Last of The Summer Vino - Newtons Rule of Hilltop Football

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It is becoming increasingly difficult for kids to play football in Tuscan Hilltop Towns these days, not only do they have to try and avoid their opponents, the odd flower pot, stone columns and cobbled stones but they have also to take into consideration Newton's Laws of Motion.

1. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. An object in motion tends to stay in motion along a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.

The object at rest in this case is the legal guardian who can be found sitting in a relaxed position, sipping an ice tea in the towns piazza. The object in motion is the kid running at full speed down the hill after an accelerating ball, the outside force in most cases is the parent’s very loud voice or a tourist’s chest coming into contact with the child’s head, in both cases the kid comes to a complete stop and starts crying.

2. Force equals mass times acceleration.
The mass of the child and the force with which it kick’s the ball is usually proportional to the speed with which the local police officer arrives.

3. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
The Italian version of this rule is Every Action has an Opposite reaction, if Newton had witnessed kids playing football in an Italian piazza he would have noted that the small action of kicking a ball around seems to cause some very excessive opposite reactions.

To avoid all these opposite reactions especially from official circles, it has been suggested that we organize a daily event and call it
“Dimostrazione di cosa faceva il popolo con le loro palle tra il quatordicessimo e quindicesimo secolo” – (What the local population did with balls during the fourteenth and fifteenth century).

All the kids would be dressed in old tatty clothes with coloured handkerchiefs hanging out of their pockets and the ball would vary from a blown up goats bladder to oval cheese forms depending on the century. Black and white posters depicting smiling kids kicking a half eaten oval cheese around the piazza would be used to advertise the event. Once the event was declared official (this is usually achieved with an entry in the local “what’s on guide”) then football in the town’s narrow streets will bloom again.

An interesting note, in the fourteenth century when most of the balls were made of animal bits (cheese, various bladders and stomach linings, etc) a new rule was introduced to stop the players from eating the Ball, if the player continued to ignore this rule the referee could officially declare the ball not playable and reclassify one of the offending players Balls as the official new Ball. The rule is in the Guinness book of records under the heading “Least broken rule”.

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