Beach soccer


Beach soccer

sport


imagesize=250px
caption=
union=FIFA
nickname= Beach Football, Beach Footie, Beasal
first= 1992
registered=
clubs=
contact=Contact
team= 5 at a time
mgender=
category= Outdoor
ball=Football
olympic=

Beach Football (Beasal) is a variant of the sport of football. The game itself is played on a beach, or some form of sand, and emphasises skill, agility and shooting at goal.

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 we now know as "beach soccer" and what has led to the sport rapidly growing in populartity.

The irregularity of the soft-sand playing surface leads to a totaly different style of play which is played in football, where players must improvise. The compact pitch, much smaller than a regular football pitch, allows players to score from anywhere on the sand. This leads to high scoring games, with an average of sixty attempts at goal in a single game, with an average scoring rate of one goal every three or four minutes, which means around eleven goals are scored in total per game.

History

Foundation of the Sport 1992-1993

Beach Soccer (Beasal) started in Brazil, more precisely at Leme beach, Rio de Janeiro, and 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 Romario, Júnior and Zico has helped to expand television coverage to large audiences in over 170 countries worldwide, making Beach Soccer one of the fastest growing professional sports in the world and converting it into a major showcase for international commercial opportunity. 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 of the Sport 1994-2000

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 pitch 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 pitch. 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.

Recent Years 2001-Present

The next four years would see this growth consolidated by further progress both on and off the pitch, 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 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 stage events.

Such interest has allowed BSWW to strike major sponsorship deals with international companies including McDonalds, 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 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 florish with the first world cup to be held outside Brazil in 2008.

Rules

Players

Each team consists of five players, including the goalkeeper and an unlimited amount of substitutions, from a selection of 3 to 5 players. Throw-ins and kick-ins mean the pace and flow of the game is much higher than regular football. Shoes are not allowed, although ankle guards are permitted. Goal kicks are taken by the goalie using his hands to throw the ball.

Match Length

A game lasts thrity-six minutes, which are split up into three-twelve minute periods. Every beach soccer match has a winner, with the game going into three minutes of extra time, followed by a penalty shootout if the score is still on level terms. Unlike in association football, penalty kicks are decided by sudden death rules.

Referees and Discipline

Three referees officiate the match. Two on the pitch and one off, controlling the teams' benches. Any fouls committed lead to a free kick on goal, which has to be taken by the player who was fouled, unless awarded for deliberate handling. Blue cards can be issued, forcing the offending player to leave the game for two minutes whilst his team plays on with one less player. Normal yellow and red cards can be issued however if a player receives a red card, the team can substitute him after two minutes.

Pitch

A beach soccer pitch is a lot smaller than a regular football pitch. In international competition, the pitch is composed entirely of sand and is cleared of pebbles and seashells, along with any other objects which could injure a player.The pitch is be rectangular in shape, and the touch line is be longer than the goal line.
The pitch is usually:
*Length: 35-37m (38.2-40.4 yds)
*Width: 26-28m (28.4-30.6 yds)The penalty area is within 9m (9.8 yds) of the goals, and is marked by a yellow flag situated in touch. Two red flags opposite each other are at the centre of the pitch to represent the half-way line.

See also

The following are main Beach Soccer competitions:
International:
* FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
* Mundialito de Futebol de PraiaConfederation:
* Euro Beach Soccer Cup
* Euro Beach Soccer League
* CONMEBOL Beach Soccer Championship
* CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship
* CAF Beach Soccer Championship
* OFC Beach Soccer Championship

External links

* [http://www.socalbeachfc.com SoCal Beach FC - Professional Beach Soccer Club from Oceanside, CA]
* [http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/beachsoccerlawsofthegame-e_6232.pdf Laws of the Game at FIFA]
* [http://www.copabeach.net/ Beach Soccer Tournament at the Birthplace of Springsteen]
* [http://www.training4soccer.net/ Beach soccer tournaments and training in NJ]
* [http://www.capeexpress.com/BeachBlast/index_E.html Cape Express Beach Blast, Wildwood, NJ]
* [http://www.beachsoccerusa.org The Southern California Beach Soccer Championships]
* [http://www.socceronthebeach.com Soccer on the Beach Tournament - Florida]
* [http://www.sandsoccer.com North American Sand Soccer Championships - Virginia Beach, VA]
* [http://www.chicagobeachsoccer.com Chicago Beach Soccer Invitational - Chicago, IL]
* [http://www.soccadelic.com/ Beach soccer tournaments and gear information at Soccadelic]
* [http://www.beachsoccer-championship.de/ European Beachsoccer Pro and Amateur Championship]


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