• The Remarkable Run of Castel Rigone

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 26 Sept. 2013. This is the 1st in a series of posts on the ethics of competition in soccer, focusing on Castel Rigone Calcio, and part of the ‘Ethics of Combat‘ category on quemdixerechaos. This blog series completes a DePauw University Faculty Fellowship that examines how and why rules and customs develop for, and in, combat and competition.

    Shades of Umbria

    This past Sunday, Castel Rigone (population406), playing in the Lega Pro Seconda Divisione, defeated Messina (population 242,684), 2-0. Seven years ago, Messina was playing in the top level of Italian soccer (Serie A). Seven years ago, Castel Rigone finished twelfth in the ‘Eccellenza Umbra‘ regional league and barely missed demotion into the seventh level of Italian soccer.

    I first learned about Castel Rigone Calcio when I went to a Wednesday practice for one of our boys at Don Bosco. One of their youth squads practices once a week on the artificial turf at Don Bosco, because several players on the team come from Perugia, and it saves those families some driving (there’s no public transport available between Perugia and Castel Rigone). The Don Bosco youth program also works as a feeder system for Castel Rigone.

    That’s because the club itself is…

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  • Castel Rigone, Week 5: Boxscores and Referees

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 3 Oct. 2013. This is the 2nd in a series of posts on the ethics of competition in soccer, focusing on Castel Rigone Calcio, and part of the ‘Ethics of Combat‘ category on quemdixerechaos.  This blog series completes a DePauw University Faculty Fellowship that examines how and why rules and customs develop for, and in, combat and competition.

    Shades of Umbria

    This past weekend, the biancoblu of Castel Rigone dropped a close game 1-0 at Poggibonsi. It was their third loss in three away games, and they sit in the danger zone near the bottom of the table, though the season is yet young, with 29 games yet to contest. The team played strongly (especially in the second half), and probably deserved a draw, but an unmarked run into the area by Poggibonsi was capped with a volley into goal at 22′, and that’s all that was needed.

    Here are the video highlights of the week 5 match:

    (Note that the Firefox browser often does not display YouTube videos properly; you may need to use a different browser.)

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  • Castel Rigone, Week 6: Water and Fog

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 9 Oct. 2013. This is the 3rd in a series of posts on the ethics of competition in soccer, focusing on Castel Rigone Calcio, and part of the ‘Ethics of Combat‘ category on quemdixerechaos. This blog series completes a DePauw University Faculty Fellowship that examines how and why rules and customs develop for, and in, combat and competition.

    Shades of Umbria

    On Saturday it was pouring down buckets of rain in Perugia. Parking lots, roads, and underpasses in the lower city were flooding. A tournament for piccoli amici (the level Micah plays at) at Don Bosco was cancelled, so suddenly my afternoon was open. I decided to try to get to Castel Rigone to see their home game vs. Nuova Cosenza.

    Unfortunately, it was 1:30, I had no car (the rental office had closed), there’s no public transport, the town was nestled in mountains 30 min. away, the game was to start at 3:00, and it was still pouring.

    So I called our friend Marzia, because she knows everyone. She’s an absolute magician. Several calls and texts later — negotiating time, cost, and location — I bought an umbrella from the street vendors who materialize in Perugia when it rains, and waited outside. A white Citroen pulled up at…

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  • Castel Rigone, Weeks 7-8: The Mountain and the Valley

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 21 Oct. 2013. This is the 4th in a series of posts on the ethics of competition in soccer, focusing on Castel Rigone Calcio, and part of the ‘Ethics of Combat‘ category on quemdixerechaos. This blog series completes a DePauw University Faculty Fellowship that examines how and why rules and customs develop for, and in, combat and competition.

    Shades of Umbria

    Last Saturday, Oct. 12th, Castel Rigone suffered another tough loss, away vs. Casertana. As one match report put it: “Casertana won 1-0 at the end [goal at 72′] of a knockout more than ever undeserved. One goal was disallowed for a highly dubious offside by Tranchitella [of Castel Rigone] in the second half, and another four other scoring chances were wasted by the Rigonians. The white-and-blues were punished for their only blunder.” (“La Casertana vince 1-0 al termine di un ko quanto mai immeritato. Un gol annulato per un fuorigioco molto dubbio a Tranchitella nella ripresa e altre quattro palle gol sprecate dai rigonesi. Biancoblù puniti nell’unico svarione.”)

    Hoping to stave off late-game stumbles, the management began to shore up the team, acquiring 24-year-old defender Gianluigi Bianco from Avellino in Serie B (two levels up). Now second from bottom, they faced a long climb up the table, which they…

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  • Castel Rigone, Week 8 1/2: “Truth,” from Socrates to Shankly

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 26 Oct. 2013. This is the 5th in a series of posts on the ethics of competition in soccer, focusing on Castel Rigone Calcio, and part of the ‘Ethics of Combat‘ category on quemdixerechaos. This blog series completes a DePauw University Faculty Fellowship that examines how and why rules and customs develop for, and in, combat and competition.

    Shades of Umbria

    A new phase has begun at Castel Rigone. Marco Di Loreto departed as manager on Sunday evening. On Tuesday morning, the Giornale dell’Umbria published this comment by Daniele Sborzacchi, chief of the paper’s sports section:

    L’eleganza della simplicità. Marco Di Loreto è uscito di scena con grande signorilità. Da calciatore è riuscito a farsi amare dai tifosi perugini pur provenendo dal feudo rossoverde di Marmore; nella sua ottima carriera in campo si è ritagliato uno spazio importante partendo dalle categorie inferiore e scalandole con impegno e dedicazione. E da tecnico alla prima esperienza su una panchina professionistica, conscio della “particolarità” dell’ambiente rigonese, ha gestito con intelligenza e calma una situazione che, senza ombra di dubbio, avrebbe fatto saltare i nervi a molti altri allenatori. Il suo presidente lo ha criticato aspramente dopo una vittoria importantissima, di quelle in grado di consolidare lo spirito di gruppo perché ottenute in rimonta e…

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  • Castel Rigone, Week 9: Home and Heart

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 30 Oct. 2013. This is the 6th in a series of posts on the ethics of competition in soccer, focusing on Castel Rigone Calcio, and part of the ‘Ethics of Combat‘ category on quemdixerechaos. This blog series completes a DePauw University Faculty Fellowship that examines how and why rules and customs develop for, and in, combat and competition.

    Shades of Umbria

    With their new coach Luca Fusi, and their new signing, terzino (“fullback”) Gianluigi Bianco, now fit enough to start, Castel Rigone looked to get their first away win of the season at Arzanese, in Campania. It was a lively match in which the referee played a significant role, awarding a free kick to Castel Rigone from which Bianco scored his first goal, two penalties to Arzanese (both converted), and sending off Castel Rigone striker Agostinelli for a kick to the ankle in the 20th minute of the second half. (Agostinelli will miss the next two matches in penance.) Two wonderful open-play goals (see highlights below) by Tranchitella (the league leader) and Bontà (after his team went down to 10 men) were enough to earn a 3-2 victory.

    Official Lega Pro video highlights of the week 9 victory v. Arzanese:

    Alas, Arzanese didn’t even get to play their home game in…

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