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Pallone col bracciale
Pallone col bracciale was particularly popular throughout Italy in the 18th century then in 19th century and 20th century until 1930 was the most popular sport of ancient Italian national sports; its first official regulations date back to 1555. The pallone col bracciale players are called pallonisti and during 19th century Italian professional pallonisti were richest and best rewarded sportsmen of all the world. This sport and his champions were described by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Giacomo Leopardi, Edmondo de Amicis, Antonio Francesco Grazzini, Ottavio Rinuccini, Gabriello Chiabrera, Tommaso Grossi, Giuseppe Gioachino Belli. Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991) includes a brief film depiction of this game.
Balls are struck back and forth with a wooden cylinder, called bracciale, worn over the forearm, if carelessly played, a broken arm can result: in fact bracciale weighs 2 or 1 kilogram. Originally the ball of 934 grams was inflated, but now hard rubber ball of 350 grams is used. Scoring is by fifteens, as in tennis and the team which wins 12 games is final winner of the match. A special feature is that the ball is put into play by a designated server, who otherwise is not part of the game. The receivers can reject serves at will. Pallone is played on courts marked out on town streets. Registered players of official championships dispute their matches in a kind of stadium named sferisterio or sferodromo in Italian language. Nowadays they play two forms of this sport: 3 players a side with lateral wall and 4 players a side in open playing field without lateral wall.
Celebrated former professional champions include:
- Antonio Mariotti from Ancona
- Antonio Gambero from Genova
- Ubaldo Travagli
- Pietro Orazietti
- Pietro Tarini from Fano
- Luigi Eredi from Ravenna
- Lorenzo Pierotti from Firenze
- Giovanni Contieri from Udine
- Gaetano Trentin from Bassano del Grappa
- Vettor Gasparini from Bassano del Grappa
- Gaspare Socci from Firenze
- Giuseppe Mariotti from Ancona
Pallapugno, one time named pallone elastico, is a game from Piedmont and Liguria and it is played with a bandaged fist; rubber ball has diameter of 10,5 centimetres and weighs 190 grams. Scoring is also by fifteens, but in this version a second bounce can result in a "chase" rather than an outright point, similar to real tennis. Every team has 4 players and the team which wins 11 games is final winner of the match. Professional players dispute their matches in sferisterio 90 metres long and 18 metres large with lateral wall. Professional Italian pallapugno league is top level of competitions: in 2008 10 teams competed.
This sport is played in various nations and they dispute a world championship.
Pallapugno leggera is played in courtfield which has same size of volleyball's courtfield without net (device). Each team has 4 players with 2 reserve players. A match consisted of one set or three sets.
Pantalera or pallapugno alla pantalera is generally played on the urban streets. First action of every match consisted of shot pushing up the ball for rebound on a roof called pantalera in Piedmontese language. Other rules are the same of pallapugno.
Pallonetto or pallonetto ligure al lungo is generally played on the urban streets with tennis balls without covering felt. Playing field is long between 60 and 90 metres and it's large 18 metres with or without lateral wall. Players push the ball using one bandaged hand.
- Morgan, Roger (1989). "European Derivatives of Tennis" in The Royal Game, L. St J. Butler & P. J. Wordie, ed. Stirling: Falkland Palace Real Tennis Club. ISBN 0-9514622-0-2 or ISBN 0-9514622-1-0.
- McNicoll, Kathryn (2005). Real Tennis, pp. 21–22. Buckinghamshire: Shire Publications. ISBN 0-7478-0610-1.
- Whitman, Malcolm D. (1932). Tennis: Origins and Mysteries, p. 85. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications (2004 reprint). ISBN 0-486-43357-9.