For the village in Estonia, see Oina, Estonia.
Highest governing body Romanian Oină Federation
First played 1370 (first documented)
1899 (modern rules)
Contact Yes, players are hit with the ball, but no body contact
Team members 11 per side
Type Outdoor
Equipment Oină ball
Venue Oină pitch
Olympic No

Oină (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈoj.nə]) is a Romanian traditional sport, similar in many ways to baseball and lapta.


The name "oină" is derived from the Cuman word oyn "game" (a cognate of Turkish oyun).[1] Oină was first mentioned during the rule of Vlaicu Vodă in 1364, when it spread all across Wallachia.

In 1899, Spiru Haret, the minister of education decided that oină was to be played in schools in physical education classes. He organized the first annual oină competitions.

The Romanian Oină Federation ("Federaţia Română de Oină") was founded in 1932, and was reactivated at the beginning of the 1950s, after a brief period when it was dissolved.

Today, there are two oină federations: one in Bucharest, Romania and another one in Chişinău, Moldova.


Oină pitch animation

The pitch is a rectangle, 70m long by 32m wide divided into:

The attacking side player that has commenced a run will have to cross the following four lines in order:

The in game area is further split into the advance and return triangles and squares. At the intersection of the lines inside the game area and the pitch limits or other lines within the game area, there are circles which determine the positions of the midfielders ("mijlocaşi") and side players ("mărginaşi"). The 1m and 3m semicircles are used for batting and serving. A waiting line is drawn for attacking players to wait their turn to bat.


There are two teams of 11 players, one attacking side or "at bat" ("la bătaie") and one defending side or "at catch" ("la prindere"). The roles switch at half time.

The defending players are placed in the following positions:

The attacking players change roles as the game progresses. The roles are chronologically ordered this way:

Each team has a captain ("căpitan" or "baci""). The midfielder 2 is usually used as captain because he can throw the ball at an attacking player in any in game position. For this reason, the midfielder 2 is also known as a baci.

Each team has a maximum of 5 substitutes available.

Scope of the game

The teams have very different roles depending on whether they are at bat or at catch. At bat players are tasked to open a play and run the lanes until they cross the escape line. At catch players are tasked to hit the players running the lanes with the ball. There can be a maximum of 2 players running each lane at the same time. A player can be hit in both lanes once.


The team at bat is selected by a ritual where the players have to grab the bat, thrown by the referee, and the last one to be able to place at least 4 fingers on the bat wins. The game begins with the team at bat, with one of the players throwing the ball while another player of the same team has to hit it with a wooden bat ("bâtă") and send it as far as he can towards the adversary field. After that, if the ball is caught by the adversaries, the player can run (if he wishes, or if he is forced to run by the referee) the advance and return corridors/lanes ("culoarele de ducere şi întoarcere"), without being hit by the defenders. If he stops the ball with his palm, it is not considered a hit. The player is not allowed to catch the ball, and he must release it immediately. If the player doing a run is hit he goes out of field and into the back zone, or he finishes his tasks, depending on which lane he is running.

The full set of regulations can be found here and here .


In game

At catch players score 2 points for each player hit with a ball, unless the ball touches the palm or the back of the palm.

At bat players score by batting beyond certain lines, like so:


Winning brings the team 3 points, a draw brings in 2 points, and the losing team will score 1 point. Quitting or elimination of the team will result in no points being awarded and a 0-9 loss. Running out of substitutes due to injuries will result in a 0-6 loss and 1 point being awarded, while if the same situation is due to the elimination of a player, the result will be a 0-9 loss and no points being awarded.


A spherical ball made of leather, filled with horse, pig, or bovine hair is used in oină. The ball is around 8 cm in diameter and 140 grams in senior games and around 7 cm in diameter and 100 grams in U-18 games.

Comparison with baseball

Competitions in Romania

All competitions are organized by the governing body, the Romanian Oină Federation ("Federaţia Română de Oină" - FRO).

The main competitions are:

Other competitions in 2010[2] are:

A number of international events are organized:

Internationalizing Oină

Oină and variants of the sport are also played in neighboring countries where there has been or still is a Romanian ethnic or cultural presence. As part of its program to bring oină to the spotlight again, the FRO has begun the process of creating an international federation.[3] A minimum of 3 national federations need to exist in order to form an international federation, and 2 exist already (the Romanian and Moldovan federations). The FRO has begun talks of founding oină clubs and federations in neighboring Bulgaria and Serbia,[4] and in Sweden.[5] Demonstration matches are to be held in Serbia.

See also



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