Italian sport - Rubber Ball game

Italian sport - Rubber Ball game

Italian sport - Rubber Ball game

Published : 10/24/2017 17:48:29
Categories : fine SPORTS Rss feed

The version of the game "Pallapugno" (handball), formerly "Pallone Elastico" (Rubber Ball), that is played today was invented in the early nineteenth century.

It represents the subalpine evolution of the so-called "Bracciale piccolo o piemontese", because the tool of the game, the bracciale, weighs 2kg compared to the 4kg that the "Bracciale grande o toscano" weighs. The game is historically rooted in Lower Piedmont, where it is played in Alba, capital of the Langhe, and in Western Liguria, and is also practiced at a professional level. It has always been an emblem of rural Piedmontese culture and folklore and has been described by writers such as Edmondo de Amicis, Cesare Pavese, Beppe Fenoglio and Giovanni Arpino.

The "Pallapugno" matches are held between two teams each with 4 players, who hold the positions of battitore (batsman), played by the team captain, spalla (shoulder) and two terzini (quarterbacks). The ball is made of synthetic rubber, usually white, with different characteristics from category to category: for seniors (series "A") it has a diameter of 105 mm and weighs 190 grams. It can be hit only with the forearm (closed fist or open hand) on the fly and on the first bounce, after which it’s no longer valid, like in tennis.

To play this sport a simple bandaged fist (right or left) is needed, formed from bandages, leather, rubber and cord, which serves not only to protect but also as a tool to hit the ball better.
The game consists of a single "set" of 11 games. The team that wins the eleventh game wins the match. Each game is in turn made up of four points (just like tennis): fifteen, thirty, forty, and then the fourth which is equivalent to winning the game.

The ball is put into play with a serve from the batter. He does a stylish run of about 12 meters (very reminiscent of the javelin), to be completed at a specific rectangle (the batting area) located in the end zone and adjacent to the wall support.
The game of Pallapugno makes a very engaging show, not only for the physical, athletic ability and techniques of the players, giving a sense of the great power and precision developed in the game, but also for the large number of bettors in the stands. To bet here is called traversare, a word coined exclusively for betting on Pallapugno.

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