Calcio Fiorentino

Last updated
Calcio match in Piazza Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Painting by Jan Van der Straet Giovanni-Stradano-Gioco-del-calcio-in-piazza-Santa-Maria-Novella-1561-62-1024x721.jpg
Calcio match in Piazza Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Painting by Jan Van der Straet

Calcio Fiorentino (also known as calcio storico "historic football") is an early form of football (soccer and rugby) that originated during the Middle Ages in Italy. [1] Once widely played, the sport is thought to have started in the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence. There it became known as the giuoco del calcio fiorentino ("Florentine kick game") or simply calcio, which is now also the name for association football in the Italian language. The game may have started as a revival of the Roman sport of harpastum.

Contents

History

Renaissance Era

A Calcio Fiorentino game played at Piazza Santa Croce, Florence, Italy Calcio fiorentino 1688.jpg
A Calcio Fiorentino game played at Piazza Santa Croce, Florence, Italy

Calcio was reserved for rich aristocrats who played every night between Epiphany and Lent. [2] Even popes, such as Clement VII, Leo XI and Urban VIII, played the sport in Vatican City. The games could get violent as teams vied to score goals. A variation of Calcio Fiorentino was most likely played in the 15th century as well, as a match was organized on the Arno river in 1490, notable as a day so cold the waters were completely frozen.[ citation needed ]

On another famous occasion, the city of Florence held a match on February 17, 1530, in defiance of the imperial troops sent by Charles V, as the city was under siege. The "noble game" was played in Piazza Santa Croce, only by distinguished soldiers, lords, noblemen and princes. [3]

In 1574 Henry III of France attended a game of "bridge fighting" – put on in his honor during a visit to Venice. The King is recorded as saying: "Too small to be a real war and too cruel to be a game". [4]

A version of rules for the game were first recorded by Giovanni de' Bardi in the late 16th century. [5]

Modern revival

Match Between Azzurri and Rossi in 2008 Calcio Storico partita 1.JPG
Match Between Azzurri and Rossi in 2008

Interest in Calcio waned in the early 17th century. However, in 1930 it was reorganized as a game in Kingdom of Italy, [2] under Benito Mussolini. It was widely played by amateurs in streets and squares using handmade balls of cloth or animal skin. [6] Today, three matches are played each year in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence in the third week of June. A team from each quartiere of the city is represented:

After playing each other in two opening games, the two overall winners go into the yearly final on June 24, the feast of San Giovanni (St. John), the Patron Saint of Florence. For decades, this violent match has resulted in severe injuries, including death. During the early decades, in order to encourage wagering and achieve a bettable winner, there were times when bulls would be ushered into the ring in hopes of adding confusion and inciting victory. The modern version of calcio has not changed much from its historical roots, which allow tactics such as head-butting, punching, elbowing, and choking. However, due to often fatal injuries, sucker punches and kicks to the head are currently banned. [2] It is also prohibited for more than one player to attack an opponent. Any violation leads to being expelled from the game.

Rules

Match in Florence Calcio storico 01.jpg
Match in Florence

Matches last 50 minutes and are played on a field covered in sand, twice as long as it is wide (approximately 100 m × 50 m or 109 by 55 yards). A white line divides the field into two identical squares, and a goal net runs the width of each end.

Each team has 27 players and no substitutions are allowed for injured or expelled players. The teams are made up of four datori indietro (goalkeepers), three datori innanzi (fullbacks), five sconciatori (halfbacks), 15 innanzi or corridori (forwards). The captain and standard bearer's tent sits at the center of the goal net. They do not actively participate in the game, but can organize their teams and occasionally act as caccas (referees), mainly to calm down their players or to stop fights.

The referee and the six linesmen officiate the match in collaboration with the judge commissioner, who remains off the field. The referee, above everyone else, is the master of the field, and is responsible for making sure the game runs smoothly, stepping into the field only to maintain discipline and reestablish order when fights occur.

Calcio Storico Parade in 2008 Calcio Storico Corteo.jpg
Calcio Storico Parade in 2008

Shots from a small cannon or colubrine announces the beginning of the event. The game starts when the pallaio[ clarification needed ] throws and kicks the ball toward the center line, then at the first whistle as the ball first rests on field, 15 forwards or corridori, begin fighting in a wild mixed martial arts match- punching, kicking, tripping, hacking, tackling, and wrestling with each other in an effort designed to tire opponents' defenses, but which often descends into an all-out brawl. They try to pin and force into submission as many players possible. Once there are enough incapacitated players, the other teammates come and swoop up the ball and head to the goal.

From this moment on, the players try by any means necessary to get the ball into the opponents' goal, also called caccia. The teams change sides with every caccia or goal scored. It is important to shoot with precision, because every time a player throws or kicks the ball above the net, the opposing team is awarded with a half caccia. The game ends after 50 minutes and the team which scored the most cacce wins.

Along with the palio[ clarification needed ], the winning team used to receive a Chianina, a type of pure-bred cow. However, this has been reduced to a free dinner for the winning team; the players earn no other compensation. [7]

The comic book series Bitch Planet includes an event titled "Duemila" or "Megaton"; in issue #4 the event is described: "Megaton is one of many modern descendants of Calcio Fiorentino, a 16th century Italian sport... Teams may have any number of players, but their combined weight can be no more than 2,000 lb [910 kg]!" [8]

In the 2017 film Lost In Florence , Brett Dalton plays a former college football star who travels to Italy and becomes involved in playing Calcio Fiorentino.

In episode 4, "Judgement Day" of the TV series, Medici: Masters of Florence, the main characters engage in a game of Calcio Fiorentino in the main square of Florence during a flashback sequence.

In the sixth episode from the second season of Syfy Channel's HAPPY! (titled "Pervapalooza"), the demon Orcus references Calcio Storico while trapped inside Blue Scaramucci's body. (Original airdate 5/1/2019)

The Mirror and the Light , Hilary Mantel's novel about Thomas Cromwell, contains a description of an early 16th-century game of calcio, emphasising its brutality. [9]

Episode 1 of the 2020 Netflix series Home Game is dedicated to Calcio Storico, featuring behind-the-scenes player vignettes contemporary to the 2019 Reds-versus-Whites final match. In addition to providing historical information, the episode depicts interviews with players from both teams. [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Florence</span> Capital and most populated city of the Italian region of Tuscany

Florence is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants in 2016, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Futsal</span> Team sport, variant of association football

Futsal is an association football-based game played on a hard court smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It has similarities to five-a-side football and indoor soccer.

In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield position whose primary role is to stop attacks during the game and prevent the opposition from scoring.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Football in Italy</span> Overview of association football practiced in Italy

Football is the most popular sport in Italy. The Italy national football team is considered to be one of the best national teams in the world. They have won the FIFA World Cup four times, trailing only Brazil, runners-up in two finals and reaching a third place (1990) and a fourth place (1978). They have also won two European Championships, also appearing in two finals, finished third at the Confederations Cup (2013), won one Olympic football tournament (1936) and two Central European International Cups.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Football pitch</span> Rectangular area where association football is played

A football pitch is the playing surface for the game of association football. Its dimensions and markings are defined by Law 1 of the Laws of the Game, "The Field of Play". The pitch is typically made of natural turf or artificial turf, although amateur and recreational teams often play on dirt fields. Artificial surfaces are allowed only to be green in colour.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Medieval football</span> Football game played in Europe

Mob football is a modern term used for a wide variety of the localised informal football games which were invented and played in Europe during the Middle Ages. Alternative names include folk football, medieval football and Shrovetide football. These games may be regarded as the ancestors of modern codes of football, and by comparison with later forms of football, the medieval matches were chaotic and had few rules.

Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio is an amateur league competition for football clubs located at the only level of the Sammarinese football league system and has been operating since the 1985–1986 season. Currently, Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio is ranked last at number 55 among European leagues according to UEFA's league coefficient, which is based on the performance of Sammarinese clubs in the Champions League, Europa League and the Europa Conference League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Umpire (Australian rules football)</span> Sport official

An umpire is an official in the sport of Australian rules football who adjudicates the game according to the "Laws Of The Game", the official handbook of Australian Rules Football.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rugby union in Italy</span>

Rugby union in Italy is governed by the Italian Rugby Federation. Rugby was introduced into Italy in the early 1900s. It is also known as pallovale or palla ovale within Italy. Two Italian professional teams compete in United Rugby Championship, a league that also includes sides from Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and Wales. One of the teams is guaranteed a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup; the other normally plays in the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Top12 is the main national club competition. Four Italian clubs from the national championship compete in a qualifying tournament that awards two places in the Challenge Cup. Italy competes in the Six Nations Championship and Rugby World Cup, and is classified as a tier one nation by World Rugby.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Éder Aleixo</span> Brazilian footballer and manager

Éder Aleixo de Assis, also known as Éder or Éder Aleixo, is a Brazilian former footballer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paulo Roberto Falcão</span> Brazilian footballer and manager

Paulo Roberto Falcão, or simply Falcão, is a Brazilian former footballer and football manager. He is widely considered one of the best players in Internacional and Roma history playing also for São Paulo, and he is universally considered one of the greatest Brazilian players of all time, especially at his peak in the 1980s. At one stage, he was the world's highest paid footballer. Due to his success and performances with Roma, he earned the nickname "the eighth King of Rome" from the fans, like Amedeo Amadei before him, and was inducted into the A.S. Roma Hall of Fame in 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Football</span> Group of related team sports

Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called football include association football ; gridiron football ; Australian rules football; rugby union and rugby league; and Gaelic football. These various forms of football share to varying extent common origins and are known as football codes.

Piazza Santa Croce

Piazza Santa Croce is one of the main plazas or squares located in the central neighbourhood of Florence, in the region of Tuscany, Italy. It is located near Piazza della Signoria and the National Central Library, and takes its name from the Basilica of Santa Croce that overlooks the square.

Yubi lakpi is a seven-a-side traditional football game played in Manipur, India, using a coconut, which has some notable similarities to rugby. Despite these similarities, the name is not related to the game of rugby or Rugby School in England, it is in fact of Meitei-Pangal origin, and means literally "coconut snatching". Emma Levine, an English writer on little known Asian sports, speculates:

The 2012–13 Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio season was the twenty-eighth since its establishment. The league is the uppermost in San Marino, in which the country's top 15 amateur football clubs play. The season began on 14 September 2012 and ended with the play-off final in May 2013. Tre Penne are the defending league champions, having won their first ever Sammarinese championship last season. Tre Penne retained their title, defeating ten-man AC Libertas 5–3 on penalties in a repeat of the previous year's play-off final.

<i>Lost in Florence</i> 2017 Italian film

Lost in Florence is a 2017 romantic drama film written and directed by Evan Oppenheimer and starring Brett Dalton, Alessandra Mastronardi, Alessandro Preziosi and Stana Katic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Comparison of association football and futsal</span>

Futsal began in the 1930s in South America as a version of association football, taking elements of its parent game into an indoor format so players could still play during inclement weather. Over the years, both sports have developed, creating a situation where the two sports share common traits while also hosting various differences.

The 2017–18 Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio was the 33rd season since its establishment. It is the highest level in San Marino, in which the country's top 15 amateur football clubs played. The season begin on 8 September 2017 and concluded with the play-off final on 23 May 2018. La Fiorita were the defending champions from the previous season. The fixtures and group compositions were announced on 19 August 2017.

The Diotto is the celebration for the anniversary of the founding of Scarperia, held each year on September the 8th. The name itself recalls the date: as for "day" and otto which means "eight". Actually, the founding began September the 7th 1306, but it was decided that the anniversary date should have been the day after, birth of the Virgin Mary.

References

  1. Calcio storico fiorentino ieri e oggi by L.Artusi, S. Gabbrielli, SP 44. 1989
  2. 1 2 3 Halpern, J. Balls and Blood, Sports Illustrated. Vol 109, No. 4: August 4, 2008, p. 42.
  3. Monaco, Franco (1967). What's on in Italian Folklore. Automobile club d'Italia L'editrice dell'automobile. p. 26.
  4. "A Point of View: Sporting spectacle on the piazza". BBC News . 12 July 2013.
  5. "Calcio Storico Fiorentino". www.toscanainside.com. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  6. Artusi, Luciano (2016). "Chapter 4: The Ancient Game". Calcio Fiorentino. History, art and memoirs of the historical game. From its origins to the present day. Scribo Edizioni. p. 31. ISBN   9788894182927.
  7. Borden, Sam (2015-07-01). "A Most Dangerous Game". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  8. DeConnick, Kelly Sue; De Landro, Valentine (April 2015). Bitch Planet (Issue 4 ed.). Berkeley: Image Comics, Inc. pp. 14–15.
  9. Pearson, Allison (5 March 2020). "The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel, review: a little baggy, but still brilliant". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  10. Hall, Daniel R - Home Game (Series) https://www.netflix.com/title/80227160