Extreme Alpine Football Is Only Played on the Steepest Mountain Slopes

As the name suggests, alpine football is a variation of the world’s most popular competitive sport that is played on steep mountain slopes in order to make it more difficult.

Most competitive sports usually take place on level playing fields, but in the case of alpine football, one of the main conditions is that the pitch must be steep. It sounds downright impossible, but a group of football fans in the Austrian Alps claims that it’s the ultimate way to play their favorite sport. They came up with the idea for extreme alpine football during the 2014 World Cup, while watching a boring game and brainstorming for ways to spice it up a bit.

“We were watching the games and found them very boring,” alpine football co-inventor Franz Mair said. “Then, Peppi – Peppi Knünz, the other inventor of the sport – said to me: ‘The way they play isn’t hard enough and they should try running up and down our mountains. They’d soon be out of breath…’ And then we thought: ‘They might not even be able to play – but us and our lads, we’d manage it!'”

Flat ground is very hard to find in the Alps, so it’s most often used for more important things than playing football, so fans of the sport in one such mountainous area decided to turn lemons into lemonade and use the terrain to invent a new variation. Now, locals take pride in only playing alpine football.

“Anyone can play on flat pitches,” says Alois Gantner, trainer of the ‘Supa Burschis’ team. “In Montafon, we only play on the steepest slopes we can find.”

The rules of extreme alpine football are the same as for the regular version, with the only difference being the need for strong legs and great stamina to fight against gravity on the uneven field.


Extreme alpine football looks intriguing, fun, even, but what happens when the ball starts rolling downhill every few minutes, maybe even seconds? Who goes down after it, only to have to make the climb back up to the pitch? Things start going downhill very fast if that starts happening to often, I imagine…