Chariot Racing – Introduction

Chariots Racing around the corner

Chariots Racing around the cornerChariot racing was the most popular sport in Rome, attracting bigger crowds even than the gladiators.

Although some chariot races were held in the Colosseum, they were more usually held in a special arena known as a circus.


The Chariot Racing rules allow players to recreate the thrills and spills of this popular Roman contest.

Bring to life the spectacular scenes from films like Ben Hur or Gladiator in this fun and easy to play game.


Click here to download the Chariot Racing rules by John Shaw in Microsoft Word format.

These rules are available free as long as credit is retained to the author. All rights reserved.


Romans developed strict rules for all aspects of their life, and chariot racing was no different. A day at the races followed a strict format, which included pre-race parades. The chariots always raced counter clockwise.

Races always took place with 4, 8 or 12 chariots. Four main chariot racing teams existed. These were the Whites, the Reds, the Greens and the Blues. Supporters wore the colours of their favourite teams, just like the football supporters today.

The crowd looks on as the chariot pack squeezes around the corner. Races get exciting, particularly around the corners where it is easy to lose control.



The day began with an elaborate procession of sponsors, charioteers, team managers, priests and holy symbols. There were usually 12 races. Charioteers drew lots for their starting gates. Betting was rife amongst the supporters.

Judges sat above the starting gates. They started the race by dropping a white cloth and raising a rope in front of the horses. As the race progressed, passions were intense both on and off the track. There were plenty of ways that teams could foul their foes.

The winner received a palm branch and wreath plus substantial monetary awards and great fame. They were feted and gained even more prestige than today’s best sporting heroes.

Chariots can try and crash their opponents chariots but they must beware – as they could be the ones left mangled and crashed upon the track.


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