As a certain sport grows in popularity, you will usually see other variations of the sport being created constantly. This is exactly the case when it comes to soccer and beach soccer.
As the name implies, beach soccer is similar to the regular soccer game but it’s played on the beach. How could I guess right?
Here’s a quick and simple definition for the game.
Beach soccer, aka sand soccer, is one of the variations of the regular soccer game (Association Football). Beach soccer is played on sand. While the core rules of the soccer game are the same for beach soccer, beach soccer has its own variations of the rules as well.
The core beach soccer rules.
Like in regular soccer, you are not allowed to touch the ball with your hands in beach soccer unless you are the goalkeeper. The fields in both soccer and beach soccer are laid out in the same way although they differ a lot in size and in the ground surface.
How do you win a game in beach soccer? All you have to do is score more goals than your opponent did, and you win the game.
But how do you score goals in beach soccer? You just have to land the ball inside your opponent’s net using any part of your body except your hands.
So in other words, it is extremely similar to regular soccer. If you know how soccer is played, then you can watch a beach soccer game for the first time and still understand everything that is going on.
However, there are some things that are different between regular soccer and beach soccer, and this is what the rest of the article will be all about.
What better way to explain what beach soccer is than to compare it to the sport that it was inspired by? Before you move on. If you would like to learn more about the regular soccer game itself, then you can start here.
Differences between regular soccer and beach soccer.
1- Beach soccer is played barefoot.
One of the first things that you will notice when watching a beach soccer game for the first time is the fact that the players do not use any footwear.
No cleats, no socks, nothing. If you think about it. It makes a lot of sense. The players are playing on sand instead of playing on a flat and a solid surface. The sand surface is not slippery at all so there is no need for any footwear.
Removing the footwear from the soccer beach game has a lot of advantages. One of the main advantages is that it reduces injuries for the players.
Have you ever seen a soccer cleat? The bottom of a regular soccer cleat can cause a lot of damage if it touches a player while they are being tackled.
This danger is eliminated in beach soccer. The players won’t have to worry about being hit by the dangerous part of their opponent’s cleat. This is simply because the opponent players play barefoot during the whole game.
2- Beach soccer has a small field size
Another main difference between regular soccer and beach soccer is the size of the pitch. A beach soccer field is usually somewhere close to 39 yards (35.7 meters) in length and 29 yards (26.5 meters) in width.
In other words, the beach soccer field is usually less than half the size of a regular soccer field. You can learn more about the soccer field sizes from this article.
Why is the beach soccer pitch smaller than other soccer pitches? Well, the reason could be that there isn’t always enough space on beaches to create large fields.
It’s true that the beach soccer game (aka sand soccer) can be played indoors. The fields can be created anywhere by replacing the grass surfaces with sand, but it won’t make any sense if the “beach soccer” game cannot be played on the beach.
3- Beach soccer has a small number of players per team
Compared to regular soccer, the number of players per team in a soccer beach game is small. Beach soccer has 5 players per team.
One of these 5 players is the goalkeeper, and the other 4 are outfield players.
It isn’t very surprising that the beach soccer game has a smaller number of players compared to the 11 players per team in regular soccer. After all, the beach soccer field is much smaller than the regular soccer field as mentioned above.
In general, the larger the field of play is, the more players you will need per team to keep the balance in the game.
4- Throw-ins in beach soccer can be taken by foot
In association football (soccer), the only way you can take a throw-in is by throwing the ball above your head while holding the ball with both of your hands.
While you can also do that in beach soccer, a different approach is also allowed. You can take a soccer’s throw-in in more than one way in beach soccer.
In beach soccer, when the ball goes out of the field, you are allowed to kick the ball back into play using your foot instead of having to do the throw-in with your hands.
This rule is an example of some of the slight variations between the regular soccer rules and the beach soccer rules.
5- There are no offsides in beach soccer
NO OFFSIDES? Sign me up…
The offside rule in regular soccer can sometimes be very confusing for new soccer fans. However, if you are a new beach soccer fan, then you won’t have to worry about learning what offsides are, simply because they do not exist in beach soccer.
A beach soccer player is allowed to stand wherever they want on the field without having to worry about being offside.
After all, the field of play in beach soccer is already much smaller than the regular soccer field size. This eliminates the need to force the players to spread across the field because the field is already too small.
If you would like to know more about the reasons why the offside rule exists in regular soccer, then you can check this detailed article about the topic.
6- There are no free kick walls in beach soccer
If you’ve ever seen a bunch of soccer players standing next to each other shoulder to shoulder to form a wall in front of a free kick taker, then you know what a free kick wall is in soccer. If not, then you can learn more about it from this article.
However, if you are only interested in beach soccer, then you won’t have to learn about the free kick wall at all because it simply does not exist in the sport.
In beach soccer, if you win a free kick, then you get to kick the ball directly towards your opponent’s net without anyone standing between you and the goalkeeper.
In other words, a free kick in beach soccer is like a penalty kick, but it is taken from any position on the field instead of from the penalty spot.
No player stands between you and the goalkeeper during a free kick in beach soccer.
7- There are more goals per game in beach soccer than in regular soccer
This is not a rule, but I believe that it is worth being mentioned in this list. Soccer is famous for having a small number of goals per game.
Some people claim that soccer is boring and overrated just because it has a very small number of goals per game.
While I won’t be diving into whether the argument is valid or not, I will be mentioning the fact that beach soccer has a lot more goals than regular soccer.
According to this statistica data, most of the recent soccer world cups had an average of less than 3 goals per game.
However, the number of goals per match in beach soccer is much larger. According to this study, the average number of goals scored per game in a number of beach soccer world cups is more than 8 goals per game.
I believe you can already tell the reasons behind this.
Beach soccer has a smaller field and the nets are closer to each other. Also, there are only 4 outfield players per team during a beach soccer game. This makes penetrating the defense of the opponent easier since the defense is less dense than it is in regular soccer.
In my personal opinion, beach soccer is one of the best variations of the soccer game. I have played a lot of beach soccer games myself, and I loved every second of it.
You get to play your favorite game barefoot on the beach sand, which is what makes beach soccer special to a lot of people.
While beach soccer does not have a very high popularity in the world, it is certainly an interesting sport to watch and play.
If you haven’t played soccer on the beach before, I suggest that you give it a try. I believe that you will not regret it at all.