HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL FOOTBALL
The historic Florentine football is by some considered the origin of modern football, or rugby. Develops at the end of 1400 in Florence (from earlier Greek and then Roman games), first played in streets and squares, then regulated in some squares. Matches were played especially during Carnival.
The popularity of the medieval football decreases at the end of 1700, and comeback in 1930, when a game is played for the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Florence's Siege.
Today, the San Giovanni's Tournament of the historic Florentine football takes place normally in Piazza Santa Croce every years in June. The final is held in the afternoon of June 24, St. John's Day, the patron saint of the city. Part of the tradition is also the Historical Parade of the Florentine Republic, composed for the occasion by 530 participants, dressed in rigorous military costumes from the Renaissance period.
There is also a medieval football version of the city of Prato, called: the big ball.
TECHNIQUE OF MEDIEVAL FOOTBALL
Fifty minutes of match, a rectangular field covered with sand and twenty-seven footballers (calcianti) for the team. A white line divides the field into two identical squares. The teams represent the four main districts of Florence: the Whites of Holy Spirit, the light blue of Santa Croce; the Reds of Santa Maria Novella; the Greens of San Giovanni.
The roles of the players are: 4 Datori indietro (Goalkeepers); 3 Datori innanzi (full-backs); 5 Sconciatori (Median); 15 Innanzi (strikers).
There are several referees in the field with different roles, including to calm the spirits too agitated.
Throwing the ball to the center of the field, the two teams have to bring the ball into the opponent's net by any means to score "hunting" (the goal). If the shot had to finish above the opposing net, it would be assigned a score of "middle-hunting" to the opposing team.
For each hunt, there is a change of field.
Curiously, there are no rules that clearly define how and when you can hit an opponent, is a tough game, violent, which fuses together three different sports: rugby, boxing and greek-Roman wrestling. The players are all men, usually of Florence, who play for passion (and honor, that collect in the city, celebrated as heroes), and are not paid.
Historic Florentine football
Collection of videos dedicated to historic Florentine football, the medieval football played in Florence. Many hours of video matches.