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Suojalkapallo or Swamp Soccer

You can play dirty as much as you want during this unusual soccer championship

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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If you think that soccer is a tough sport, consider battling for the ball in the mud. Swamp soccer is a sport for those who are not afraid to get their hands dirty and other body parts as well! Held every summer at the Ukkohalla Swamp Rock Arena in the town of Hyrynsalmi. Swamp Soccer World Championship is a one-of-a-kind event, which is anything but boring. For hundreds of teams from a dozen of different countries, this is both a great challenge and great fun.

The idea of a swamp soccer championship emerged in 1998. It came from professional Finnish cross-country skiers who have been practicing at the swamp during the summer. Once soccer and swamps was combined, the new championship was born. The World Cup featured over 300 teams and over 4,000 players since its start. Games are played on 20 fields in Vuorisuo. The size of a field is 90x160 feet (30x60 m). About 1,000 games are played during the championship. Each game has two periods, lasting for 10 minutes. A team has to have a goalkeeper and five field players.

There are currently about 250 swamp soccer teams around the world. Even if you are not a professional athlete, you can play in the amateur league of the championship. Swamp Soccer Championship is not only a good test for your stamina and fitness, it's also an excellent idea for a team-building trip or just a fun weekend with friends. Games are usually followed by parties and various activities at the Ukkohalla ski & sport resort, where most players stay during the event.

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