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Sports: Jyväskylä and Epinal

Sport: Jyväskylä

In the beginning of 20th century, sports started to become more common. But already in the 1870's the first sport activities came to Jyväskylä.
There was physical education at schools and sport became even more popular during freetime. At that time the most general sport was gymnastics, cross country skiing, skating, football and track and field events.
Especially in the 1910's and the 1920's the position of sport became much stonger.
Sport was connected to service of the national independence and the importance of national self esteem. Pesäpallo was also a part of military training because it was good exercising in case of the war.


The Finnish baseball company Kiri

The first Finnish baseball company of Central Finland was Jyväskylä's Kiri, founded in 1930. It developed from different kinds of ball games and it has been played since 1922. Pesäpallo was used for military training.
The first match was played on the yard of the Lyseo and Jyväskylä had a big share in the birth of Finnish baseball.

pesapallo.jpg


Introduction to the game

It is a combination of traditional ball-batting team games and American baseball. Pesäpallo has changed with the times and grown in popularity. Rooted deeply in the history of Finland as a nation and in the everyday life in the country regions. Pesis is also enjoyed by all Finns in schools, parks and fields as a hobby, which can be played by everybody for fun.


Something about the rules

The rules of pesis are quite complicated, but the idea of the game is simple. One team tries to defend by catching the ball and putting the runners out. The key to the game and the most important difference between pesis and baseball is the vertical pitching. Hitting the ball as well as controlling the power and direction of the hit, is much easier. This gives the offensive game much more variety, speed and tactical dimensions than in baseball.
The manager has an important role in pesis. The manager leads his team's offensive by giving signals to the players with a multicolored fan. The defensive team play is directed by the manager's orders and hand signals by the fielders.

A modern competition game is played in two periods of four innings each.A period is won by the team which scores more runs in its offensive half-innings. If each of the teams wins one period, the game will be decided by an extra period, which consists of one inning and, if necessary to break the tie, of a special scoring contest.
During an inning both teams take turns batting and fielding.

The defensive team has nine players on the field. The offensive team can use two jokers(designated hitters) during one half-inning in addition to the nine players in the regular batting order. The offensive team can continue batting until three players have been put out or one round of the batting order has been completed without any runs scored.

The batter and the pitcher face each other in the home base, opposite the circular plate. The pitch is delivered by throwing the ball directly upwards above the plate, to a height of at least 1 meter over the head of the pitcher.

The batter has three strikes available during his turn batting. A fair hit does not force him to advance; he can use all three strikes before he becomes a runner.
A hit is foul, if the ball touches the field outside the boundaries. The batter or the runner can not advance on a foul hit. If the fielders get control of the ball before it touches the field, the hit is caught, and all the runners who tried to advance on that play are caught.

After the batter becomes a runner, he must try to advance safely to the first base. The runner reaches safety on a base by touching tha base area before the ball is thrown to a fielder in the base. If the ball gets to the base first, the runner is put out and removed from the field. A runner on a base is forced to advance, if the next runner reaches safety on the same base.

The offensive team scores a run, when a runner returns safely to the home base after advancing safely through all three field bases.

If you are interested
about pesäpallo, here
is a picture of a field.
File [new_new_kentta_miehet.doc]

icehockey.jpg

Sport nowdays

Today there are many kinds of sport activities, and it is your choice what to do. The most common hobbies are perhaps football, icehockey, indoor hockey and dancing. Snowboarding, rollerskating, downhill skiing etc. are also very popular. Among the older people cross country skiing, walking and jogging are the usual forms of sport.

lautailija.jpg

Finns like sport. It is not a problem for them to walk or bicycle to school or to the workplace. And also in freetime they have several sport hobbies.

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There is Finland's only faculty of physical education in Jyväskylä. That is why many sportmen live(d) in there. For example Tuuli Matinsalo: aerobics
Mari and Pertti Sahlberg: aerobics
Risto Jussilainen: skijumping
Jani Soininen: skijumping
Samppa Lajunen: nordic combined
Jere Hard: swimming

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Sport competitions in Finland in the near future:

Year 2002 the World Championship of indoor hockey
2002 the Finnish Championship of show and disco dancing
2005 the World Championship of athletics




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Sport: France and Epinal



1- Ice Hockey

Ice-hockey is not very common in France. There are just a few clubs in mountains areas especially in the Alps.

Hockey was born in Epinal at the same place where the ice-rink of Poissompré is today. In the 30's, the ponds of Poissompré changed into ice-rinks in Winter. 40 years after, the ice-rink of Poissompré was built. The first trainer was Jean-Pierre Henet. There are 3 famous trainers, Pete Laliberté (the first Canadian in France),the Hungarian Andreas Farkas, and especially Bob Gainey, captain of the Canadian of Montreal, a veritable revolution for the little world of Ice Hockey. There were also 3 players Brad Neville, Jo Fernald, and Michel Laforest who made the club be French champion 3 times. From now on, after financial problems, ice hockey is always present in Epinal. In 1999/2000, the Dolphins of Epinal were 5th at the national 1 French Championship, after Brest, Mulhouse, Villard and Briançon ! The first team is the most mediatic, but Jan Reindl organize the detection of younger new players. The team has got many supporters called the "Cannibales Verts". They are very important for the team because they have a lot of motivation and they frighten off the opponents. Today, the team is winning back hearts of Epinal's inhabitants.

p310100.jpg

2- Ice Dancing

The famous champions of ice dancing, Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat, are French. They have a great history together. When Gwendal's dance partner left him, he reiceved a letter from Marina, she was ice-dancer in Russia and she was looking for a dance partner. Then, they met each other and Marina left Moscow to leave at Gwendal's place. And they trained a lot... Now, they are French, European, World and Olympic Champions.
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In Epinal, ice-dancing is not very popular. There are just some lessons at the ice-rink.

3- Tennis

There are good French tennis players :

- Sebastien Grosjean, who was born in 1978, who became pro in 1996. He won at Wimbledon's Championship in 2000 and at the US Open in 2001.
img008845.jpg
- Cedric Pioline, who was born in 1969, who became pro in 1989. He won 5 titles.

- Amelie Mauresmo, who was born in 1979, who became pro in 2000. She won 7 titles.
mauresmo.jpg

Every year in Paris, there is an international Championship called Roland Garros. It's a famous meeting for tennis players and fans. It takes place form May to June. The best champion at it is Gustavo Kuerten, he won 4 times. Last year he learned French for his speech when he received the cup. GUGA loves France and France loves GUGA !

A lot of people play tennis in Epinal, there are different clubs with indoor facilities.

4- Football

It's the most popular sport in France. French people love football. They start to play when they are very young, they can go in sport classes to become better and maybe professional and famous for some of them. But for the main part, it's just a leisure. Even when they are too old for playing, they watch all matches on TV !

French team is the best of the World. They easily won at the World Championship in 1998 against Brasilia, and in 2000 the European Championship. French players, like Zidane, Barthez, Trezeguet, Lizarazu... are very famous around the world.
foot1.jpg

In Epinal, like in all France, almost all boys play football as a leisure. And Epinal has got a football team, the S.A.S.

5- Basketball

Basketball is less popular in France than football but it's quite common.
If you want, you can visit the website of the ASGE, the Epinal team, with plays in the Pro B championship :
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/asge.basket/asge.htm

Conclusion :

France is always present in all championships. So, that means France is one of the most sporty countries in the world.
Vosges's inhabitants are very sporty too, there are 34,586 club members.
You can visit the website of Epinal :
http://www.ville-epinal.fr/sport/Associations/associations_sportives.htm

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Comparing


Differences:

- In Epinal there are mountains so you can spend your freetime in there
- There are numerous lakes in Jyväskylä and Finns like swimming a lot
- Football and icehockey are both very popular in Jyväskylä, but in Epinal
they play only football
- Because there is so much snow in Finland winter sport are very popular,
for example: snowboarding, skiing, skating etc.
- In Epinal tennis and canoeing are quite common


Similarities:

- In both cities people like skateboarding, football, dancing and swimming