Gob Robbing in Turkia after 52 years


The village of Turkia, or more formally Turkia of Liikkala, is located in the rural municipality of Sippola in the county of Kymenlaakso. A village school existed in Turkia from 1919 until 1970, when the school was shut down due to shortage of pupils.

The pupils of Turkia village school played various games during recesses, many of which were popular games in most schools, relevant to that period. A peculiar game which was played in Turkia was Montturutku (Gob Robbing). The game was invented at the village school. It is a sort of a tagging game, but with a twist. It is likely to have been developed from another game known as pitball, which seems to have spread from Karelian isthmus, during the second world war, to many parts of Finland. The birth of pitball and Gob Robbing is not well known, so we look forward to finding more information on its history. The name Montturutku was given to the game by Tuomo Turkia.

As far as is known, Gob Robbing was only played at Turkia school, where it is believed to have been born. With the shutdown of the Turkia village school this cultural history treasure was nearly forgotten. In the early 1970's, with former Turkia village school pupils moving to Sippola high school, a small group of older students played Gob Robbing at the school for a couple of years.

We've noticed at a few gatherings even after decades of the school having been shut down that Gob Robbing is still of interest to many. When adults, who attended Turkia village school as children, meet each other after a long period of time and a word coupling of "that game" is used by someone, the other person immediately knows what game is referted to. When remembering Gob Robbing the foremost thought that comes to mind is how much fun it was.

The functionality of Gob Robbing has been tested with adults and it seems to be working well. Unofficial Gob Robbing world championships were held at Turkia Gob Robbing Arena on 26th July 2022. Based on that, Gob Robbing suits both adults as well as children, and they can play together in the same game, since the attributes required are not tied to age, fitness level, or skill level. The crowd following Gob Robbing world championships were also very convinced of the entertainment level of the game from a spectator's perspective. Gob Robbing is The Game, and for that reason it is always written in capital first letters, as a proper noun, because it is such an exceptional game due to the fun it creates and due to the game's origin.

The purpose of the Gob Robbing association is to promote the game widely by organizing various events, by providing information on the game, and by creating general excitement. The purpose is also to investigate and clarify the origin of the game as far as possible. The aim is to develop the game further, and to introduce a competitive version of the basic game, as well as a competitive team version. This, however, has a slight contradiction to the main basis of the game: NOBODY IS BAD – NOBODY IS THE BEST – EVERYONE IS GOOD. Nevertheless, we wish to provide competitive people a chance to compete in this fun, sporting activity.

The basic game, however, will remain as close to the original version as much as possible. The rules of Gob Robbing are continuously under development, and they will be published as and when a new version is verified. The rules will be written in original Turkia village dialect, in Finnish and in English.

Top photo – a historical moment - Gob Robbing being played in Turkia for the first time after a 52-year break at Turkia Gob Robbing Arena.

Photo below – a historical moment – Gob Robbing is played for the first time in Sydney, Australia.

Gob Robbing in Australia 2023
Gob Robbing in Australia 2023


  • Invented at Turkia primary school as a recess game, perhaps in 1960
  • Related to pitball which was played more widely in Finland
  • Turkia village school was shut down in 1970 and playing of Gob Robbing paused
  • Revival of the game at the end of July 2022
  • Presentation tours of Gob Robbing were begun in October 2022, mainly at schools
  • By the end of spring 2023 over 4000 people have been taught to play Gob Robbing
  • Gob Robbing has been very well received
Gob Robbing in Jyväskylä 2022
Gob Robbing in Jyväskylä 2022



  • In 1693, as a result of the famine, 2 brothers by the name of Turkia moved with their families to Liikkala to the homestead of the wife of one of the brothers, which had been left vacant after the owners had died
  • Liikkala note 9.8.1788: A proposal for peace between Sweden and Russia where the idea of an independent Finland was first presented
  • Anjala union note 12.8.1788: 113 officers backed up the Liikkala note for the rebelliing officers
  • 1792 Katariina II of Russia donated the villages of Liikkala, Ruotila, and Mämmälä (Inkeroinen) and private farms together with 300 inhabitants to Count Johan Peter van Suchtelen
  • In 1835 Suchtelen founded the Liikkala estate and from its way four extended families were driven away. One of the families was the Turkia family, who were banished to an uninhabited area between Liikkala and Mämmälä, which is currently Turkia village
  • The banished people were required to work 10...12 hours per day for the Liikkala estate
  • When the Suchtelen family was extinguished, the estate, and the surrounding villages, was sold back to its original owner colonel Lennart Forstén in 1892
  • Colonel Forstén freed the people from having to work for the estate
Turkia school in 1964
Turkia school in 1964


  • Liikkala village school was founded in 1896 (in 1912 - 122 pupils)
  • Turkia village school was proposed in 1913
  • Decision to build a school was made in 1917, the stone foundation and stonework for the cellar was built in autumn 1917
  • The log frame was erected 1.4.-10.4.1919
  • School commenced in autumn 1919
  • The school was shut down in spring 1970
Teppo near the school in 2023
Teppo near the school in 2023