Brännboll (Swedish pronunciation: [²brɛnːbɔl]; brennball or slåball, "hitball", in Norway; rundbold, "roundball", in Denmark; Brennball in Germany) is a game similar to rounders, baseball, lapta, oină and pesäpallo played on amateur level throughout Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Germany, mostly on fields and in public parks, but it is also part of the PE curriculum in some areas. The name is derived from the act of catching a player between two bases at the end of a batting round, referred to as "burning" them (bränna), roughly equivalent to being run out in cricket or out in baseball. The world championship, called Brännbollscupen, is an annual event in the Swedish city of Umeå.

Diagram outlining brännboll as it is played in Sweden. In this diagram, a player from the batting team has reached second base and is waiting for the current batsman to let him proceed to the next bases by batting.


The rules of brännboll differ between different areas and there is no governing body. Nevertheless, this section outlines some rules and traditions which are commonly upheld.

In contrast to baseball and cricket, there is no pitcher/bowler, but the batsman himself throws or bounces the ball (usually a tennis ball) and hits it with his bat. A selection of bats is sometimes available, with a regular wooden or metallic baseball bat usually present, and a paddle-like bat resembling a cricket bat available for less experienced batsmen. On some occasions, there is also a stiff racket. The valid area for a successful batting is usually delimited by natural features such as trees, or simply an agreed upon imaginary border, this rule only restricts how widely the batter can hit, but not how far. The proportions of the field and positioning of the players are arbitrary, albeit usually adjusted according to the batting and running ability of the players, as well as team size .

When the batsman successfully hits the ball, they drop the bat and make their way around the four bases (usually counter-clockwise), while the players in the catching team catch and throw the ball back to the designated catcher positioned by the outing base (brännplatta), who announces the end of the batting round with "out" (bränd, "burned") when the catcher has made contact with the outing base whilst holding the ball. If a player from the batting team is caught between two bases at the end of the batting round, they move back to either the last visited base or first base (depending on the local rules) and the catching team scores a point. If a batsman is unsuccessful at batting after the three attempts allowed, they move to the first base and will run when the next batsman bats a valid hit. There are no restrictions on the number of players at each base. If all players on the batting team fail to reach the fourth base (and thus rejoin the queue) and no batsmen remain in the queue, the inner team is caught out ("utebrända"), and depending on local rules extra points may be awarded to the opposing team in return for the safe passage on the players to the queue. Alternatively, the inner team gets to switch sides as batting is often more lucrative for scoring points.

Each team get to play as both sides, usually one or two times, and sides are shifted at predetermined time intervals.

Scoring system

Score and time is kept by a score keeper, who also has the final say in whether inner team players are caught out at the end of a batting round.

Generic scoring system (Due to the lack of a professional organisation governing brännboll, many local varieties exist):

  • Home run (Frivarv/Helrunda) – 6 points for batting team
  • Player passing fourth base (Varvning) – 1 point for batting team
  • Team Caught out (Utbränd) – 5 points for catching team
  • Caught out (Bränd) – 1 point for catching team
  • Fly ball (catch the ball before it hits the ground) (Lyra) – 1 points for catching team
    • In some varieties, catching the ball with one hand only (Enhandslyra) may yield more points

Penalty system

Generic penalty system (Several varieties exist)

  • First time – warning.
  • Second time – 5 penalty points.
  • Third time – 10 penalty points.
  • Fourth time – disqualification, the opponent wins.


While not being an organized sport with teams and a league, it is appreciated by children of all ages during school or after, and friends after work play for fun.

Since 1974 an annual Students World Championship tournament has been held in the northern city of Umeå, whereby some standardized rules are followed. The world championship is called Brännbollscupen, which is followed by the festival Brännbollsyran.

Brännboll is enjoyed by elementary schoolchildren in the American Upper Midwest (particularly Minnesota), due to the area's large Scandinavian influence.[1][2]

A similar game, brennball, is popular in PE classes at German schools. It is usually played indoors, with a larger ball (such as a volleyball or a basketball) and without a bat; batting is replaced by throwing. The bases are usually far larger than in baseball and more than one player can be on the same base at the same time. German brennball is rarely played outside a PE setting.

In Norway another similar game, called dødball (deadball or deathball), is common. The game has six or five rings (approximately one meter in diameter) marked on the ground instead of four bases, limiting the number of players secured by a given ring to the amount that can fit within it. The term "dead" (død) is used instead of "burnt" or "out". When the catcher gets the ball he or she also has to bounce it on the ground (usually on a predetermined square called døboksen, "the death box") and shout "dø" ("die"). A dead player is exempt from play for the rest of the round unless a home run is achieved; in which case a set number of dead players (usually either one or all of them, depending on the rule-set) are "saved" and allowed to rejoin the queue. To complete a run a player has to reenter the "in" side of the field rather than just reaching the last base. Scoring- and win-conditions varies widely from rule-set to rule-set. Points can be determined by runs, just by home runs, by rounds won (usually determined by reaching set numbers of home runs for the in-team or dead players for the out-team) or by combinations of the above. Sometimes points are not used at all and a game ends with no formal winner after a set amount of time.

Another version of the game, popular among students, is called ölbrännboll (beer-brännball), where beercases are used as bases so the players of the batting team, waiting to run can drink freely. It is however not mandatory to drink while waiting. One version of the game where drinking is mandatory is vinbrännboll (wine-brännball), where you take a glass of wine after passing the fourth base and thus being "safe".

See also


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External links


Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team (batting team) are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team (fielding team) is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate (the place where the player started as a batter). The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

The first objective of the batting team is to have a player reach first base safely. A player on the batting team who reaches first base without being called "out" can attempt to advance to subsequent bases as a runner, either immediately or during teammates' turns batting. The fielding team tries to prevent runs by getting batters or runners "out", which forces them out of the field of play. Both the pitcher and fielders have methods of getting the batting team's players out. The opposing teams switch back and forth between batting and fielding; the batting team's turn to bat is over once the fielding team records three outs. One turn batting for each team constitutes an inning. A game is usually composed of nine innings, and the team with the greater number of runs at the end of the game wins. If scores are tied at the end of nine innings, extra innings are usually played. Baseball has no game clock, although most games end in the ninth inning.

Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games already being played in England by the mid-18th century. This game was brought by immigrants to North America, where the modern version developed. By the late 19th century, baseball was widely recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia, particularly in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are divided into the National League (NL) and American League (AL), each with three divisions: East, West, and Central. The MLB champion is determined by playoffs that culminate in the World Series. The top level of play is similarly split in Japan between the Central and Pacific Leagues and in Cuba between the West League and East League. The World Baseball Classic, organized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, is the major international competition of the sport and attracts the top national teams from around the world.

Bat-and-ball games

Bat-ballgames (or safe haven games to avoid being confused with club games such as golf and hockey) are field games played by two opposing teams. The teams alternate between "batting" (offensive) roles, sometimes called "in at bat", and "out in the field" (defensive), or simply in and out. Only the batting team may score, but teams have equal opportunities in both roles. The game is counted rather than timed.

A player on the fielding (defensive) team puts the ball in play with a delivery whose restriction depends on the game. A player on the batting team attempts to strike the delivered ball, commonly with a "bat", which is a club governed by the rules of the game. After striking the ball, the batter may become a runner trying to reach a safe haven or "base". While in contact with a base, the runner is safe from the fielding team and in a position to score runs. Leaving a safe haven places the runner in danger of being put out. The teams switch roles when the fielding team puts the batting team out, which varies by game.

In modern baseball the fielders put three players out; in cricket they retire all players but one. Some games permit multiple runners and some have multiple bases to run in sequence. Batting may occur, and running begin, at one of the bases. The movement between those "safe havens" is governed by the rules of the particular sport.


Brännbollscupen is an annual competition in brännboll in Umeå, Sweden, organised by IKSU. Brännboll is a Scandinavian game similar to baseball.Brännbollscupen was first arranged in 1974 with 44 participating teams. Throughout the years the tournament has grown to over 1000 participating teams. Since 1997, the contest has World Cup status.Brännbollscupen is always played the last weekend of May. When the sun sets and it is too dark to play brännboll, the festival Brännbollsyran takes place.

History of cricket to 1725

The earliest definite reference to cricket is dated Monday, 17 January 1597 (i.e., an "Old Style" Julian date which is 1598 by modern reckoning under the Gregorian calendar). It is a deposition in the records of a legal case at Guildford, Surrey, re the use of a parcel of land c.1550 and John Derrick, a coroner, testified that he had at that time played cricket on the land when he was a boy. Derrick's testimony makes clear that the sport was being played c.1550, but its true origin is a mystery. All that can be said with a fair degree of certainty is that its beginning was earlier than 1550, somewhere in south-east England within the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Unlike other games with batsmen, bowlers and fielders, such as stoolball and rounders, cricket can only be played on relatively short grass, especially as the ball was delivered along the ground until the 1760s. Therefore, forest clearings and land where sheep had grazed would have been suitable places to play.

Cricket was being played in the south-east of England by 1598. The sparse information available about the early years suggests that it may have been a children's game in the 16th century but, by 1611, it had become an adult pastime. The earliest known organised match was played circa 1611, a year in which other significant references to the sport are dated. From 1611 to 1725, fewer than thirty matches are known to have been organised between recognised teams. Similarly, only a limited number of players, teams and venues of the period have been recorded. The earliest matches played by English parish teams are examples of village cricket. Although village matches are now considered minor in status, the early matches are significant in cricket's history simply because they are known. There were no newspaper reports of matches until the end of the seventeenth century and so the primary sources are court records and private diaries, hence games were rarely recorded.

During the reign of Charles I, the gentry took an increased interest as patrons and occasionally as players. A big attraction for them was the opportunity that the game offered for gambling and this escalated in the years following the Restoration when cricket in London and the south-eastern counties of England evolved into a popular social activity. The patrons staged lucrative eleven-a-side matches featuring the earliest professional players. Meanwhile, English colonists had introduced cricket to North America and the West Indies, and the sailors and traders of the East India Company had taken it to the Indian subcontinent.

In the first quarter of the 18th century, more information about cricket became available as the growing newspaper industry took an interest. The sport noticeably began to spread throughout England as the century went on. By 1725, significant patrons such as Edwin Stead, Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond and Sir William Gage were forming teams of county strength in Kent and Sussex. The earliest known great players, including William Bedle and Thomas Waymark, were active. Cricket was attracting large, vociferous crowds and the matches were social occasions at which gambling and alcoholic drinks were additional attractions.


IKSU (Idrottsklubben Studenterna i Umeå) is a sports club and nonprofit organization in Umeå. It has three facilities, IKSU sport at the Umeå University campus, IKSU plus at the Arts campus and IKSU spa in Umedalen. It has about 18,000 members.

In a study conducted in 2011 by the New Zealand fitness company Les Mills International, IKSU had the second highest number of weekly visitors among 13,000 fitness centres in the world.


Kī-o-rahi is a ball sport played in New Zealand with a small round ball called a 'kī'. It is a fast-paced game incorporating skills similar to rugby union, netball and touch. Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones, and score points by touching the 'pou' (boundary markers) and hitting a central 'tupu' or target. The game is played with varying rules (e.g. number of people, size of field, tag ripping rules etc.) depending on the geographic area it is played in. A process called Tatu, before the game, determines which rules the two teams will use.

In 2005 kī-o-rahi was chosen to represent New Zealand by global fast-food chain McDonald's as part of its 'Passport to Play' programme to teach physical play activities in 31,000 American schools.

The programme will give instruction in 15 ethnic games to seven million primary school children.The New Zealand kī-o-rahi representative organisation, Kī-o-Rahi Akotanga Iho, formed with men's and women's national teams, completed a 14 match tour of Europe in September and October 2010. The men's team included 22-test All Black veteran Wayne Shelford who led the team to a 57–10 test win against Kī-o-Rahi Dieppe Organisation, the French Kī-o-Rahi federation.

Shelford's kī-o-rahi test jersey made him the first kī-o-rahi/rugby double international for NZ. The women's team coached by Andrea Cameron (Head of PE at Tikipunga High School) also won by 33–0. These were the first historic test matches between NZ and France.

Lapta (game)

Lapta (Russian: лапта́) is a Russian bat and ball game first known to be played in the 14th century. Mentions of lapta have been found in medieval manuscripts, and balls and bats were found in the 14th-century layers during excavations in Novgorod. It is similar to cricket, brännboll, Rounders, baseball, oină, it:Tsan (Italy) and pesäpallo.

List of ball games

This is a list of ball games which are popular games or sports involving some type of ball or similar object. Ball sports are not sports in the true sense, but are instead considered to be games. These ball games can be grouped by the general objective of the game, sometimes indicating a common origin either of a game itself or of its basic idea:

el pro*Bat-and-ball games, such as cricket and baseball.

Racquet and ball games, such as tennis, squash, racquetball and ball badminton.

Hand and ball-striking games, such as various handball codes, rebound handball and 4 square.

Goal games, such as forms of hockey (except ice hockey which uses a hockey puck), basketball and all forms of football or lacrosse.

Net games, such as volleyball and sepak.

List of sports

The following is a list of sports/games, divided by category.

According to the World Sports Encyclopedia (2003), there are 8,000 indigenous sports and sporting games.


Pesäpallo (Finnish pronunciation: [pesæpɑlːo]; Swedish: boboll, both names literally meaning "nest ball", 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.

Pesäpallo is a combination of traditional ball-batting team games and North American baseball. Pesäpallo was invented by Lauri "Tahko" Pihkala in the 1920s. Pesäpallo has changed with the times and grown in popularity.

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.

The manager has an important role in pesäpallo, leading the offense by giving signals to the players using a multicoloured red fan. The defensive team play is directed by the manager’s orders and hand signals by the fielders.Pesäpallo was a demonstration sport at the 1952 Summer Olympics, held in Helsinki, Finland.

Quidditch (sport)

Quidditch is a sport of two teams of seven players each mounted on broomsticks played on a hockey rink-sized pitch. It is based on a fictional game of the same name invented by author J. K. Rowling, which is featured in the Harry Potter series of novels and related media.[3] The game is also sometimes referred to as muggle quidditch to distinguish it from the fictional game, which involves magical elements such as flying broomsticks and enchanted balls. In the Harry Potter universe, a "muggle" is a person without the power to use magic.

The pitch is rectangular with rounded corners 55 meters (60 yards) by 33 meters (36 yards) with three hoops of varying heights at either end.[4] The sport was created in 2005 and is therefore still quite young. However, quidditch is played around the world and actively growing.[5] The ultimate goal is to have more points than the other team by the time the snitch, a tennis ball inside a long sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official dressed in yellow, is caught. Rules of the sport are governed by the International Quidditch Association, or the IQA, and events are sanctioned by either the IQA or that nation's governing body.

To score points, chasers or keepers must get the quaffle, a slightly deflated volleyball, into one of three of the opposing hoops which scores the team 10 points.[6] To impede the quaffle from advancing down the pitch, chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing chasers and keepers at the same time as beaters using their bludgers—dodgeballs—to take out opposing players. Once a player is hit by an opposing bludger, that player must dismount their broom, drop any ball being held, and return to and touch their hoops before being allowed back into play.[7] The game is ended once the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, awarding that team 30 points.[8]A team consists of minimum seven (maximum 21) players, of which six are always on the pitch, those being the three chasers, one keeper, and two beaters. Besides the seeker who is off-pitch, the six players are required to abide by the gender rule, which states that a team may have a maximum of four players who identify as the same gender, making quidditch one of the few sports that not only offers a co-ed environment but an open community to those who do not identify with the gender binary.[10] Matches or games often run about 30 to 40 minutes but tend to be subject to varying lengths of time due to the unpredictable nature of the snitch catch. If the score at the end of the match including the 30 point snitch catch is tied (such that the team that caught the snitch was 30 points behind the other), the game moves to overtime where the snitch is constrained to the pitch's dimensions and the game ends after five minutes or when the snitch is legally caught.


Rounders (Irish: cluiche corr) is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams. Rounders is a striking and fielding team game that involves hitting a small, hard, leather-cased ball with a rounded end wooden, plastic or metal bat. The players score by running around the four bases on the field.Played in England since Tudor times, it is referenced in 1744 in the children's book A Little Pretty Pocket-Book where it was called Base-Ball. The game is popular among British and Irish school children, particularly among girls. As of 2015 it is played by seven million children in the UK.Gameplay centres on a number of innings, in which teams alternate at batting and fielding. Points (known as 'rounders') are scored by the batting team when one of their players completes a circuit past four bases without being put 'out'. The batter must strike at a good ball and attempt to run a rounder in an anti-clockwise direction around the first, second, and third base and home to the fourth, though they may stay at any of the first three. A batter is out if the ball is caught; if the base to which they are running to is touched with the ball; or if, while running, they are touched with the ball by a fielder.

Sport in Sweden

Sport is considered a national pastime in Sweden, and about half of the population actively takes part in sports activities. The most important all-embracing organisations for sports in Sweden are the Swedish Sports Confederation, and the Swedish Olympic Committee. In total over 2 million people (about 20% of the total population) are members of a sports club.

The sports with most participants are football, floorball, equestrian sports, handball, golf, gymnastics and athletics, while the sports with the largest number of television spectators are football, ice hockey, handball, bandy, golf, motor sport (especially speedway) and athletics. Ice hockey and football are the main sports. Winter sports are also popular, both in the number of participants and in spectators, while floorball gained large popularity in the 1990s amongst participants, spectators grew in the last five years to outnumber other team sports amongst the spectators. Other popular sports include bandy, basketball, orienteering, tennis and table tennis. Except for basketball, the American sports have not gained much popularity, although American football and baseball are practised.

Popular recreational sports and activities include brännboll (popular in schools), boule, kubb, skiing, swimming, gymnastics, walking, running, cycling, dancing, singing and hunting.

Sweden was considered in 2017 to be the fifth best per capita country in the world and world-leading in two sports, bandy and orienteering. The very strong Swedish sport floorball was not a part of the list.

Basket sports
Football codes
Bat-and-ball games
Stick and ball sports
Net sports
Other sports

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