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Origins of Fierljeppen

The Netherlands is a flat and wet country. The fields are filled with small and bigger waterways. To cross these waterways, the Dutch people have been using poles for as long as men can remember. Old paintings of Brueghel already show jumping Dutchmen crossing the canals. The first written records we can find in the year 1200.

It was only a matter of time for people to organise competitions to jump over bigger canals, and already in 1771 the first official match was being held bij an innkeeper in the province of Frisia. Also during festivities there were many different plays involving a pole and water.

Since 1957 these matches became more structured and a league was formed in the province of Frisia (FLB), only followed 3 years later by a similar league in the Dutch provinces of Utrecht and South Holland (PBH).

Since 1966 these two leagues meet every year to compete for the honour of being the best league in the Netherlands.

Six years later the first Dutch Championships were held, in which the best individual jumpers of the Netherlands can obtain the Dutch national title.

Read more about the history of the PBH


The first official matches in the 1960's usually didn't bring jumps of more than 10 metres. Of course the sport has developed a lot since then. Nowadays we ocasionaly see jumps over 20 metres.

Click here for all the current records

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