Calico Storico, is a sport dating back before the Renaissance Period, a none professional game with a simple prize, a Chianina calf which is now not even awarded.
Played only in Florence Italy, and a pastime of the Roman Legions has seen not a reduction of violence, that it has to be noted the players revel in and it seems in parts like scenes from the movie Gladiator.
A working-class game with players joining teams from certain areas of the city and play for the pride of their neighborhood.
The rules are somewhat confusing to the uneducated eye, a team of 27 men plays to score goals and can use aggression to stop the opposition for the 50-minute duration.
in detail, as per Wiki -
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 4 Datori indietro (goalkeepers), 3 Datori innanzi (fullbacks), 5 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
A small cannon shot 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.
Florentines see Calico Storico as the origins of modern-day football (soccer) and when the four teams colors are mixed they produce the color of the Florentina Football Club, purple.
If you want to watch the game as its shown on TV then here's a link for a full match, or you wanted to watch a more detailed documentary and have Netflix, search for "HOME GAME"
This would be one sport I would watch from the stands, even though I used to box, do five martial arts and also play football and rugby, I'm not from Florence so not eligible to play!
Sadly it had to be canceled this year due to Covid-19 but it (so far) is scheduled for its normal date of June 24th, 2021 if you find yourself in Florence at that time. Tickets are only available locally and no longer sold online, expect to pay approx €30 and up