Baseball Magazine

Lapta

By Precious Sanders @pdsanders99

Here’s a short, but interesting article from yesterday’s New York Times about Russia’s relationship to baseball — or, at least, its perceived relationship.  It seems that Russia is now literally trying to beat America at its own game, baseball, the American pastime.  There is a growing push to try to bring more popularity to the sport in hopes that Russia can defeat the United States in the 2020 Olympics, when the Russians hope baseball will make its return to the Games.

Even more fascinating is the assertion that baseball might, in fact, have Russian roots.  The game of lapta is a centuries-old bat-and-ball game traditional to Russia.  Archaeologists have dated the game back as far as the ninth to fourteenth centuries, as bats and balls have been discovered at excavation sites in Novgorod.  Throughout Russian history, lapta has been played as a means of physical conditioning for Russian military soldiers.

Lapta isn’t quite the same as baseball, of course, as can be seen in this video:

The precise rules of lapta seem a bit murky (must have something to do with it being centuries old), but I’ll explain it as I understand it here.  To play the game, you need two teams of at least three (and up to six, from what I can tell) players.  It is played with a rubber ball (or tennis ball) and bats.  The field is 30-40 yards wide and 40-55 yards long.  After hitting the ball, a player of the offensive team runs fast down the length of the field, and then tries to return “home.” Each player who manages to make it back successfully gains one score for the team. If he is “tagged” with the ball, the team of batsmen shifts to tagging (defense), and vise versa. The game is won when all the members of one team have hit the ball and returned “home.”

Sergei Fokin of the Russian Lapta Federation was quoted in 2003 as saying, “Our theory is that Russian immigrants or Jews from Odessa brought lapta to America, and baseball evolved from there. Lapta is a much older game, and there are so many similar concepts: tagging runners out, hitting and catching fly balls, for example.”

What’s more, some Russians hope that not only will baseball make a return to the Olympics, but maybe someday, lapta will become a featured sport as well.


Lapta
Lapta
Lapta

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • #HampsteadGardenSuburb – More Than A Village by @kpgtourguide

    #HampsteadGardenSuburb More Than Village @kpgtourguide

    DC Editor Adam writes… Karen's tour of little known Hampstead Garden Suburb goes this Sunday 29th April at 2.30pm from Golders Green tube. It, in a word, is... Read more

    10 hours, 19 minutes ago by   Lwblog
    DESTINATIONS, TRAVEL
  • It's Official - Polish Ice Warriors Will Return to K2 in 2019/2020

    It's Official Polish Warriors Will Return 2019/2020

    This past winter one of the expeditions that we followed closely was the attempt by the Polish Ice Warriors team to make the first winter ascent of K2. Read more

    11 hours, 18 minutes ago by   Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • Boho Chic Wedding in Santorini

    Boho Chic Wedding Santorini

    The boho chic wedding we are sharing today has mesmerized us! Taylor and Justin love exotic sunny destinations and during one of their trips they discovered... Read more

    12 hours, 35 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
    LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, WEDDING
  • The Xroadie Files

    Xroadie Files

    Lord of Pagathorn – Diamono Philia Sedit – Bass, Hellwind – Vocals/Drums, Corpselord – Guitar/Bass/Vocals Intro Nietzscherion strange guitar sounds... Read more

    12 hours, 49 minutes ago by   Ripplemusic
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Marvelous Mother's Day Gifts!

    Marvelous Mother's Gifts!

    Mother's Day is in a few weeks and I'm sometimes still in awe that I've been a Mom for the last four years now. As a parent, the kids and Zach always try to... Read more

    13 hours, 19 minutes ago by   Cait
    LIFESTYLE
  • Black and Gold Hues Wedding Inspiration with a Modern Flair

    Black Gold Hues Wedding Inspiration with Modern Flair

    Today, we’re sharing with you a wedding inspirational shoot that took place in Santorini, an ideal summer destination. An impressive table with black and gold... Read more

    14 hours, 16 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
    LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, WEDDING
  • A Fun Class

    Class

    Last night was the tenth and last meeting of my Wordplay class -- and what fun it's been! The students have written to prompts of taste, touch, smell, sound, an... Read more

    14 hours, 19 minutes ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY

Magazines