The Championships

Flag-waving is an art, therefore an expression of ourselves, of what we represent and our personality; it’s an art deep rooted in history and, at the same time, it’s a show made with renovating creativity and fantasy.
Among many activities we carry on over the year, the one which keep us together more than others is the participation to the annual national championships and to the several tournaments taking place all over Italy; the group has normally two training sessions per week, which increase up to 4/5 during the summer time, especially in the hottest season time; the fields of specialization brought to contest are five: Singolo, coppia, Piccola Squadra, Grande Squadra e Musici (Single, Pair, Little Team, Big Team and Musicians);


the “Singolo” (Single) is performed by a flag-waver, who must be the best to be chosen in this field, competing alone in the Piazza, toward the audience and the jury, showing them all his/her ability in waving up to 5 flags simultaneously;


the “Coppia” (Pair) is performed by two flag-wavers showing their technical abilities in synchrony, swapping their positions and waving from 1 up to 5 flags up;


the “Piccola squadra (little team) is performed by 4 up to 6 flag-wavers and aims to be a more technical than choreographic exercise; the athlets can compete with three flags at the same time; the continuous flags throwing makes the performance spectacular and rich;


the “Grande Squadra” (big team) is composed by 8 up to 16 flag-wavers who perform together with the “Gruppo Musici” (Musicians) using 1 and 2 flags, thus creating amazing choreographies; it is the pride and joy of every group; here you can appreciate the synchrony of movements together with the spectacular flags swapping and music harmony; the outcome is an extraordinary and creative choreography; the aim of the Gruppo Musici is to accompany the flag-wavers on music that are synchronized with the flags feats; to do this, the accuracy of the movements and the sound clearness play a key role for the good performance outcome.


In 1980 the Gruppo Sbandieratori di Volterra joined the F.I.SB (italian Federation Flag-wavers) , an ambitious goal only two years after its foundation; this event made the group one of the most important among all the Italian flag-wavers groups. Nowadays the F.I.SB is still the landmark in the panorama of the flag sports with more than 80 registered groups ; being part of the F.I.SB allows to participate to tournaments which take place every year all over Italy and also to the national championship.
The group got its first successes in the “Singolo”; in 1981, only two years after its foundation, the group participated to its first national championship in Bologna, where the “singolista” (single person) of that time Federico Simoncini won an unexpected final; in 1984 Volterra hosted for the first time the national championship; from 1987 to 1994 the group gained great victories: the Musicians award has gone to the group of Volterra for five consecutive years, from 1987 to 1991, while the specialty of “Singolo” gave us the most unforgettable satisfactions over the past years, with a 8-consecutive –years success gained by the “singolista” Alessandro Benassai (from 1987 to 1994). Benassai stepped down without never being defeated on the field and he thus became a legend in the world of flags, considering also that his 8 consecutive titles record is still unbroken.
Stefano Borghi also reached the final in Carovigno (BR) in 1992 and won a bronze medal in Sicily in 1995; the group of Volterra was out of the national tournaments from 1996 to 2002; in 2003 there was a new opening toward competition with the participation to the A2 championship in Allumiere, even though the group wasn’t ready for competition yet. In 2006 the group participates to a national championship and from that time we have been continuously taking place to national tournaments. Anyway the world of flags had developed: besides new flag throwing techniques and the news involving the Musicians, we have also to consider the birth of new categories (A2 and A3) due to the increasing number of participants; we therefore committed ourselves with passion, great efforts and care to stand up again as a group; it wasn’t easy at first, but step by step we kept on growing and getting successes such as the promotion to the “Tenzone aurea” (Gold contest), the top among agonistic flag categories, and we finally came back to compete in top levels after 17 years.
Our group got back to victory of an Italian championship in Bra’ (CN) in 2016 thanks to the “singolista” Fabio Ciampelli, born in Massa but grown in Volterra, who made a brilliant and amazing performance to gain the “Tricolore” (Italian award given to the first position).

YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS

With the coming back to competition of the senior group, the managers decided to participate to the under 15 championships with a little group of young flag-wavers and musicians; even in youth championship there were some difficulties to face at first steps, but this led the group of Volterra to become one of the most winning groups over the following years, with a lot of gold medals won in several fields; that’s why we like to invest on young people, since we are sure that the future belong to them .

THE TOOLS

Every artist has its own “tool”: the flag is the “tool” of the flag-waver; it was first made of wood, then the materials have developed over the years and now it is made of synthetic fiber that makes the flag lighter, more practice and resistant; regarding the cloth, we started with the first hand-painted cotton and synthetic clothes to arrive to more modern and lighter printed clothes; all these changes led to follow new techniques that could allow faster and more spectacular flags swapping and featuring; flags and banners have been always existed from the old times up to the present times, and people felt represented from them, both in time of war and peace, accompanied by the rolling of the drums and the sound of clarions, the only musical instruments that still today accompanies the twirling of the flags.
The “Chiarine” (clarions) are wind instruments, simple natural trumpets; they have quite long structure and their sound is acute and clear (the name “Chiarina” derives from “chiaro” whose meaning is “clear”); they have only one finger button and some devices on the pipes to be distinguished one each other, to get more voices and an intense and full sound. The Chiarine are well integrated with the trombones (low chiarine) that have longer and more complex pipes set, bigger mouthpieces and larger trumpetmouth; the drums are the rhythmic section of the music accompanying the flag performances, with cylindrical wooden cases and different sizes and shapes; on the top there’s a membrane commonly called “pelle” (skin), stretched and fixed with ties; there are the timpani (kettledrums) which are played with wooden sticks, and the “rullanti” (rolling drum), smaller than timpani, which are played with lighter sticks; the rullanti are the most important tools , they start the music themes and keep the groove.
La Fotogallery delle Gare

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