The Sport

What is 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 spectacular tricks more freely. Sand soccer tends to be played more in the air than regular soccer, with quick flicks, juggling and volleying all becoming increasingly important in order to stay away from an unpredictable surface. The rules of the game are generally the same as grass soccer except the following:

  • An average of 10 goals scored per game and a shot taken every 20 seconds
  • 5 on 5 ( 4 players + a keeper)
  • Substitutions on the fly
  • No offsides
  • No shoes, cleats or shinpads (but socks can be worn to protect feet)
  • Two 14-minute halves
  • Kick-ins rather than throw-ins
  • 30 X 50 yard fields
  • Smaller nets
  • Regulation soccer ball

The History of Beach Soccer

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

In the 1980s sand soccer started creeping northward with tournaments cropping up in San Jose, Virginia Beach (the North American Sand Soccer Championships are held here 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 endeavour that attracts audiences of more than 5,000 people per match. Pro Tournaments are hosted in Europe, North America, South America and Asia. The first Canadian stop is scheduled for summer 2000.

There are currently three beach soccer events hosted across Canada including the Beach Soccer Blast (which remains by far the largest Canadian beach tournie). The other two Canadian events are held in Ontario and New Brunswick.