Simply put, Brännboll is a Swedish bat and ball game. Known as Brennball in Germany, rundbold in Denmark and brentball in Norway, it is similar in format to the longball. Longball is another bat-and-ball game that originated in Denmark and is a hybrid of cricket and baseball.
Brännboll is mainly played at the amateur level in countries such as Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Mostly played in public parks, fields or sports fields, in some regions it is also included in the curriculum in educational institutions. Let’s explore the history of this intriguing game and how it is played.
Origin of Brennball
The name brännboll comes from the practice of catching a player between two bases at the climax of a round. This action is called burning, or what we call being eliminated in baseball or running out in cricket.
In the Scandinavian region, the earliest records of ball games date back to 400, when a horn of the time was found depicting a man throwing a ball to two other men trying to catch it. Even though bat and ball games have come in several versions, brannball is not that old and was invented in the late 19th century.th century.
Originally played informally, it became an organized sport in the 1920s.th century, when the Brännbollscupen or Brännboll championship was introduced in 1974. This led to the introduction of formal rules to standardize the game.
IKSU, a non-profit organization and sports club in Umeå, Sweden, organizes an event every year. In the first year, 44 teams took part in the event. Over the years, their number has grown; now more than 1,000 teams take part in the event, and since 1997 it has had the status of a world championship. The event takes place in the last week of May, followed by the Brännboll syran festival.
How is the Brannball played?
Because Brännboll does not have a governing body, the rules may vary by region. However, there are many similarities between the formats and we have shared some here.
Unlike cricket or baseball, there is no bowler or pitcher for Brännboll and the batters bounce or throw the ball before hitting it with their bat. Usually players play with a tennis ball, while the bat may vary. Some use a regular metal or wooden baseball bat; others use a paddle-like bat that resembles a cricket bat. Mostly inexperienced players use a racket in the form of a paddle. In some cases, a racket is also used. The allowable area for a successful hit in terms of width is usually defined as an imaginary boundary, trees along the field, etc. The proportions of the field and the positions of the players are subjective and usually adjusted according to the size of the team and the skill of the players in throwing or catching.
When the batter hits the ball, he must drop the bat and move counterclockwise around the four bases. Meanwhile, the opposing team catches and throws the ball back to the catcher who is at the brannplatte, the outer base. If the catcher makes contact with the exit base while holding the ball, he will cesall the end of the batting round a brand or out.
A player from the batting team will have to return to the first or last base visited, as the rules dictate, if they are between two bases at the end of the round. In this case, the catching team gets the point. Similarly, if the batter fails to bat on the first three attempts, he moves to first base and the next player moves to bat.
There is no limit to the number of players at each base, but if the players on the batting team do not make it to fourth base, they will not be able to rejoin the batting line and there will be no batsmen left. Therefore, the batting or inside team is utebranda or caught, and depending on local rules, the catching team receives extra points to allow players to return to the queue.
Otherwise, the inside team may switch sides as batting is more effective for scoring. Thus, both teams hit and catch the ball. The sequence is played once or twice and the sides are changed after a given time. The scorer records the time and score and has the final say on whether the players of the inside team are utebranda (caught) at the end of the round.
Today, Brännbollscupen has become an important event in the Scandinavian countries, and in these countries the sport is also played informally on the fields and in schools. However, Brennball is played in parts of the US, especially Minnesota and other parts of the American Upper Midwest, as the area has significant Scandinavian influences.
In Germany, a similar game of brandball is played in schools as part of the physical education curriculum. Unlike Brannball, this sport is played indoors with a comparatively larger ball and does not require a bat. Players throw the ball instead of hitting it.
Norwegians play a similar game called wonderball or deathball. The game consists of 5 or 6 rings with a diameter of 1 m, marked on the ground. The number of players is limited to a ring instead of four branball bases.
Students in some countries also play another interesting version of brännboll called olbrännboll or beer brännboll. Players use beer crates as a base, and players on the batting team can drink while waiting to escape. However, you don’t have to drink beer. Another version is vinbrännboll or wine brännboll where players have to drink a glass of wine as they pass 4th base and safe.