Alpine football: the sport played on mountainsides

Would you consider playing soccer on a pitch that slopes up to 45 degrees? That’s the main attraction of “alpine football,” a variant of the world’s most popular sport. In order to make it more difficult, it is played on the steep slopes of the mountains. In most sports, there is always an advocate for a level playing field.

Alpine Football

But, when it comes to alpine football, one of the main conditions is that the terrain is sloping. Frankly, it seems extremely tiring to go back and forth for 90 minutes on the sloping terrain of a mountain. But a group of fans in the Austrian Alps say there’s no better way to play football.

The origin of Alpine football.

The idea behind Alpine football came about while a group of friends were watching the 2014 World Cup. One of the games became quite boring and they started to come up with ways to liven up the match a bit. “We watched the matches and found them very boring,” said Franz Mair, one of the inventors of Alpine football.

“Then Peppi (Peppi Knün, the other inventor) said to me, ‘The way you play is not challenging enough. They should come and go on the slopes of our mountains. They’d get tired right away…’ And then we thought, ‘Honestly, they might not even be able to play. But we and our teammates can do it.'”

In this region of Austria, it is difficult to find flat terrain. And those that do exist are used for more productive and important things than a football field. So, fans of the sport decided to transform their mountainous areas into playgrounds. They applied the saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Football in the mountains.

Now, the locals pride themselves on being the only ones to play alpine football. “Anyone can play on a flat course,” says Alois Gantner, the coach of the Supa Burschis team. “In Montafon, we only play on the steepest slopes we can find.” Alpine football inherited the rules of traditional football.

The only difference is that it takes really strong legs and excellent physical condition to cope with the gravity of such a steep field. It seems like an extreme, intriguing, and even fun sport. But what happens when the ball starts rolling down the mountain every few minutes?

Who is in charge of picking it up and taking it back to the field? I imagine it must be quite tedious for the person in charge.



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