Each year, the English town of Ashbourne gathers during Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday for a sport with one simple rule: Don’t kill anyone.
To divide up the teams, the townspeople simply group up based on where they were born. Those born north of the town river are the Up’Ards, and those born south of the river are the Down’Ards.
The field of play is three miles long, with a town mills on either end, and to score, a team must bang the custom painted ball against the wall three times.
So just how intense is Royal Shrovetide Football?
Well, to get ready for the game, all stores and shops board up their windows, and all cars are parked outside of city limits. In short: These guys mean business.
According to the rules, once the ball is in play, it’s basically a free-for-all towards one of the goal lines. Unnecessary roughness is “heavily frowned upon”, but besides that, it’s every man for himself.
A three mile long game of football with no pads, no rules, and town pride on the line?
Sign me up!
[Via: The Fan Manual]