Beach Soccer is a football variant played on a beach and emphasises skill, agility and accuracy in shooting at the goal.
Football has been played informally on beaches for many years until Beach Soccer Worldwide was founded in an attempt to codify the rules of the game. Beach Soccer was born and it led to rapidly grow on popularity. 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.
Each team consists of five players including the goalkeeper and an unlimited number of substitutions are allowed. Throw-ins and kick-ins mean the pace and flow of the game is faster than regular football. Shoes and socks are not allowed, although ankle guards are permitted. A game lasts 36 minutes and is split up into three 12-minute periods.
Five significant steps in the history of Beach Soccer
1950: The first official beach soccer tournament was created in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) to unite small neighbourhood competitions.
1992: Beach Soccer Worldwide was founded in Los Angeles (USA), which aimed to regularise the Beach Soccer sport.
1996: The Pro Beach Soccer tour started, which included a total of 60 games in two years across South America, Europe, Asia and the United States
2005: The first Men’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is hosted in Rio de Janeiro (BRA), as FIFA becomes the global governing body of Beach Soccer, acknowledging BSWW’s framework.
2021: The Women’s Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup, the nemesis of the Men’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is hosted for the first time in Moscow (RUS).