Type of game:
Ball Game
Character of the game:
Competitive
Country of origin:
Finland
Aim of the game:
One team tries to score by hitting the ball, running through the bases and returning to home base. The other team defends by catching the ball and throwing it so that it arrives before the batter reaches the base. This puts the batter out.
Number of players:
Multi Player
Up to 10 players on each team, plus 5 referees and one game official.
Age
5 +
Difficulty:
Hard
Area of play:
Outdoor pitch 50 x 94 m
Outdoor
Equipment
Ball Bat, ball and glove
Motor skills
Coordination Balance Speed Endurance Flexibility Strength
Social skills
Cooperation Competion Decision Making Leadership Communication Team building
Cognitive skills
Strategy Building Tactics Memory Development
equipment
Background
This Finnish national game was designed in the 20s’ of the 20th century by Lauri “Tahko” Pihkala in Finland. It has its own federation called Suomen Pesäpalloliitto with the website: www.pesis.fi. For a long time it has been the favorite game in schools, and is played in back yards as easily as in modern city stadiums filled with thousands of cheering spectators. Many of the current players in the top league of Pesäpallo, Superpesis, are some of the best skilled athletes in the country.
You will find similar games in several European and other continents countries like: Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, India. 
Set up:
This game takes place in a large outdoor area such as a football field with a plastic grass surface. This non-contact game lasts about 2-3 hours and is designed for both genders. This game is played from May to September. Five referees and one game official are required to officiate the game. The playing area has sidelines that players are not allowed to cross.
Rules
Team captains toss a coin to determine which team will start at bat. Play begins and ends at home base. The players hit the ball in turns and try to advance from base to base before the defensive players have a chance to throw the ball to the baseman. In case a player runs through the bases legally and arrives to the home base before the ball, the team playing the inning scores a run. The team that scores the most runs wins the match.

When the defensive team delivers the ball to the base before the runner reaches home base or an intermediary base she or he is out and has to return to the home base. Innings change when three offensive players are out or when two runs or more have not been scored during the 12 players’ turns with batting. The team that scores the most runs in one period wins the period.

A pesäpallo game is played in 2 sets of 4 complete innings. If the number of sets is equal, the game continues into a special extra inning, which decides the winner of the game. In a system called the scoring competition (Fin. kotiutuskilpailu), this "pesäpallo shootout" is played by having five runners, one at a time, placed at third base attempting to score on the hitting attempts of five different batters.

The officiating of a game is done by 5 umpires: a game umpire, a pitching umpire, a second and third base umpire and a back line umpire. The team batting order of 9 batters and their defensive positions is registered in the scorebook. In addition, the team has the possibility to use three joker batters or designated hitters (joker) in each turn at bat. The designated hitter can be used at any time during the team’s batting time. In the men’s Superpesis one batter’s turn can be skipped if all the bases are unoccupied.

Players not involved in batting or running participate actively in the semi-circle behind home plate by helping the runners and indicating the location of pitches. Substitutions occur when a player is injured or in between innings. A player substituted from the batting order must play at least the next offensive or defensive half inning. 

Pitching
The pitcher in pesäpallo, pitches from either side of the home plate depending on the batter’s hitting side preference. The pitcher also throws the ball to fielders to prevent a runner from getting on base. On occasion the pitcher will intentionally pitch off the plate to attempt to lure runners far from their base in order to pick them off.
The batter is allowed three chances to hit a legal pitch. A legal pitch is defined as a ball that drops to home plate that has been tossed into the air at least 1 m above the pitcher’s head using a legal pitching motion. With the bases unoccupied, if the batter is pitched a ball wrong on the first pitch, he may freely advance to first base, i.e. a walk. In situations with runners on base, a walk to the next base is awarded to the lead runner after two wrong pitches and on each wrong pitch thereafter.

Batting and Running the Bases The batter has 3 attempts to hit the ball legally into the field and attempt to advance to first base. If the batter chooses not to run on either of the first 2 attempts he or she must advance on the third attempt. If he or she does not, the batter is out and the runners attempting to advance must return to their bases. A fair batted ball is deemed by the first point of contact by the ball. If it is within the marked field of play, it is a fair ball. A ball that is hit in the air that lands outside the lines, even over the back line, is considered a foul ball. No base advance may be made on a foul ball. A ball touched by a fielder in the air before landing is a fair ball, as is a ball that strikes any defensive player. If a batter hits a ball and advances on his/her own accord to third base, it is considered a home run in pesäpallo (Fin. kunnari) and not only does he or she score a run for the team, the runner may stay at third base to attempt to score an additional run. A runner becomes "wounded" or caught when he or she attempts to advance on a hit ball that is caught in flight by a fielder. The “wounded” runner must leave the field and return to the home base area to await another batting attempt. The number of "wounded" players is unlimited. As all outs made by the defense in pesäpallo are forced outs, when the bases are loaded, it is crucial to force an out.
Teaching Styles:
  •  Provide clear and simple instruction
  • Balance the ability level of the team
  • Complete a walk through the playing area
  • Practice games before introducing scoring
  • Encourage players to establish basic hand communication
  • Safety instructions to be tailored to the environment and participants playing the game.
Rules:
  • Vary the way batters receive the ball (e.g. Hit ball from a tee; ball is rolled)
  • Increase the number of times the defensive team can passes the ball amongst themselves before throwing the ball to base.
  • Increase/decrease the number of strikes available to batters
  • Set up target zones to allow players gain bonus points
  • Allow the batter to choose a runner from their team
Environment:
  • Increase/decrease the distance between each base.
  • Increase/decrease the boundaries of the game.
  • Increase/decrease pitching distance.
  • Create 3-5 circles in the field from which the field players may only throw the ball at the runner.
  • Ensure the playing area has a smooth surface and is free of obstacles
Equipment:
  • Range of balls can be used that vary in weight, size, speed, texture, density etc.
  • Range of bats that vary in weight, size and material can be used
  • Audible equipment can be used ( e.g. bell or rattle ball, bases that have a buzzer)
  • Brightly coloured equipment can be used
  • Players hold a rope between bases to allow the runner to follow the path.
Background
This Finnish national game was designed in the 20s’ of the 20th century by Lauri “Tahko” Pihkala in Finland. It has its own federation called Suomen Pesäpalloliitto with the website: www.pesis.fi. For a long time it has been the favorite game in schools, and is played in back yards as easily as in modern city stadiums filled with thousands of cheering spectators. Many of the current players in the top league of Pesäpallo, Superpesis, are some of the best skilled athletes in the country.
You will find similar games in several European and other continents countries like: Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, India.