In each of their last two matches, Castel Rigone has had a player dismissed from the game for accumulating two yellow cards. Within the club philosophy of fair play, they certainly don’t shy from physical play. After 12 weeks, they are in 12th place, just inside the play-out zone. Video highlights for both games can be found at the end of this post.

Sunday, Nov. 10 saw a 1-0 loss to Ischia Isola Verde, a game in which Castel Rigone seems often to have been under siege. Castel Rigone would have equalized in added time, but Bianco’s freekick goal was disallowed, as three teammates were behind the Ischia defense and in an offside position at the time he struck the ball (whether they were ‘actively involved in play’ is an aspect of the offside rule that often invites argument; it currently states a player is offside if they are: “clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or movement or challenging an opponent for the ball”).

Tranchitella’s first penalty

Saturday, Nov. 16 was a strange match — Castel Rigone dominated and should have won, but earned only a 0-0 draw because their striker, the joint top scorer in the league, Dario Tranchitella, missed two penalties. For a penalty given in the first half, Tranchitella initially scored, but the goal was called back because a teammate, fellow striker Marco Agostinelli, had entered the penalty area before the kick was taken (his timing was off —  Tranchitella had paused his run-up to the ball in order to induce the keeper commit to one side). On the re-kick, Tranchitella stuttered his run-up once again, but the keeper guessed correctly and blocked the ball, with Dario skying the rebound over the bar. Three chances at point-blank range, and no goals. This approached the performance of three penalties missed in one game, accomplished by Martin Palermo of Argentina in 1999). In the second half, Tranchitella’s penalty was simply poor — weak, and too close to the keeper. He looked like he was wary of missing again, rather than intent on scoring.

When fear taps a player on the shoulder, what happens to efficacy, and what role does ethics play?

Probably the most common phrase told by coaches to players here is: “gioca senza paura” (play without fear), which is far easier said than done. In order to play without fear, one might want to know what courage is. And for that, we might consult the Platonic dialogue Laches.

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