The game of pallone col bracciale originated from Italy and became popular throughout Europe in the 16th and 17th Century. The pallone, a large goatskin ball inflated with a syringe was struck with the glove, known as the bracciale. The bracciale was worn over the players' forearm and was wrapped with a cloth for more comfort. The pyramid-studded exterior is used to give the ball a better grip.
The scoring was in fifteens as in tennis. Two teams comprising of usually four players faced each other in open areas such as gardens or fields. In the 18th and 19th centuries the game largely remained in Italy, being played against the city walls.
Players were traditionally dressed in white and would wear large red or blue cotton belts to differentiate the teams. The bracciale would sometimes be painted in red or blue for this same reason, which explains the blue paint on the above bracciale.