Beach football, beach soccer, or beasal, is a type of football that is played on – well, you’ve guessed it – sand or beaches.
Beach football is especially challenging because of the soft, sandy surface players have to run on while playing. Although, there’s no denying that this special kind of football is enjoyable as well – the scenic beach view, the scorching hot sun making your skin tan, the sound of waves – there are surely many factors that add to the allure of beach football.
Beasal has been around for a long time before the rules of the game was standardised. In 1992, the sport was made professional by the Beach Soccer Worldwide or BSWW. Beach football originated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is now one of the sports quickly gaining popularity across many continents.
Just a year after beach football was officially established, the very first professional beasal event was held at the Miami Beach, and the United States of America, Brazil, Italy, as well as Argentina participated. In 1995, the first Beach Soccer Worldwide Championship took place in Brazil. The Beach Soccer Worldwide Championship led the way to the founding of the Pro Beach Soccer Tour and the European Pro Beach Soccer League.
The rules for beach football were set by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Each game of beach football lasts for 36 minutes, and this 36-minute game time is divided into three periods with a length of 12 minutes for each period. Beach football games have two three minute breaks, too.
A beach football team consists of five players including one goal keeper and four outfield players. Each team can have up to seven substitute players but the act of substitution is unlimited. It is possible to make substitutions while the game is ongoing.
Draws are not allowed in the game of beach soccer. In such cases where both teams are tied by the end of the 36-minute period, an additional three minutes of playing will be allowed. If there would still be no winners after the additional three minutes, a penalty shootout of sudden death will take place.
Beach football attire is pretty simple; the beasal players must wear a jersey shirt (though t-shirts and tank tops are acceptable, too) with a pair of shorts for them to be able to move freely. Wearing socks, tapes, or beach soccer socks on your feet is permitted, but any footwear that is hard or made or metal is not allowed. Shin guards are not permitted either. You can even play beach soccer barefoot. In addition, ankle bands, head bands, or wrist bands are allowed.
The field where beach football is played is typically smaller than the area of a regular football pitch. The length of the playing field is around 26 to 28 metres while the width is 35 to 37 metres. The beach football field is cleared of any debris that could potentially hurt or injure players such as pebbles and seashells.
Beach football is truly an exciting game for people of all ages, and simply watching a game of this sport will convince you why. It would not come as a surprise if this popular football variety continues its way to the Olympics soon.