- was an early form of football that originated in 16th century Italy.
Just like Roman harpastum, Calcio fiorentino was played in teams of 27, using both feet and hands. Goals could be scored by throwing the ball over a designated spot on the perimeter of the field. The playing field is a giant sand pit with a narrow slit constituting the goal, running the width of each end. There is a main referee, six linesmen and a field master. Each game is played out for 50 minutes with the winner being the team with the most points or ‘cacce’.
Originally, calcio was reserved for rich aristocrats, who played every night between Epiphany and Lent. In the Vatican, even Popes, such as Clement VII, Leo XI and Urban VIII were known to play.
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