Beach soccer

Beach Soccer, also known as beach football, sand football or beasal, is a variant of association football played on a beach or some form of sand.

The game emphasises skill, agility and accuracy in shooting at the goal.[1]

Whilst football has been played informally on beaches for many years, the introduction of beach soccer was an attempt to codify rules for the game. This was done in 1992 by the founders of Beach Soccer Worldwide, a company set up to develop the sport and responsible for the majority of its tournaments to this day. This was a major foundation for what is now known as beach soccer and what has led to the sport rapidly growing in popularity.[2]

The irregularity of the soft-sand playing surface leads to a totally different style of play than is used in football, with a greater degree of improvisation. The compact field, much smaller than a normal football field, allows players to score from anywhere on the sand, leading to an average of sixty attempts at goal in a single game. With an average scoring rate of one goal every three or four minutes, around eleven goals are scored in total during an average game.[3]

Beach soccer
Plaj futbolu
International match
Highest governing bodyFIFA
NicknamesBeach football, beach footie, beasal, futebol de areia, futebol de praia
First played1992 in Brazil
Characteristics
ContactYes
Team members5 at a time
TypeTeam sport, ball sport
EquipmentFootball
Presence
OlympicNo

History

Foundation

Beach football (beasal or futebol de areia) started in Brazil, more precisely at Rio de Janeiro. In 1950 the first official tournament was created to unite neighborhood small tourneys that happened since 1940.[4] After huge popularity it has grown to be an international game. The participation of internationally renowned players such as flamboyant Frenchman Eric Cantona, legendary Spanish strikers Michel and Julio Salinas and Brazilian stars such as Romário, Júnior and Zico has helped to expand television coverage to large audiences in over 170 countries worldwide.

Beach soccer had been played recreationally all over the world for many years and in many different formats. In 1992 the laws of the game were envisioned and a pilot event was staged by the founding partners of BSWW in Los Angeles. By 1993, the first professional beach soccer competition was organized at Miami Beach, with teams from the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Italy taking part.

Growth

06 Chgo Beach Soccer Invitational Challenge me
A beach soccer game at the 2006 Chicago Beach Soccer Invitational

In April 1994 the first event to be covered by network television transmissions was held on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, and the city hosted the first Beach Soccer World Championship in 1995. The competition was won by the host nation, making Brazil the first-ever World Champions of Beach Soccer. The success of the tournament saw commercial interest begin to match developments on the field, and growing demand for the sport around the world gave rise to the Pro Beach Soccer Tour in 1996.

The first Pro Beach Soccer Tour included a total of 60 games in two years across South America, Europe, Asia and the United States, attracting major names both on and off the field. Interest generated by the tour in Europe led to the creation of the European Pro Beach Soccer League in 1998, providing a solid infrastructure that would increase the professionalism of the spectacle on all levels. The EPBSL, now known as the Euro BS League, brought promoters together from across the continent and satisfied the demands of the media, sponsors and fans. Only four years on from its creation, the successful first step in the building of a legitimate worldwide competition structure for the sport of pro beach soccer had been taken.

Behind the scenes key developments were also taking place, with the Beach Soccer Company relocating its headquarters to Europe, firstly to Monaco and then Barcelona, before becoming Pro Beach Soccer, S.L. in April 2000. One year later they would join forces with Octagon Koch Tavares, who had continued to organise the World Championships and events in South America, to form a single entity known as Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW), with the aim of unifying all major Pro Beach Soccer tournaments in the world under the same structure and providing representation of the sport to major sponsors, the media and FIFA.

The EPBSL was also flourishing, a nail-biting 2000 season was decided in the closing match of the final tournament when Spain beat Portugal in an intense encounter. The Americas League also took shape, with teams entered from North and South America, whilst the Pro Beach Soccer Tour extended its horizons to the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Mexico, Greece, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom.

FIFA became the global governing body of the sport in 2005, acknowledging BSWW's framework and organizing the first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.[5]

Recent years

The next four years would see this growth consolidated by further progress both on and off the field, with the EPBSL emerging as the strongest pro beach soccer competition in the world. By 2004, some seventeen nations had entered teams, with this number expected to rise to over [6] stage events.

Such interest has allowed BSWW to strike major sponsorship deals with international companies including McDonald's, Coca-Cola and MasterCard, who stepped up their involvement in 2004 and are now title sponsors of the Euro BS League. Recognition has also come from FIFA, who have cited BSWW as the major entity behind the creation and growth of Beach Soccer, forming a highly promising partnership that was in its full splendour seen in the 2005 world cup, held in Copacabana Beach, Brazil. France won the first world cup and the next year Brazil won it at the same venue. The World Cup has continued to flourish with the first held outside Brazil in 2008, and future World Cups spreading as far out as Tahiti in 2013 and Portugal in 2015[7]

As of 2017, FIFA and the continental confederations do not host women's beach soccer tournaments. The Asian Beach Games, European Games and South American Beach Games also do not have women's beach soccer tournaments.

Rules

The rules of beach soccer are based on the Laws of the Game of association football, with several modifications.[8]

Field

Beachsoccer pitch
A beach soccer pitch. The dashed white lines are not marked on the pitch, and must be inferred by players and officials.

A beach soccer field is a level sandy area considerably smaller than a regular football field. The field is cleared of pebbles and seashells, along with any other objects which could injure a player.

The field is rectangular in shape, and the touch line is longer than the goal line. The field dimensions are:

  • Length: 35–37 metres (38.3–40.5 yards)
  • Width: 26–28 metres (28.4–30.6 yards)

The penalty area is within 9 m (9.8 yards) of the goals, and is marked by a yellow flag situated in touch. Two red flags opposite each other are at the center of the field to represent the half-way line. The goals are slightly smaller than their standard association football counterparts, being 2.2 metres (7 ft 3 in) from the ground to the bottom of the crossbar and 5.5 metres (18 ft) in width between the inside of each upright.

Players

Each team consists of five players, including the goalkeeper and an unlimited number of substitutions, from a selection of three to five players. Throw-ins and kick-ins mean the pace and flow of the game are much faster than regular football. Shoes are not allowed; players must play in bare feet, although ankle guards are permitted. Goal clearances (the equivalent of a goal kick) are taken by the goalkeeper using their hands to throw the ball and a goal cannot be scored directly from these.[9]

Match length

A game lasts thirty-six minutes, and is split up into three twelve-minute periods. Unlike association football, in professional matches the referee is not the sole arbiter of the end of a period. A separate timekeeping official controls the official game clock, which is stopped for stoppages in play, and typically counts down to zero, as in North American sports such as basketball and ice hockey. Draws are not permitted, with the game going into three minutes of extra time, followed by a penalty shootout if the score is still on level terms after normal time. Unlike football, penalty kicks are decided by sudden death rules.

Referees and discipline

Beach soccer has two on-field referees who co-operatively referee the game. They are assisted by a third referee, who acts in a manner similar to football's fourth official and a timekeeper.

As in football, yellow and red cards can be issued. Unlike in football, the team can then bring on a substitute to replace the dismissed player after two minutes.[10] Similar to a power play in ice hockey, this period of numerical advantage ends early if the penalised team concedes a goal.

Free kicks and penalities

Free kicks are awarded for various fouls. All free kicks are direct free kicks which has to be taken by the player who was fouled, unless awarded for deliberate handling. The laws specify that all players apart from the opposing goalkeeper must clear a zone between the kicker and the goal. Because of this and the small playing area, all free kicks represent a good opportunity to score. Penalties are awarded for fouls within the penalty area.

Other major differences from football

Beach soccer ball.jpeg
A beach soccer ball
  • The ball is inflated to a lower pressure (0.4–0.6 atm, compared to 0.6–1.1 atm in football)
  • Instead of a throw-in, a team may choose to take a kick-in
  • Preventing an opponent doing a bicycle kick is a specific foul
  • Teams may not keep possession in their penalty area for more than four seconds

Main beach soccer tournaments

The following are main beach soccer competitions:

International

PRO/Amateur International

  • The Beach Soccer Championships – Oceanside, California – USA
  • North American Sand Soccer Championships – Virginia Beach, Virginia – USA

Confederation

AFC (Asian Football Confederation):

CAF (Confederation of African Football):

CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football):

CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation):

OFC (Oceania Football Confederation):

UEFA (Union of European Football Associations):

See also

References

  1. ^ "BBC – Manchester – Life's a beach in Tameside". BBC News. 2009-08-14. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  2. ^ Pickup, Oliver (2013-09-04). "Sand Aliens & Heel Flicks: Introducing The England Beach Soccer Team". Sabotage Times. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
  3. ^ Garry, Tom (2014-11-03). "Women's Beach Soccer: Sun, sea, sand, bicycle kicks and a European Championship". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
  4. ^ "Projeto de Lei 2102/2016 - Clause 2102/2016". Câmara do Rio de Janeiro.
  5. ^ "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup". www.beachsoccer.com. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  6. ^ twenty for the Euro BS League in 2005, contributing to vastly expanded television coverage of the series and unprecedented demand from promoters in more than seventy countries looking to
  7. ^ Borkakoty, Rituraj (November 21, 2013). "Beach soccer is bigger than beach volleyball: Cusco". Khaleej Times.
  8. ^ "BEACH SOCCER - Laws of the Game 2015/2016" (PDF). FIFA.com. FIFA. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  9. ^ "BBC – The Guide: What's on in Somerset". BBC News. 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  10. ^ "FIFA booklet – Beach Soccer Laws of the Game (2006)" (PDF). Images.ussoccer.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2012-10-03.

External links

Australia national beach soccer team

The Australia national beach soccer team represents Australia in international men's beach soccer. The team is controlled by the governing body for association football in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team's official nickname is the Beach Socceroos.

The team has represented Australia at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup tournaments on one occasion, in 2005.

Brazil national beach soccer team

The Brazil national beach soccer team represents Brazil in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the CBF, the governing body for football in Brazil. Portugal, Russia and Spain are the only squads to have eliminated Brazil out of the World Cup. Brazil are ranked 1st in the BSWW World Rankings. They are, alongside Portugal, the only team to have won the world title before and after FIFA assumed the government of beach soccer worldwide.

CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship

The CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship, also known as the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup CONCACAF qualifier is the main championship for beach soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, contested between senior men's national teams of the members of CONCACAF. It is the sport's version of the better known CONCACAF Gold Cup in association football.

The winners of the championship are crowned continental champions; the tournament also acts as the qualification route for North American nations to the upcoming edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Coinciding with the annual staging of the World Cup, the competition took place yearly until 2010; the World Cup then became biennial, and as its supplementary qualification event, the championship followed suit.

The championship was established in 2006 after FIFA made it a requirement for all confederations to begin holding qualification tournaments to determine the best national team(s) in their region and hence those who would proceed to represent their continent in the upcoming World Cup (previously, nations were simply invited to play without having to earn their place). The first edition was proceeded by a joint qualification tournament with CONMEBOL in 2005; a second and final joint event was held in 2007. FIFA currently allocate North America two berths at the World Cup and hence the top two teams (the winners and the runners-up) qualify to the World Cup finals.North America's governing body for football, CONCACAF, have organised the championship since its inception, in cooperation with Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW).Mexico are the most successful nation with three titles. The United States have won two titles and, additionally, they won the 2007 joint event. Along with El Salvador and Costa Rica, this quartet have dominated the championship, finishing in the top four together in five of the seven tournaments.

Panama are the current champions.

Canada national beach soccer team

The Canada national beach soccer team represents Canada in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the Canadian Soccer Association, the governing body for soccer in Canada.

Estonia national beach soccer team

The Estonia national beach soccer team represents Estonia in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the Estonian FA, the governing body for football in Estonia. The Estonia national football team played their first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualifier in August 2007, losing 1–3 to Ukraine.

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is an international beach soccer competition contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA, the sport's global governing body.

The tournament was established in 1995 as the Beach Soccer World Championship, taking place every year for the next decade under the supervision of Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW) and its predecessors. Due to the sport's rapid growth, FIFA took an interest in the sport, and as the main tournament in world beach soccer, it joined hands with BSWW in 2005 to take over the organization of the competition, re-branding it as an official FIFA tournament. Since 2009, the tournament has taken place every two years to allow continental tournaments to flourish without the burden of the World Cup qualifiers crowding the schedule every 12 months. The growing global popularity of beach soccer resulted in FIFA's decision to move the stage of the World Cup from its native home in Brazil to other parts of the globe to capitalise on and continue to stimulate global interest. The first edition held outside Brazil was in 2008 in Marseille, France.

The current tournament format lasts over approximately 10 days and involves 16 teams initially competing in four groups of four teams. The group winners and runners-up advance to a series of knock-out stages until the champion is crowned. The losing semi-finalists play each other in a play-off match to determine the third and fourth-placed teams.

The most recent edition was held in Nassau, Bahamas, and crowned Brazil as champions for the fourteenth time – after defeating Tahiti 6–0 in the final.

Greece national beach soccer team

The Greece national beach soccer team represents Greece in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the HFF, the governing body for football in Greece.

Iran Premier Beach Soccer League

The Iran Premier Beach Soccer League is a professional Beach Soccer league, run by the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran. At the top of the Iranian Beach Soccer System, it is the country's primary competition for the sport.The Iran Premier Beach Soccer League is recognized as one of the best leagues in the world and is the only professional beach soccer league which has a home and away format.

Iran national beach soccer team

The Iran national beach soccer team (Persian: تیم ملی فوتبال ساحلی‎) represents Iran in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the IFF, the governing body for football in Iran. Iran is the best ranked beach soccer team in Asia and is ranked second in the world.

Iran has won the AFC Beach Soccer Championship a record two times (2013, 2017) and has placed in the top four in every edition. Iran has also appeared in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup seven times, reaching the quarterfinals on three occasions (2013, 2015, 2017), and finishing in third place once (2017).

Israel national beach soccer team

The Israel national beach soccer team represents Israel in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the IFA, the governing body for football in Israel.

Japan national beach soccer team

The Japan national beach soccer team represents Japan in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the JFA, the governing body for football in Japan.

Malaysia national beach soccer team

The Malaysia national beach soccer team represents Malaysia in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the Football Association of Malaysia, the governing body for football in Malaysia.

Netherlands national beach soccer team

The Netherlands national beach soccer team represents the Netherlands in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the KNVB, the governing body for football in the Netherlands.

Peru national beach soccer team

The Peru national beach soccer team represents Peru in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the FPF, the governing body for football in Peru.

Portugal national beach soccer team

Portugal national beach soccer team represents Portugal in international beach soccer competitions, and is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), the governing body for Portuguese football. The team has participated in 15 of the 18 editions of the Beach Soccer World Cup (organised by FIFA since 2005), and its best results are two victories in 2001 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and 2015 (Espinho, Portugal). Alongside Brazil, Portugal is the only team to have won the world title before and after FIFA assumed the government of beach soccer worldwide.

Sweden national beach soccer team

Sweden national beach soccer team represents Sweden in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the Svenska Fotbollförbundet (SvFF), the governing body for football in Sweden.

Switzerland national beach soccer team

The Switzerland national beach soccer team represents Switzerland in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the Swiss Football Association, the governing body for football in Switzerland.

Thailand national beach soccer team

The Thailand national beach soccer team represents Thailand in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the Football Association of Thailand, the governing body for football in the Thailand.

In 2002 Thailand achieved a 4th-place finish in the Beach Soccer World Cup in Brazil after losing their third-place playoff final against Uruguay. They were drawn into group A alongside Brazil and managed to beat France and Spain to reach the semifinal against Portugal, which they lost 3–2. Thailand's goalkeeper Vilard Normcharoen was voted goalkeeper of the tournament.

In the 2005 Beach Soccer World Cup Thailand were again drawn into the same group as Brazil and Spain but they found goals hard to come by and finished bottom of group A.

In 2012 FA of Thailand appointed Mr Kittipat Meesuwan as chairman of beach soccer committee, and he appointed Mr Abolfazl Khodabandehloo as technical director and Mr Shahram Danehkar as head coach. Asian Beach Games in China 2012 is their nearest aim.

United States national beach soccer team

The United States national beach soccer team represents the United States in international beach soccer competitions and is controlled by the USSF, the governing body for soccer in the United States.

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