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Monday, March 09, 2009

ESPN the Magazine: Bat and Ball Games you’ve never heard of

I’ve heard of Pesapallo, though! False advertising, ESPN!

Gamingboy Posted: March 09, 2009 at 06:06 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: international

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   1. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: March 09, 2009 at 07:16 PM (#3096958)
Brännboll , the national sport of Sweden, is a recess staple for Scandinavian kids. There's no pitcher, so batters flip a tennis ball to themselves and try to hit it. There are no field constraints and rules vary depending on who's playing, so games pretty much end up as free-for-alls. There's a pretty complex points system and positions on the field are somewhat arbitrary, but brännboll literally translates to "burning ball." That's pretty sweet.


Sounds like Calvinball.
   2. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 09, 2009 at 07:57 PM (#3097001)
This list needs more Jigglyball.
   3. BDC Posted: March 09, 2009 at 08:01 PM (#3097008)
I used to play sandlot Pesäpallo in middle school. Our gym teacher was Finnish. After he taught us Pesäpallo we also suspected he was insane, so it's interesting to finally get confirmation that the game wasn't invented by him in a lunatic moment.
   4. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: March 09, 2009 at 08:07 PM (#3097019)
I imagine few outside of San Diego or Scotland have heard of Over the Line
   5. Obama Bomaye Posted: March 09, 2009 at 08:09 PM (#3097021)
There was no bat involved, but Butts Up was a great game. (seriously, stop snickering)
   6. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 09, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3097044)
I lived in Finland for three months at the end of 1997 and was hoping to see some pesäpallo, but the two weeks of summer had already passed so I had to get by with the Marlins/Indians World Series on next-day tape delay on NBC Europe, hockey, and occasional cricket highlights. Saw soccer on TV too... World Cup qualifiers maybe. Seemed like a lot of [Country] vs [Country] games, but I won't even watch that when I can understand the commentary, much less when I can't.
   7. morineko Posted: March 09, 2009 at 09:03 PM (#3097088)
We played brannboll in gym class in Minnesota. I'm also glad to find out it wasn't something that the school district cooked up as an indoor baseball replacement.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: March 09, 2009 at 09:13 PM (#3097105)
1. This article is awesome.

2. Oina looks awesome.

3. Asses Up was an awesome game and I wish I could find a 5-6 people to play it with
   9. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: March 09, 2009 at 10:10 PM (#3097168)
I imagine few outside of San Diego or Scotland have heard of Over the Line

When I was 12, I went and stayed with my sister and her husband while he studied at NYU. There was a "park" downstairs from their building where I got my first taste of stick ball (and craps.) The things I remember most, however, were the confused faces I got when I talked about Over the Line and how to play. I assumed, until that point, that that this was knowledge that anybody who had ever heard of baseball would have.
   10. Ken Arneson Posted: March 09, 2009 at 10:43 PM (#3097190)
Brännboll is NOT the national sport of Sweden. I lived and went to school there for two years, and we played brännboll in P.E. exactly once. I never saw it on TV, nor have I ever read about it in any newspaper's sports pages. There are probably at least fifty other sports that are more popular in Sweden than brännboll. Even among stick sports, it's way down the list, after ice hockey, bandy, tennis, table tennis, golf, minigolf, and probably even baseball itself.
   11. Swedish Chef Posted: March 09, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3097206)
Brännboll is NOT the national sport of Sweden.

It is absolutely not a sport, there's no league, no one follows any official rules or anything. But, it is the default recreational activity whenever Swedes go outdoors.

Many, if not most, companies has brännboll tournaments on their outings.
   12. Ken Arneson Posted: March 09, 2009 at 11:17 PM (#3097217)
It's kinda like saying frisbee is the national sport of America. Maybe it's a top-10 activity of Americans On Picnics, and maybe the #1 activity of Americans On Picnics With Dogs, but the qualifier is kinda significant.
   13. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: March 09, 2009 at 11:19 PM (#3097221)
Has anybody here tried to invent a sport? In High School, I once tried to introduce "Basockey", or baseball with a hockey stick and puck. Needless to say, it is not our national sport.
   14. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: March 09, 2009 at 11:37 PM (#3097239)
I saw a wiffle hurling league once. That seemed unbelievably awesome.
   15. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: March 09, 2009 at 11:45 PM (#3097252)
When I was 12, I went and stayed with my sister and her husband while he studied at NYU. There was a "park" downstairs from their building where I got my first taste of stick ball (and craps.) The things I remember most, however, were the confused faces I got when I talked about Over the Line and how to play. I assumed, until that point, that that this was knowledge that anybody who had ever heard of baseball would have.

This might be kind of a silly question, but do you happen to remember what building and "park", and how old are you? I ... grew up near NYU and spent plenty of time playing stickball in parks of various levels of air-quotedness, mostly in the 1987-1992 time frame.

No craps though. I saved that particular addiction for my current decade.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: March 10, 2009 at 12:01 AM (#3097265)
I always wanted a copy of this photo
   17. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: March 10, 2009 at 12:06 AM (#3097273)
I kind of like the looks of pesäpallo--speed seems important, as does directional hitting. It's basically what all those baseball commentators think they're watching when they complain about guys not making productive outs.

I'd like to see what baseball would be like without home runs. I don't know if I'd go as far as the Finns in calling a ball that's hit too far an out, but taking down the fences or at least pushing them back to 500 feet would be an interesting experiment.
   18. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 10, 2009 at 12:07 AM (#3097275)
We played over the line in little league all the time, in practice, no less, if the weather was crappy and only half the guys showed up. I am not from San Diego or Scotland, by the by.

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