2012 Brännboll Cup Championship: 25-26 May
The sporting event of the year in Umeå, Sweden
Photo: Andreas Nilsson
The Brännboll Cup Championship or “Brännbollscupen” in Swedish is held in Umeå every year during the last weekend of May. It is the largest tournament of its kind in the world. The championship began in 1974 as an outdoor recreational event with 44 teams. During its peak in the 1990s, over 1000 teams participated. Today, it is known as the social event of the year for students at Umeå University and has IKSU - northern Europe's largest fitness centre - as its main sponsor.
The game of brännboll is often called the "national sport of the Swedes" and has similarities to cricket, rounders, baseball, and lapta. The most obvious differences are: there is no pitcher as the batter hits the ball on their own, the game is played in timed periods, gloves are forbidden, and a point system in which a “homerun” is worth six points, as well as much more. Iksu sport - Europe's largest fitness facility - is the host and sets the complete rules for the annual tournament available at their web site in Swedish.
The team titled Salming won the championship title by defeating På Bana by the blowout score of 93-41. Pinglorna won the women's title by dethroning the 2011 champs Sikta på tjejen.
Teams are often are dressed in outrageous uniforms which add to the enjoyment of the games. It's a bit of halloween, mardis gras and carnival mixed together. A jury awards a Best in Show prize to a team based on such criteria as: fun and creative apparel, sportsmanship, farce. Nile City 105,6 won this honour in 2012. In summary, the Brännboll Cup Championship is always a memorable weekend for both participants and spectators alike!