Riding a motorcycle is tricky enough to many people, yet alone doing so while dribbling, passing and shooting a football. But that’s what the enthusiasts in the above photo, shot in France in the 1950s, are doing. Welcome to the wacky world of Motoball!
It’s described as “a variation of association football” – quite a variation, we’d say! – and “not for the faint-hearted”. Teams consist of four motorcycle-riding outfield players and one goalkeeper, who is on foot. They each have a coach and, fundamentally, a mechanic, who is invariably flat out during the match’s four 20-minute periods. The ball is between two and three times the size of an association football, and weighs just over twice as much. Whichever side’s net it ripples more times, loses – at least that part’s familiar!
Motoball was first played in France in the early 20th century, and is also now popular in Germany and Russia.