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Swamp football is a form of football (Soccer), which is played in bogs or swamps. Players compete on a wet bog, though for the major tournaments the pitch is simply a dry muddy field which is covered in water, rather than a naturally occurring swamp. The dimensions of the pitch are roughly 60m long and 35 metres wide.
The sport originated in Finland, where apparently it was used as an exercise activity for athletes and soldiers, as playing on soft bog is very physically demanding.
The first organised competition was held in 1998, when 13 teams gathered to play for the Finnish Championship. The event was the brainchild of Jyrki Väänänen nicknamed "The Swamp Baron". There are currently an estimated 260 swamp football teams around the world. The sport is particularly popular in Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Holland, Russia and Brazil. The World Championships in swamp football is played in Hyrynsalmi in northern Finland, the first taking place in 2000.
The rules of Swamp Football is a heavily modified version of standard football rules.
- games are played in two 13-minute halves.
- Boots can not be changed during the game
- Corner kicks, penalties and throw-ins are made with drop kicks
- there is no offside rule
- the penalty area is five metres deep, but the goalkeeper is only allowed to hold the ball in a three metre radius from the goal
- There are 6 players on the field, with maximum of 12 in the squad. The players can be substituted as often as they want.
see also the Mud Olympics
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