Discuss as:

Pushing and shoving in traditional English football match, where the goals are three miles apart

Paul Ellis / AFP - Getty Images

Residents taking part in the annual Shrovetide football event jostle for the ball in Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, central England, on Tuesday. The Royal Shrovetide Football match is a tradition dating back centuries. The aim is to move the ball, carried through the town by opposing teams of residents known as the Up'ards and the Downards, towards goals which are three miles apart.

Darren Staples / Reuters

The ball breaks from the hug during the annual Shrovetide football match in Ashbourne, central England on Tuesday. The aim of the teams, the Up'ards and the Down'ards, is to score by tapping the ball three times on stone goal plinths three miles apart on the banks of the River Henmore. The game dates back to the 17th century.

Darren Staples / Reuters

Men fight inthe hug during the annual Shrovetide football match in Ashbourne, central England on Tuesday.

Paul Ellis / AFP - Getty Images

Residents taking part in the annual Shrovetide football event jostle for the ball in Ashbourne on Tuesday.

Darren Staples / Reuters

A man leaves a boarded up book shop before the annual Royal Shrovetide football match in Ashbourne.

The BBC reports on the centuries-old game:  Despite being described as football, the game is like a huge rugby scrum.

Hundreds of players for each side - called the Up'ards and Down'ards, depending on which side of River Henmore you were born - battle in the streets to get the hand-painted cork-filled ball to goals three miles apart.