[Video] Traditional Sports: Fierljeppen

[Video] Traditional Sports: Fierljeppen

Today we are going to take a look at one of the most unusual sports in Europe. Fierljeppen, or polsstokverspringen, is a traditional sport that originated in the Dutch province of Friesland. The sport involves a canal and a pole vault, and it’s absolutely amazing.

The far-leaping Frisians

Fierljeppen, which translates to “far-leaping” in English, is a sport where participants try to jump over a body of water (which is usually a canal, obviously) using a long pole (polsstok). The contestant sprints towards the water and uses it to try and pole vault, while climbing up the pole to control its movement, across to the other side of the water.

Fierljeppen is said to of originated as a way for Frisian people to quickly traverse the waterways, with literary evidence dating back to the 1200s. It eventually became a competition, with the first official match held in 1771. It was properly instituted as a sport in the Netherlands in 1957. Despite originating in Friesland, the sport has newfound popularity in the province of Utrecht.

See it in action

If you still aren’t really sure what Fierljeppen is and want to see it in action, check out the video below! Have you ever tried Fierljeppen before? If not, would you give it a go? Let us know in the comments below!



William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

Read more



Leave a comment