Since 2010, Italy has been home to an annual hide and seek championship, La Stampa reports.
From 2010 to 2015, the competition was held in Bergamasco province, but this year it was decided to move the contest to Consonno, an Italian ‘ghost town’.
The idea for the games actually came to the organizers by accident.
“Once we celebrated my birthday and began to play hide and seek as when we were children. Suddenly, I was struck by a brilliant idea, why not organize a hide and seek international championship?” Simone Montanari, one of the event’s authors, told La Stampa.
The rules are simple, but strict. Each game is run by two referees and a coordinator, who is the winner of the previous competition. Teams are divided into groups and one person from each group has to hide, while a neutral searching team counts 60 seconds. The tournament runs for two full days until the winner is announced.
“Even the Olympic organizing committee for ‘Tokyo 2020’ expressed interest in a hide and seek competition. They believe that the most widespread game in the world deserves a World Cup championship, while grown-ups deserve a day off to play hide and seek. This is our philosophy – hide and seek free everyone,” announced the tournament’s organizers.
The hilly village of Consonno was abandoned by its residents after the old city was destroyed by a real estate developer to build new infrastructure and living. However, the promised construction plan never materialized. Later in 1970s, a massive landslide hit the city, forcing the last residents to flee Consonno.