than enjoy the purity of the sport.
I loved it in school and once a year we had students vs teachers game. It was hilarious to see how the teachers took it so seriously.
Fucking hated it in school.
I moved to Jyväskylä recently. I played in a game of pesäpallo last week and I loved it. I’m currently looking for a place to practice and play more regularly. If anyone knows, please tell me. I don’t speak Finnish yet so it’s hard to research.
Search for kuntopesis or harrastepesis. At least Jyväskylän Valo seems to have teams.
Kiitos paljon! I’ll give that a try.
Good luck, nothing probably happens during the winter though.
I've been watching pesäpallo in JKL for 12 years :) and I still can't figure out the rules. Maybe it's easier if you play it hah
Have you ever watched with anyone who knows the rules and explains them to you at the same time?
I think the basic rules are pretty straight forward once you get them, but there a lot of edge cases which even the players don't always understand.
No. I just sit alone with my makkara and ponder
That's a good way too :)
One side note about this game is that basically almost nobody in capital region cares about this sport or it's league "Superpesis". It's way much more popular in rural side of the country and the most successful team "Sotkamon Jymy" comes from a town with 10k population and their pesäpallo stadium can fill almost 5k.
Yeah and Vimpeli might have more people in their stadium than they have inhabitants :D
Despite this lack of popularity in the PKS, just about every kid in school will be made to play it as part of their PE classes during summer. Teachers love the game for some reason and it will be a staple of your kids school sports for many years.
I used to play it in Australia and can say that it is mostly good fun to play but also has many frustrating aspects to it. The lack of a home run is annoying as hitting out of the field is very easy if you have swung a bat before. The running direction of the bases is very confusing at first also as you will naturally want to run around the bases anti-clockwise. However the most annoying part (for me) was how seriously the older Finns will take the game and how much they end up shouting during it. Especially when it comes to the coloured signal things they use, I always got confused by those and eventually stopped playing anyway due to how not fun it all was. Each to their own I guess.
What do you mean by lack of home run? There is kunnari.
The running direction is acquired skill.. ;)
This was just about the only sport I liked playing as a kid! Such a fun game to play.
Helsingin Pitäjänmäki on noita muita lajeja parempi?
pesäpallo feels like a kids version of baseball, so they dont hurt get hurt from having someone throw a ball on their heads.
the pitchers role seems like something that would be a lot of fun, and something I think would be really fun to try. also of trying to hit the throws, instead of just waiting for the ball to drop.
Thinking back to my school days, I wouldn't have wanted to try to hit an oncoming ball thrown by one of the ungainly lummoxes in my sports class in sixth grade. I was one of them as well, so my odds of hitting an even well thrown pitch would have been practically nil, too.
I definetely wouldnt have had any trust into whoever would be pitching at that age, I would refuse to go first and after seeing a few people have at bat 'fore stepping up myself.
> so they dont hurt get hurt
I take it you haven't seen the forward catcher getting his/her teeth blasted out by a ball?
havent seen teeth, but When I was 5-6th grade I was at bat.and the ball flew straight into the forward catchers kneecap.Cant remember many details from then, but he was taken elsewhere, and was exempt from pe a long time
MLB as an organization is anti-contemporary baseball and is pushing their definition of a "more exciting" version (ie more profitable) and even though this video is great to see, it's part of their attempt to appear fan-forward and inspire support for rule changes
I don't know the politics in MLB, but since pesäpallo is played 99% in Finland, there has been major rule changes in past decades to make the game more friendly to watch, fast paced and "more exciting".
Oh! I would be fascinated to hear about this, or to see some links. Finnish is ok.
I've not seen any definite overview of rule changes over time, but latest minor tweak was in 2019: https://www.suomiurheilu.com/2019/08/pesapalloliitto-paatti-saantomuutoksista-selkea-tahtotila-on-aktivoida-pelia-lisaa/
I'll see if I find something else.
What major rule changes have there been lately? I watch the occasional game, and the only change I can think of is allowing designated hitters in NL games.
next year they will have slightly larger bases, a countdown timer for pitchers, limit the amount of pickoff attempts, and limit where infielders are allowed to stand
I'll keep watching Nippon Pro Baseball then :D
on things about baseball/pesäpallo. anyone know if those machine batting cages are a thing anywhere?
I live around kerava, but I go to espoo/helsinki daily. so if anyone knows a location anywhere around the capital area.
SuperPark Vantaa should have Baseball cage and pesäpallo area: https://superpark.fi/en/park/vantaa/#activities