Jim Rome mentioned this today on his show and I HAD to check it out, its QUITE the spectacle, and you know what? I like it. Quite a bit actually. The organizers tell us that it's based on an ancient combat sport called Harpastum combined with a bit of this Calcio Fiorentino. TO me it seems more like a straight up combination of Australian Rules Football, MMA and Soccer. Oh and they've been playing it now for some time, only a few times a year though...until now.
Enter Fight Football League, and their debut match is on Youtube, a very interesting tilt featuring Rome versus Florence. The players are all Vinnie Jones look-a-likes who take their sport seriously. There's blood, quite a bit, and punching, a few take downs, but really no bad sportsmanship, which I found fascinating. In this match there were no penalties that I could see, no dismissals and no real warnings. The fighting is controlled, and it's always 1 on 1. You can't punch a guy from behind or when he's down. I don't think kicking was allowed either.
Basically there's 8 guys to a side (I think that's how many I counted) and they have to score a goal worth one point in a rather small square goal some 8-10 feet off the ground. They use a soccer ball and can run with the ball without dribbling. Passing is allowed, didn't see any offsides rules in effect. If a guy is tackled with the ball it's a turnover. They played four 12 minute periods with a short "extra time" for injuries I guess, the clock counts up like in Soccer. Substitutions seemed pretty liberal.
It's not all non-stop action, though it's pretty close. It's weird to see one guy running with the ball and right in front of him his teammate is squaring off with an opponent. If a fight goes on too long it gets broken up too. Actually they seemed to be broken up a lot.
Anyway, check it out, it's rather interesting stuff. The most scoring happens in the fourth quarter, so if you want to only watch one part that's it.