Thousands of people came together this weekend for the Hide and Seek World Championship, in Consonno, Italy, reports the Local.
The championships are a eight yeas-long tradition, and were held in Consonno for the second time this weekend. Consonno is an abandoned rural town, located in the Lecco province. It's usually deadly quiet, but that wasn't the case this weekend.
The rules of this global-scaled are slightly different from the Hide and seek game you might remember. 80 teams of five people face off in 4 rounds.
Each round, the teams are confronted by neutral seekers. They are often chosen for their athleticism. The goal is to reach a home base – a mattress – before the seeker does. Players have 60 seconds to complete the task. The first to reach the mattress is awarded 20 points, the second 19 and so on.
Consonno, once famed as 'Italy's Las Vegas', was devastated in a 1976 landslide. The town's structures are thus fairly dangerous and unreliable. As a result, the games are played outdoors. To keep things interesting, the organisers have to put together a variety of obstacles players can use to hide on their way to the base.
Runners caught by the seekers are not awarded any points. At the end of the round, the team with the most points reach the final, to determine the winner. The winning prize is the 2017 Golden Fig Leaf.
The idea came from two friends, who wondered why no one had put a similar event together earlier.
In its beginning, the championship would only attract Italians. But it has now gained world recognition and brings Japanese, Americans and Australian players to Europe.
This year's edition was particularly rough on its participants. The bad weather discouraged 41 of the teams to see the competition through, with only 39 taking part in the event's second day.
However, the Italians dominated, with local teams ranking first, second and third.