If you lived in Finland you would know how and be pretty good at, both cross-country and downhill skiing, because they have a lot of snow. For decades, the top Finnish cross-country skiers have been practicing their basic level of fitness at the swamp during the summer. The thought was that walking or running through the mud and muck would force your leg and core muscles to get stronger and that would translate into better skiing performance. That is where the idea of combining the swamp and the world’s most popular sport, football (soccer), came from in 1998 in Hyrynsalmi. The rest is history… Swamp Soccer was born. Of course at first it was just some young guys who liked to get dirty and compete kicking a ball around. Now it is an international competition.
The games are played on fields that are the size of 100’ x 200’. There are 20 fields in Vuorisuo, and during the competition nearly 1,000 games are played. The number of players on each team are a goalkeeper and 5 field players. The number of substitute players is not restricted, and substitutions are made on the fly. Playing time is 2 – 10 minute periods. Encircled with spectators on pathways made of wooden planks, the pitch itself is a patch of swamp delineated by a white boundary line. The annual swamp soccer world cup saw players this weekend fight for the ball in deep quagmires, with more than 100 teams gathered in the wetlands of central Finland. Since the fields are formed by the forces of nature, each one possesses its own unique characteristics. While some fields are drier, some fields may see the players crawl around in the waist-deep muck as you can see in the video below. “We get stuck in the swamps and we lose our shoes in the swamps and so on but we just try to get the ball to the goal,” said Siri from the team Lahen Stolit, which won the women’s professional category. “One of the biggest challenges is when you’re playing defense. “Sometimes it’s mud up to the groin, while in some parts of the pitch it’s less soggy,” organizer Kimmo Kyhala told Reuters. “This is a very tough sport. A slim body and long legs are advantages,” he said. “A good player must be like a moose in the swamp.”
To date, the international tournament has seen teams from England, the Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Scotland and Iceland taking part in the event. In this year’s tournament, German team Jugendclub Lindenau won the gold medal in the men’s professional category. “Finns are crazy about this event,” said Jussi Kiiskila, one of the organizers of the event in Hyrynsalmi, adding that the number of international teams was rising.
Foootball Funnies, Scooooore!
My pet pig loves soccer.
Usually he plays clean but as soon as he’s in mud he’s Messi.
A gambler complained to his friend at the bar, “My goodness, I had a woeful time betting today. I lost nine out of nine college football games, five out of five in baseball, and even four out of seven in hockey.”
The friend replied helpfully, “Well, at least the soccer games are starting soon.”
The gambler shot back, “But I don’t know anything about soccer!”
What did the soccer fan say when the beer ran out?
Damn, this game is boring.
Our soccer team is not that good. In our game today, the opposing team hit the bar twice in the first half.
They could have at least waited till the end of the game to celebrate.
August 1st birthdays
1818 – Maria Mitchell, 1973 – Tempest Bledsoe, 1970 – Jennifer Gareis
1819 – Herman Melville, 1936 – Dom DeLuise, 1942 – Jerry Garcia, 1931 – Ziggy’s Tom Wilson