Pesäpallo is the national sport of Finland. It is a fast-paced bat and ball sport. Pesäpallo a Finnish word, which has a literal meaning of "nest ball", and the sport is also referred to a “Finnish baseball.” It has been played in Finland since the 1920's, after being inspired by America's baseball. This sport also has some presence in other countries such as Germany, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Canada and Switzerland.
Pesapallo closely resembles sports like baseball and brannboll. The rules of this game are simple as one team tries to score by hitting the ball with the bat and running through bases. There is a home base and three other bases like in baseball, but in a zigzag configuration not a diamond as in baseball. The fielding team tries to defend by catching the ball and running out the player.
The major difference between pesapallo and baseball is how the ball is pitched. In pesapallo, the ball is pitched vertically by a pitcher standing next to the hitter. This makes it easier to hit the ball, and control the direction and power.
The ball is thrown vertically, at least one meter above the batter's head. This pitching technique gives this sport more speed and tactical aspects as compared to baseball. The fielding team in pesäpallo is forced to use defensive tactics to counter the batter’ choices in an effective manner.
- Baseball — a bat and ball game in which the aim is to hit the ball and score runs by running around four bases.
- Brännboll — a Scandinavian game that has similarities to rounders, but with no pitcher.
- Rounders — played between two teams with a bat and ball, like baseball.
- British Baseball — a bat-and-ball game played in Wales and England similar to rounders.
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports
- Pesäpallo was a demonstration sport at the 1952 Olympic Games.
- Sport in Finland