If you thought hide and seek was all fun and games, you would be wrong.
The playground favourite is not only a childhood pastime but also an international sporting event, where athletes across the globe come to compete on the world stage and represent their country.
The tournament, known as the Nascondino World Championship, is held in the abandoned Italian village of Consonno, as 80 teams battle it out for glory.
And for the first time in its eight-year history, this year’s event will boast an Australian team – the Nascon Dingos.
“It’s hide and seek! What’s not to love?” Dingos captain Josh Stinton told The New Daily.
“I was asked if I’d like to be team captain, and to which of course I said ‘yes, yes absolutely.”
Stinton said he heard about the championship on a flight and was immediately interested, with the uniqueness of the event a major drawcard.
“It is certainly up there as the most unique [challenge] I’ve done,” he added.
“I’ve done a number of things like representing Australia in the world’s biggest downhill mountain unicycle competition in Spain, and the toughest cross-country ski race in Sweden without ever having skied in my life.
“But in terms of something that really brings out the inner child in people … when you tell them this, people’s eyes light up with this challenge in a way that I haven’t seen before.
“I’ve been a strong contender since the age of four, I would say just like any other major competitive sports played internationally, you don’t really know when you’re that young that you’re going to be playing on the world stage, but here we are.
“I was always a strong hide and seek competitor but if I’d have known I would be representing Australia as team captain I probably would’ve tied my shoes a little bit tighter [as a kid].”
The rules of the event are fairly simple.
Players are given a 60-second head start to hide before the seekers are released to find the participants.
The goal is to reach home base first without being tagged.
Each individual team member competes in four rounds against 19 opposing players and a team of seekers.
The first player to reach home base is awarded 20 points, the second, 19 and so on with team points tallied based on points scored by individual team members. Representatives eliminated receive no points.
After the opening rounds, the 20 teams with the most points advance to the finals to determine the winning team of The 2017 Golden Fig Leaf.
The Nascon Dingos are currently seeking applicants to join the team.
“Every person who joins the team has to make a commitment to raise $2000 for a small charity of their own, with 100 per cent of the funds going directly to that charity,” Stinton said.
“We are asking for people to send in a video basically calling out their best hide and seek capabilities and a bit of character as well.
“So when we are picking the teammates we’re really going on a bit of style and a bit of creativity and fun.
“It’s a world championship so it’s going to be tough but really we are just there to have a good time and we want people on the same page.”
The Nascondino World Championship will be held in September.