La Soule is a traditional medieval football sport, similar to mob football that originated in France (it is also called choule). The sport has been prohibited and is not played any more, though there have been some scattered attempts to revive it.
La Soule is a team sport, where matches will be played between two neighboring parishes. There is no fixed upper limit for the number of players on a team. Teams usually have somewhere from 20 to 200 players.
The objective for each team is to take the ball to a designated area. It could be a church within the team's own parish, or the opponent’s parish. There are no fixed rules and matches last for several hours or even days. The sport was very aggressive in nature and players are allowed to move the ball using hands, feet or sticks. The ball used was made of wood, or out of pigs bladder stuffed with hay or horse hair.
A match started at the border between two parishes, and there is no fixed course, it usually leads teams through different terrains, river, mud and several obstacles.
There are records of more than two teams being involved in a single match. There is also a record of a match in which 16 parishes have taken part.
- See Knattleikr, a Viking ball game which may be the origin of la soule/choule
- More about Medieval Football
- Football Decoder — what is called football around the world?
- About Extinct and Ancient Sports
- List of Extinct Sports
- List of unusual sports
- Complete list of sports
- About sport in France