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Finska - The Outdoor Family Game

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Published January 18th 2015
Unique & addictive game
I have never considered myself a fan of log tossing. Perhaps because I do not hail from the northern hemisphere, nor am I blessed with Herculean-type upper body strength. Plus it's not a sport that we, in Australia, are exposed to very often. So it came as a big surprise to find that I did enjoy a spot of log-tossing when I was introduced to Finska.

Finska log tossing game
Finska set

Finska is a log-tossing game from Finland. It can be played at the park, at the beach or in your own backyard.

Fun Finska Fact #1 - Finska is very popular in Europe, so much so that there are even World Championships played annually

The aim of the game is to get to exactly 50 points, without going over. Every game is different and requires both skill and strategy in order to win. It can be played either individually or in teams and is recommended for ages 7 and up.

In this age of mass produced plastic toys & screen-based games for kids, Finska is old school - getting everyone outside, with some pieces of wood and using their brains to keep the score. It is unique and I must confess a little addictive.

Fun Finska Fact #2 -You don't need electricity or batteries to play Finska, all you need is an outdoor area

Let me explain how the game works.

finska log tossing game
Set up the pins

You set up the numbered pins in a tight cluster. Set the throwing line around 3 - 4 metres from the pins, marked with the Finska crate (which also doubles as a handy drink holder).

Players or teams take turns to throw the large throwing pin underarm towards the numbered pins.

finska log tossing game
Try to hit the nymbered pins with the throwing pin

If one pin is knocked over, the player scores the number marked on the pin. E.g. if you knock over the 10 pin you score 10 points.

However if multiple pins are knocked over in one throw you only score the number of pins knocked down E.g. if you knock over the 1, 3 and 11 pins the score is 3 points.

Each player keeps their own score or you can use the official score card.

finska log tossing game
The pins spread out as the game continues

The pins that were knocked over are placed upright where they lie. This means that the pins spread out as the game continues.

A player or team that scores zero on three consecutive turns is disqualified from the match.

If a player or team score exceeds 50, their total score drops to 25 points.

The game continues until someone scores 50 points exactly.

Fun Finska Fact #3 - Finska develops numeracy skills without the kids even realising

It sounds simple enough but depending on the surface you are playing on the throwing log can be highly unpredictable. It can either hit the pins directly, stop dead without hitting a thing or bounce erratically and jump over the pins altogether. As a result the game can be extremely frustrating, hilarious or exhilarating. But rest assured it is always entertaining.

We have played with people aged from 8 years all the way through to adults in their seventies. So why not join the Finska bandwagon and see if you've got what it takes to make it to the world championships? Perhaps I'll even see you there..
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Why? For some unique outdoor fun
When: Anytime
Where: Park, Beach or your own backyard
Your Comment
It is interesting to learn about a game that can be played by all different ages.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4061) 1515 days ago
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