Combination of agriculture and soccer going to a good cause
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
The objective of the game is the same. Whichever team scores the most goals wins.
But instead of 11 players per side, there’s only three; and those players weigh close to, if not fully, 1,000 pounds each.
And the ball is seven feet in size to accommodate the players.
It’s called tractor football and it’s one of the marquis events at the 2016 National Ploughing Championships taking place in Ireland.
The teams of three drive up and down a field trying to score goals in nets where the posts are bales of hay. Despite the uniqueness of the game, some traditional soccer rules apply.
“If you commit a foul in the 18-yard box it’s a penalty (kick),” Arthur O’Connor, tractor football referee, told TheJournal.ie.
Tractors aren’t allowed to reverse, and the attacking tractor has the right of way at all times.
While the drivers of the tractors and spectators are having a great time, the tractor football exhibition is raising awareness for a very serious issue – heart failure.
“Tractors are at the heart of the farming community and many of us could be accused of looking after our tractors better than our own heart health,” Anna May McHigh, managing director, National Ploughing Association, said in a release.
“A lot of farmers don’t go to doctors,” O’Connor said. “I don’t go myself. This is just encouraging people to go once a year, get a check-up, check your cholesterol and check your heart.”