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History of Beach Soccer

 

A faster, hotter version of the world's most popular sport. A soft sand surface allows players to try diving headers, bicycle kicks and exciting tricks more freely. The sport is spectacular. The sand adds another dimension to the sport, putting aerobic strength, teamwork and individual skills to the test.

The ball is in the air most of the time, with quick flicks, juggling and volleying all becoming increasingly important in order to stay away from an unpredictable surface. There are an average of sixty shots at goal and eleven goals per game at the pro beach soccer level so it's not surprising that it has been dubbed a "soccer highlight show" by the media.

The rules of the game are generally the same as grass soccer except the following:

  • Goalies do not punt
  • 5 on 5 (4 players + a keeper)
  • Substitutions on the fly
  • No offsides
  • No shoes, cleats or shingaurds (but socks can be worn to protect feet)
  • Three 12 minute periods
  • Kick-ins or throw-ins
  • 30 X 40 yard fields
  • Regulation soccer ball

The first games of beach soccer were played more than thirty years ago on the beaches of Brazil. The game has become very popular in its home country where pick-up and more organized matches dominate beach space.

In the 1980's beach soccer started creeping northward with tournaments cropping up in San Jose, Virginia Beach (the North American Sand Soccer Championships are held there with more than 200 teams participating each year), Cape Cod, Newport, Atlantic Beach, Miami and New York. There are now more than fifteen tournaments in the United States that attract more than 10,000 beach soccer players.

The first Pro Beach Soccer event was held in 1993 on the Beach of Miami Florida. The Pro Beach Soccer Tour, operated out of the United States, is now a sixteen-stop summer long endeavor that attracts audiences of more than 5,000 people per match. Pro Tournaments are hosted in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.

 

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