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Beach Soccer Tournaments

Beach Soccer Tournaments have always been popular in Brazil, where many of the country’s countless great players cut their soccer teeth, so to speak, on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.

In North America and throughout Europe, the game has gained popularity ever since 1992, when the rules were formalized by Giancarlo Signorini of Connecticut, and a pro beach tour was established that featured a number of international stars.

In 2004, FIFA embraced the sport and a year later, the inaugural Beach Soccer World Cup was played in Brazil, and won by a French team that was coached by Manchester United legend Eric Cantona. Now, even Switzerland has a successful Pro Beach Soccer team, which is not bad for a country that has neither the weather nor the coastline normally associated with the sport.

In 1994, the first US-based major participation tournament, the North American Sand Soccer Championships, took place in Virginia Beach, VA. Although weather was unseasonably cold for the inaugural event, the tournament grew from just 28 teams in 1994 to 132 teams the following year and 256 teams in 1996. Now the event attracts over 950 teams from across the US and overseas.

Beach Soccer

Soccer in the sand differs most from soccer on the grass in the element of dribbling. Basically, on sand, you can't. So there is a premium on moving the ball through the air. Most shots are headers, or a quick "lift and shoot" technique which has been developed by skilled players. Because playing in the sand is so strenuous, players substitute on the fly for short shifts, much like ice hockey.

Teams consists of five players (four plus the goalkeeper) and unlimited substitutions. The game is divided into three 12-minute periods.

Fileds are 25 yards by 30 yards (30 x 40 for some of the adult divisions). Goals also vary in size depending on age-group, from 6’ x 8’ to 7’ x 18’. Emphasis is on attacking play with no offside and no tackling.

Throw-ins are taken from the side lines, and can be taken with either hands or foot. Shoes are not allowed, although ankle guards are permitted. Any fouls committed lead to a free kick on goal, which has to be taken by the player who was fouled (unless awarded for handball). As with indoor soccer, there are no goal kicks. Keepers have to play the ball back into play with a throw.

For teams that are looking to broaden the tournament experience of their players, beach soccer might be just what the doctor ordered. It will provide a break from the usual competition of grass soccer, it will encourage teams to play a different type of soccer and develop some different soccer skills, it will certainly be good for fitness training. And most important of all, it’s a real blast.

Beach Soccer Tournaments to Soccer Tournaments Home

Beach Soccer Tournaments to Beach Soccer

Sand Soccer

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