Calcio Fiorentino / Calico Storico

Calcio fiorentino, also known as calico storico which means historic football, and giuoco del calcio fiorentino (Florentine kick game). It is an early form of football which was developed in 16th century Italy. The game was believed to be a revival of the Roman sport of harpastum.

In the modern times, there are three matches which are played every year in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence in the third week of June. There is a team from each quartiere of the city: Santa Croce or Azzurri, Santa Maria Novella or Rossi, Santo Spirito or Bianchi, and San Giovanni or Verdi. After playing each other, the final two teams will proceed to the finals.

It is a bloody, violent competition between rival neighborhoods of the city. The match can last up to 50 minutes; it is played in a rectangular field of sand, which is about 40x80m. There is a white line which divided the field into two squares. Each team consist of 27 players who are split into the following playing positions, 4 goalkeepers, 3 fullbacks, 5 halfbacks, 15 forwards, with no substitutions allowed.

The game starts when the Pallalio throws the ball to the center line. The players must then try to get the ball to the opposing team's goal which is called the caccia, which is actually a four-foot high wooden wall that runs the full width at each end of the field. A scored goal is called as caccia, and the team with the most caccia at the end of the match wins.

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