Pesäpallo, literally means "nest ball", is the national sport of Finland popularly known as Finnish baseball. It is also played in various other countries including Sweden, Germany, Australia, Switzerland and Canada’s Nordic Ontario. It is a fast-moving bat and ball game played between two teams. The sport is very similar to baseball except that in Pesäpallo the ball is pitched vertically. The sport was originated in the 1920s by Lauri "Tahko" Pihkala. Finland's most famous championship of Pesäpallo is known as Superpesis and is held every year. The Pesäpallo World Cup is played internationally since 1992 in every three years.
The defensive team plays with nine players on the field while the offensive team can use three jokers (same as designated hitters in the baseball) along with the nine players in the regular batting order.
The game consists of two periods of four innings each. During an inning, each team takes a turn in the field and a turn at bat. The team which scores more runs in its offensive half-innings wins a period. In case of a tie, there will be an extra inning.
The offensive team players continue to bat until three players of the team have been put out or when one round of the batting order is completed without at least two runs scored.
In Pesäpallo, unlike baseball, the batter and the pitcher face each other in the home base only and on the opposite sides of the circular plate.
Pitch is delivered by throwing the ball upwards above the plate, at least one meter high over the head of the pitcher.
A pitch is considered bad if the ball doesn’t fall on the plate, if it is not thrown sufficiently high or if the pitcher commits a violation.
If a batter takes a swing at the ball then the pitch counts as a strike.
A hit is considered as a foul if the ball first touches the field outside of the boundaries. The batter as well as the runners can’t advance on a foul hit.
A hit is a catch if the fielder catches the ball before it touches the ground.