Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fight Inspired Football

Is it football? No, Rugby? MMA???

According to a Sherdog blog entry, the embedded video displays an ancient sport called "harpastum." Wiki defines the sport:


"Harpastum, also known as Harpustum, was a form of ball game played in the Roman Empire. The Romans also referred to it as the small ball game. The ball used was small (not as large as a follis, paganica, or football-sized ball) and hard, probably about the size and solidity of a softball.

This game was apparently a romanized version of a Greek game called phaininda (Greek: "φαινίνδα"), or of another Greek game called "ἐπίσκυρος" (episkuros). It involved considerable speed, agility, and physical exertion. Little is known about the exact rules of the game, but sources indicate the game was a violent one with players often ending up on the ground. In Greece, a spectator (of the Greek form of the game) once had his leg broken when he got caught in the middle of play."


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About the Modern Fight Football League (FFL)
Football + Fighting
By Jake Rossen
Sherdog.com

Wednesday, August 18 12:15 am PT:

There has to be some kind of perverse parallel universe to appreciate with the minds of the people who are attempting to bring you football with punching at the same time the NFL is taking aggressive measures to curb the number of concussions in their league.

The Fight Football League (FFL) hails from Italy and purports to take its inspiration from an ancient Roman game called Harpastum. (I am not sure I would like to take my societal cues from the Roman Empire, but whatever.) Robbed of helmets and padding, these men play a game that seems to combine basketball, football, and ice hockey. It’s operating on the notion that everything can me made better with fighting: players attempt to knock a ball through a goal but must withstand gloved strikes from opposing members in the process. While this sounds like a recipe for disaster, the FFL helpfully provides the limitations on their Web page.

'FFL Rules are manifold, it is aloud to fight only one against one, it is not aloud to strike when running or towards whom is running, no hit from the back or on the ground, injuries or KO's can consequence into the elimination of the player.” Hope that clears it up for you.

In fast-forwarding to a random segment of one of the full-duration (one hour) games on the site, I happened to stop on a player being hauled off on a stretcher. While not nearly as smart as the pioneers of this sport, I can’t help but think that any activity that mauls its own talent isn’t going to get too far into a season. The Gatorade endorsement could be a long time coming.'

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