Soccer In the Sand 2016 - U11 Co-ed Itinerary
World Beach Soccer Tournament - Playa Del Carmen - Mexico (Photos - Copyright B.Howe)
http://www.beachsoccer.com/events/980191086-bsww-riviera-maya-cup-2014 - http://www.fifa.com/beachsoccerworldcup/
A New Global Phenomenon
Beach soccer is NOT new, but it's recent rise in popularity in North America makes it seem that way. It has been popular for a very long time in a few countries around he world, but is only recently catching on up here.
Where did it start? Well no one knows exactly for sure, although a host of nations lay claim. (No - not England this time!) Brazil is considered the nation to take it to the level it is at today. In many of the poorer countries in the world where grass fields are scarce, any flat surface would do for a game. What started as a necessity, grew into not only a new form of the game, but one with many unknown benefits.
Why beach soccer? When soccer experts around the world started to investigate what made countries like Brazil so great, they found a number of factors, that had not been readily apparent. What many considered limiting factors to development, were indeed actually what made players from countries like Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and Spain, so great! Beach soccer and Futsal were two major factors cited as reasons for the development of top players. Futsal arose for many of the same reasons, beach soccer did. A lack of proper grass fields that meant any flat surface would do. Streets, parking lots, dried out farm fields, anything that was relatively flat would suffice.
What does beach soccer provide? If anyone has ever tried running in sand, it quickly becomes apparent how it develops stamina and leg strength (explosive power). The unpredictable nature of sand as a playing surface makes quick reactions and concentration vital. The closeness of the game (tight space) requires quick thinking and problem-solving. Players must be creative and inventive, qualities that kids from North America often lack.
There are many forms of soccer now being played worldwide, but Beach Soccer, has other factors that make it very appealing! In watching this tournament on the Mexican Riviera, I was struck by the overall atmosphere and what was going on around the competition. It was like a carnival, complete with latin music, cheerleaders, a beach (obviously). Parties and fun activities were built around what was a fiercely competed tournament. The soccer was high quality, but the fans were having a ball (pardon the pun). There is a FIFA Beach Soccer program that runs internationally. SUFA plans to attend some beach soccer tournaments and host one of our own!