Split to Celebrate 100 Years of Picigin

Katarina Anđelković

Duje Bonačić

September 13, 2023 – Have you discovered picigin, or are you yet to learn what life in Split is all about? A simple ball game might not sound that important, but trust us when we say that picigin is much more than that. It’s a state of mind, a lifestyle, one of those things that has you feeling at home.

The rules are simple – do not let the ball fall into the sea. And the fun can go on for hours.

Anyway, grown men have been gathering at the beach to run and jump around to save the ball for a hundred years. The centenary of playing picigin at Split’s Bačvice will be marked next Saturday with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque dedicated to this popular game. Thus was announced at the press conference of the Picigin Bačvice Ecological Society on Tuesday, reports 24Sata.

As we already noted, the game of picigin was conceived in Split and is considered the ultimate Split sport, and the Bačvice beach is the top spot for playing picigin. “Picigin is a way of life because it is played in summer and winter,” said the President of the Society, Zdenko Matošić.

Celebrating 100 Years of Picigin

The Bačvice Picigin Association has around 100 active picigin players, among whom are singer Goran Karan and former water polo player Denis Lušić.

On Saturday, a commemorative plaque to Picigin will be unveiled at Bačvice to celebrate, followed by a cleaning of the seabed, as well as a football match na male branke (on a small pitch) between veterans of Hajduk, Split Olympians, musicians, singers, and Picigin players themselves.

By the decision of the Ministry of Culture in 2013, picigin was declared an intangible cultural asset. It is a game where there are no winners, so it’s hard to talk about strict rules.

The basic rules, as we mentioned, are simple: five players in a ten to twenty-centimeter deep sea, arranged in a pentagon, standing six to seven meters apart, pass the little ball by hitting it with their palms, making sure it doesn’t fall into the sea.


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