Moto-ball, What You Get When You Combine Soccer and Motorcycles

The sport of Motor-ball started in France in 1930 and is still played today all across Europe.  It is essentially a soccer match played on motorcycles.  Each team fields four players mounted on motorcycles and one goalie on foot.  The field and goals are both standard soccer dimensions, but the ball is quite a bit larger (40 cm in diameter) and heavier ( 1 kg).  There are four 20 minute quarters which are officiated by two referees and two linesman.

These photos are of a match played in August of 1946 which was captured by LIFE photographer Ralph Morse.  The match took place in France and looked to be very well attended.  With only a bit of string between the players and the fans, I think I'd probably want to keep a safer distance from the field.

In the photo below, you can clearly see the specialized leggings worn by the players to protect them from burns and impact injuries.  Other than that, the rest of the safety gear was just boots, gloves and 1/2 helmet.  You can also see that these motorcycles do not have front brakes, but do appear to have a piece of round tubing to protect the rider's foot and the foot controls.