I’ve been following the game of palla a 21 (or palla eh!) since 2007, the year we brought the ball to Chicago, Illinois. In addition, I’ve been looking at it from various angles, and working on its promotion and definition of its role in relation to other things going on.
This year I missed the Tirli tournament due to business bringing me elsewhere, and I did follow the one in Scalvaia, but not with the right level of attention, due to the presence of another person visting us for business.
Finally, I managed to follow with attention most of the Ciciano tournament. With the eye that an “outsider” can have, I still oversee many details, and I lack some background historical facts…but I surely improved my understanding of the game and of the tournaments a lot in the past eight years.
The first two tournaments have been won by the home teams. For this reason some folks were starting to suggest that this year each team will win when they are at their place. But then, what would be the sense of a competition? However, with Scalvaia winning in Ciciano, and Torniella having issues in really making a stand, this forecast proved to be wrong, and the games are open.
With three tournaments to go (Torniella, August 8-9, Piloni, August 22-23, and Vetulonia August 29-30) almost anything could happen. Except Torniella repeating the outstanding performance of the past 2-3 years…but they could still win three out of six tournaments.
Or we might see the great comeback by Scalvaia. They were masters of the game before the new wave from Torniella, and -with or without “macumba” as Fabio Massellucci says- they are doing great things in this edition.
Finally: we also have teams from the other villages. While these teams have occasional issues in proposing the right players, apart from Tirli, they can always do the right thing at the right time, and win.
So: in Italy some say that the only sure thing about soccer is that the ball is round. If we take palla a 21 (o palla eh!), in addition to defining the geometry of the sphere, we might add that, if you don’t stop the ball, then you’ll have to go get it, and make sure that happens fast, or it will roll down the hill.
For the next tournament, see you in Torniella (halfway between Siena and Grosseto), at 3PM on Saturday, August 8. More details when you are here.
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