2. Föreningen Gutnisk Idrott
• Started 1912
• The aim is to maintain the old Gotlandic sports and games
– Pärk, Varpa, Gotlandic pentathlon, Caber tossing, Kick astride, etc.
• The main activity is to arrange the folk-festival Stångaspelen in
mid July, where all the different games and sports take place.
The games has about 2 000 attendants and 2 000 - 3 000 visitors.
• FGI also arranges some small competitions in pärk
• FGI makes demonstrations and try-outs for school-children,
companies and tourist, and educate school-teachers in the
sports and games
• FGI is, so far, not member of The Swedish Sports Confederation
3. Föreningen Gutnisk Idrott
• The area of interest for FGI is mainly the sport Pärk and the folk-games.
• The sport Varpa is also one of the family but has since many years it’s
own organisation arranging own competitions – the Swedish Varpa
• There are many folk-games, a lot of them still used for fun on
festivals and parties, and in traditional festival competitions
between villages (wåg).
• All of the games use simple tools that earlier could find at home an
a farm, i.e. it is farmers games.
• In the games it is always “Best of three”.
• The list of games can be made very long. Some will be presented in
4. Pärk – ancient square-and-border-ball
• An very old ballgame with a medieval win-and-
• Played in two varieties – rear and forward pärk.
(the names follows of the placing of the “Pärkkarl” at the square)
• Similar games are played in i.e. the Netherlands,
France and Spain – all predecessors to tennis etc.
• Pärk is played with a ball big as a fist, made of
tightly winded wool covered with tanned skin.
• You hit the ball with your hand or you kick it with
your foot, on volley or after the first bounce.
• Several competitions are arranged. The largest is
Stångaspelen with about 200 teams attending.
7 people in each team make 1 400 players.
5. Pärk – ancient square-and-border-ball
• The game is played on a smooth grass pitch with
seven players in each team. The space needed is
about 30 m wide and preferably unlimited length
(at least 60 m).
• The game starts with the ball being served into a
square (the “pärk”), 70 x 210 cm, which has given
the name to the game.
• One player, the pärk-man (“pärkkarl”), in the
defending team returns all serves.
• The first part of the game is for the attacking team
to win as much ground as possible from the
defending team. After seven serves, or when all
ground at stake is taken, the teams change places.
The attacking team now have to defend the ground
conquered in the first part of the round.
• Every round gives the winning team 10 points.
40 points win the set. 3 sets win the match.
6. Varpa – precision throwing with stone
• Competitions in two varieties, stone or metal.
• The varpa made of stone is (of course) the
original. No carving of grips are allowed, except on
the edge for the pointing-finger grip.
• The metal varpa has been used since 1930th.
They consists of an aluminium alloy and have grips
for more precision in the throwing.
• The weight of the varpa is free of choice – all
between 0.5 - 5.0 kilos (1-10 pounds) is seen.
• The length of the throwing-track varies between
12 m and 20 m due to sex and age. The track is
marked in each end with a stick.
• When throwing the stone it is important to get it
in horizontal rotation, in order to get it to stay as
close as possible to the stick. The thrower who
gets his/her stone closest to the stick gets one
point. 12 points win the set.
7. Athletic games
• Kick astride or Kicking the strip (Spark‘ bläistre)
Two persons standing 8-10 tometers away from each
other, with a rope (16-20 m long) around their feet. The
rope is supposed be crossed and put in a loop around
the foot in order to get a hold. The aim is to get your
opponent to fall by kicking your feet.
• Breaking the Ox (Täm’ stäut)
Two persons put a long rope across their necks, forwards
across the shoulders and backwards under the arms.
Then you kneel, with the back towards each other, and
the aim is then to pull forward and by that drag your
opponent with you. The winner is the one who drags the
opponent a certain distance. Preferably, it should be a
ditch filled with water between the two competitors.
8. Athletic games (continue)
• Tug-of-pole or Swingle-Tree (Dra hank)
The equipment consists of a half-meter long round-shaped stick,
about 3 cm in diameter. Two persons sit facing each other with
bended knees and the sole of the feet touching the opponents.
Both grab the stick, and the aim is to pull the opponent over, or
pull until somebody drops the stick. The opponents take turns in
how to grab the stick; outer or inner edge.
• Rule the Roast (Herre pa stangg)
Two persons sitting facing each other on a horizontal bar, about
1,5 m high up (in the old days placed over a mudhole). The aim is
to hit each other with a pillow, and make the opponent fall
down. The person to loose is the one who first falls down or
drops his pillow. You are not allow to grip the bar or the
When women compete it is called Best Lady on the Bar (Värst
källingg pa stangg).
9. Athletic games (continue)
• Hook the Bottom or Red Indian Leg Wrestling
Two persons participate. You lay on your back, your heads in
different directions, alongside the opponent`s hip, and then you
hook each other's arms. On a start signal you kick your leg up
high, try to hook the opponent´s leg and pull him over.
• Gotlandic Wrestling or Cumberland Wrestling
Two persons stand facing each other, grabbing each other`s
backs with a waist lock. Your aim is to get your opponent down
on his back. It is not allowed to use the legs to trip the opponent
10. Gotlandic Pentathlon
– RÄNN`I KÄMP (a run), running distance between 60 and 100 m.
– LÄNGDKAST ME‘ STAIN (long-throwing with a stone varpa), measure
the length, and if the stone has rolled reduce the total length with half
of the rolling-distance.
– HAUGSTIKEL (high-jump), general rules.
– STANGGSTÖRTNINGG (Caber tossing), pole weighing 20 kg (less for
youngsters and women).
– RYGGKAST (Cumberland Wrestling), the winner here is The Winner
• Pentathlon is performed as an
elimination competition. The
last ones in each event are
• The events are: