Ever since learning about picigin, I’ve felt it’s my duty – NAY, my quest, to tell the world about it.
Please mentally prepare.
Picigin is a Croatian beach sport.
And it’s basically the secret love child between handball and hacky sack. Except that it’s played in the water, and it involves diving, crazy acrobatics, and occasional flips.
Let’s take a quick peek.
Picigin – aka my new favorite sport – originated on Bačvice Beach in Split, Croatia.
It has since spread across the country (and will *hopefully* continue to spread across the globe.)
However, finding a good place to play is somewhat tricky.
For starters, picigin should always be played on a sandy (not rocky!) beach. That way, when you run and dive, you don’t impale your body on sharp rocks.
It should also be played in shallow (typically ankle deep) water, which allows players to sprint more easily toward the ball.
(And also do cool, stylistic moves.)
The rules are pretty lax, but traditionally, five people play picigin.
Two of the players are called “anchors” and don’t move much. The other three are “runners.” (I think you can guess what they do.)
It’s slightly competitive (to see who can do the coolest tricks), but it’s also a cooperative sport.
All the players are on the same team, trying to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible.
The bottom line of the game is to not let the ball drop.
And the secondary goal is to look cool while doing it.
Acrobatics are encouraged to catch the “uncatchable” balls, aka when the ball almost hits the surface of the water or nearby land.
(But really, you can get your picigin swag on at any point during the game.)
Despite all the running and acrobatics, picigin is supposed to be a fun and relaxing game. It’s on par with playing hacky sack or tossing a frisbee around with friends.
(Though someone did decide there should be a world championship, and it takes place in Split, Croatia every June.)
If your goal was to embark on a silly quest today, then you’re very welcome.
You now know what picigin is.
It’s basically an acrobatic water-version of hacky sack, often played by groups of men in speedos, with the simple goal of keeping a stripped and shaven tennis ball in the air.
And now I’m passing the buck – so to speak. (You can pretend it was with an awesome spin kick, because that’s obviously how I would do it.)
Because now it’s your turn to help spread this amazing sport across the globe.
Whether you form a picigin league in the shallow end of your public swimming pool, or just make water cooler conversation with your co-workers about this funky Croatian pastime.
This day, I ask that you share the knowledge of this wondrous sport with those around you.
And share in my quest of spreading picigin to the masses.