The rules of the Palio (Women)

2019 Edition


The Palio delle Botti is a race between six districts (called Rioni) competing each other rolling the barrels.
The competing Rioni are the following:


2.A The weight of the barrel (barrique) must be 100 kg.
2.B The barrel must not have wooden rings, hoops and protruding hoop nails.
2.C The competition barrels are kept in a special enclosure prepared by the Committee and cannot be removed until the end of the competition (qualifications, semifinals, final).


3.A The Teams of up to 8 runners (6 regular runners and 2 reserve runners) who are at least 18 years old at the time of the race.
3.B The runners must be resident in the Municipality of Manciano or be daughters of a parent resident or born in the Municipality of Manciano.

The only exceptions allowed are the following:
– 2 members domiciled in the Municipality of Manciano
– 1 member resident outside the Municipality of Manciano
3.C The task of the runners is to push the barrel, alternating between them.
3.D The runners are required to wear protective gloves during the race.
3.E The runners are required to present a medical certificate of fitness to practice non-competitive sports, issued by an authorized center, and a valid identity document.
3.F Each Rione is responsible for the regularity of its members and is required to submit the relevant documentation by the day established by the Committee and in any case no later than the day of the presentation of the teams.
3.G Each Rione can have reserve runners who are allowed to participate to the race only and exclusively in the event of an injury to a titular runner.


4.A The race takes place in all the various phases (qualifications, semifinals, final) along the following route:
Piazza Garibaldi, Via Ricasoli, Piazza della Chiesa, Via Madoni, Via Cavour, Piazza Garibaldi
4.B Only runners are allowed on the course during the race.
4.C Neither runners who have already made the change, nor other people, including Race Judges and Committee members, may stop along the course.
4.D In case of infringement by the runners of the rule at point 4.C, the Jury may fine the team (see art. 9.A).
4.E There are two Slowdown Zones along the route:
1. It is located in Via Ricasoli: it starts from the gate following the Misericordia gate and ends at the curve
2. It is located in the area “dell’Orologio” area (Via Madoni): starts a little further on from the Loggia, where there is the “giving way” and ends after about 5 meters
4.F The Slowdown Zones are in any case lanes, therefore subjected to the same rules as the other areas of the route: maintaining one’s own lane and no overtaking.
4.G It is strictly forbidden to carry out tests on the race course: training on the course is only allowed on the days established by the Committee. Expected penalty: disqualification of the team from the competition.


5.A The competition takes place with the following phases:
– n. 3 qualifications
– n. 2 semifinals between the winning teams of the qualifiers and the team that obtains the best time among the eliminated
– final between the two winning teams of the semifinals
5.B The runners participating to the race must arrive 30 minutes before the start of the first qualifying race.
5.C The team pairings and starting positions (right and left) are established by drawing lots before the start of the qualifiers.
5.D The start of each race is signaled with a gun shot.
5.E The team pairings and starting positions (right and left) for the semifinals are determined by a new draw.
5.F A pair of runners cannot cover two consecutive sections of the course: in case of violation, the team is disqualified, according to the unquestionable judgment of the Jury.
5.G The barrel must be pushed by two runners at a time (in a sort of relay) with 2 other pairs of runners, making a “flying” change in the designated areas.
5.H To facilitate the runners, in the areas where the leading team must be indicated, two Lane Judges are positioned:
– the first Judge (positioned on the lane end line) will call the team that is behind with a megaphone
– the second Judge (positioned at the end of the slowdown zone) will signal the team that is behind with a flag with the colors of the Rione
5.I If during the race a Rione uses different runners than those previously indicated to the Jury, the team will be disqualified, according to the unquestionable judgment of the Jury.


6.A The barrel during the race must always be pushed by both runners, each of whom must push alternating hands on the barrel.
6.B Only at the moment of departure, to give the initial blow to the barrel, both hands are allowed at the same time.
6.C The barrel can never be left by the two runners during the race.
The only exceptions allowed are the following:
– The section of the “Orologio curve”
– The case in which one of the two runners is unable to continue the race


7.A There are two changes to be made during the race, arranged in two areas:
– Piazza della Chiesa area
– in front of the Stanze
7.B The runners who receive the barrel from their teammates must stay in the pre-established areas and walk alongside the barrel as much as possible to facilitate the change.


8.A To ensure the regularity of the competition in all its phases, the Committee names a Jury.
8.B The Jury is composed of a maximum of 25 people, who, during the competition, arrange themselves in the relevant areas of competence to ensure the correct running of the competition.
8.C The Jury has the unquestionable power to disqualify a team for the violations referred to in articles 5.F, 5.I and 8.H.
8.D The Judges must know this regulation in its entirety and apply the relative rules.
8.E Each Judge notes the penalties on special tickets to be delivered to the Race Judge, positioned at the table at the start.
8.F Judges who do not apply penalties are also required to deliver the tickets to the Race Judge.
8.G Only the Prior and the Captain of the Rione can claim or ask for clarification to the Jury.
8.H Any offenses by the Prior, the Captain and the runners of a team will be punished, at the discretion of the Jury, with a penalty or disqualification of the team.
8.I Any disputes concerning the interpretation of the articles or omissions of these regulations will be resolved by the Jury, with unquestionable opinion.


9.A The penalties that can be applied by the Jury are the following:
1. Lane invasion – 2 seconds
2. Involuntary physical contact – 3 seconds
3. Change outside the zone – 3 seconds
4. Contact where there are no lanes – 3 seconds
5. Contact in the Slowdown Zone – 3 seconds
(This penalty starts from the “give way” line, and continues throughout the SR until the lanes are found)
6. Overtaking in the prohibited area – 20 seconds
7. Barrel left by the runners before the end of the race – 10 seconds
8. Stop of the runners on the course – 5 seconds
9. First false start – 5 seconds
10. Second false start – 10 seconds
11. Third false start – 20 seconds
(False starts can occur more than one time in the same race and the penalties are cumulative)
9.B At the end of each race, the penalties are added to the time taken by each team, obtaining the final time.


10.A At the end of the final, the team with the best time wins the competition, winning the Palio and the winning Rione is announced.
10.B The award ceremony takes place at the end of the competition in Piazza Garibaldi with the delivery of the Palio by the Grand Prior, in the presence of the authorities.