02 July 2019


This was totally new to me.  You learn something every day.
Pesäpallo (Finnish pronunciation: [pesæpɑlːo]; Swedish: boboll, both names literally meaning "nest ball", colloquially known as Pesis, also referred to as "Finnish baseball") is a fast-moving bat-and-ball sport that is often referred to as the national sport of Finland and has some presence in other countries including Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada's northern Ontario (the latter two countries have significant Nordic populations). The game is similar to brännboll, rounders, and lapta, as well as baseball.

The basic idea of pesäpallo is similar to that of baseball: the offense tries to score by hitting the ball successfully and running through the bases, while the defense tries to put the batter and runners out. One of the most important difference between pesäpallo and baseball is that the ball is pitched vertically, which makes hitting the ball, as well as controlling the power and direction of the hit, much easier. This gives the offensive game more variety, speed, and tactical aspects compared to baseball. The fielding team is forced to counter the batter’s choices with defensive schemes and anticipation; Pesäpallo becomes a mental exercise. 
A more detailed video presentation without the snide comments is here.


  1. Amazed to see a field dedicated to this sport.

  2. how often does the pitcher get smacked in the head by the batter? they seem to be standing awful close together.


  3. When I was in school in Finland (in the early-mid 1990s), pesäpallo was the other main summer team sport. Soccer was more popular with most kids, but we still had to play pesäpallo every other week. I hated it because I was a terrible batter, and everyone had to take a turn batting. I was an ok pitcher though, since the trick is just to throw the ball high enough while still have it land in the circle.

    The other big tactical element compared to baseball is the fact that the back end of the pitch is also a foul line, so whacking the ball as far as possible is not a viable tactic. It has to land inside the pitch. This forces the batter to really use all the tactical options given by the easier pitching, to put it in the best possible spot on the pitch, depending on the situation on the bases.

  4. Base is "pesä" in Finnish and ball - pallo, hence pesäpallo. The name is derived directly from the word baseball as the game is a derivative of American baseball. It has elements from other traditional batting games, but American baseball was the inventor Tahko Pihkalas main source.

    Another important tactical difference is that you have three attempts to hit the ball and you don't have to advance (if you don't want to) until the third. This allows the batter to e.g. bunt the ball on your first hit to move players from base to base and then attempt a harder swimg with the remaining two.

    A "home run" is when the batter makes it to third base on his hit (1 point). For example hits the ball (in bounds) and the ball rolls to the river right next to the field. The outfield of course runs after it but doesn't get the ball to third base on time. The batter cannot advance further than third on his own turn and another player must bat to get him home (1 point). So hitting a home run nets you an extra point for getting to third and the regular point if you get to home base later.


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