Picigin – the traditional sport of the city of Split

Picigin is an amateur sport that is played in the sea at depth of ten to twenty centimetres. The game usually involves five players, but there is no opponent or winner. The goal is to keep the ball in the air, but a special emphasis is put on the player's speed as well as the artistic impression that their moves leave.

One should emphasize that the ball is better known as the "balun". This sport is not originally played anywhere, but exclusively at the Split beach of Bačvice. Picigin is there, people of Split believe, some hundred years ago brought by students from Prague.

The legend goes roughly like this - they brought some balls and scattered them around the city, children of Split, future soccer and water polo stars, were playing with them, but one of the balls lurked on Bačvice, and eventually moved from the mainland to the sea . Over time, the ball shrunk, and when it came to a 7 centimetre diameter we can say that a picigin was officially born.

Picigin is nowadays played during almost every season of the year. For this sport it has never been too cold or too hot, and those who play it even in the middle of the winter consider it their trademark. How much is the picigin affiliated to the citizens of the Republic of Croatia is seen in the fact that the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia pronounced picigin a Croatian immaterial cultural good in 2013 with the amendments to the Protection and Conservation of Cultural Property Act.