Croatia – Picigin

1 ‘balun’ (a peeled tennis ball, polished off a few millimeters),
1 sandy beach in shallow water,
Swimsuits (or not!).

1. Team and Place

There are usually five players in the game. Two of them are called sidruni (sidro = anchor, they are called so because they do not move from their places) and the other three are runners (trkači). The groups are often mixed both by gender and age.

Picigin is played in low waters normally to the ankle (rarely up to the waist), and partially on the land.

2. Passing the Ball

As a rule, the players pass the ball only with one stroke of the palm of one hand. With constant hitting they try to keep the ball in the air as long as they can, before it hits the sea or the land. Apart from simple passing and keeping ball in the air the true spirit of picigin reflects in the acrobatics that participants perform, and which is also one goal of the game.

Acrobations consist of players throwing themselves on to the shallow sea trying to catch the “uncatchable ball”, or the one that is almost hit sea surface or land.

In addition, one of the greatest particularities of picigin is that the players (piciginaši) do not play one against the other but together. This non competitive aspect of game contributes to its attractive spirit, because in Picigin it is not important who wins but the goal is simple to have fun.