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Playing beach soccer outside of a natural beach

by profseuno profseuno
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Getting the venues right is paramount for a sport aspiring to global popularity and
becoming more than a kickabout in the sand. Beach soccer is indeed a great spectator
sport, fun, and is where most people traditionally had their first kick of a ball. It is more
exciting to watch and people get sucked into that whole beach culture it presents.
Constructing pitches for the sand-bound version of the beautiful game is a rapidly
growing industry and this increase is being seen at places not always associated with
natural beaches successfully taking up the game like landlocked countries Switzerland,
Paraguay and Belarus which have repeatedly featured for the FIFA Beach Soccer World
Cups. It is a fact that some countries know they are never going to win the World Cup
but could win at beach soccer.

Today, a high percentage of beach soccer stadiums are temporary, but key to moving
the sport forward and the introduction of FIFA stadium guidelines, it should move
beyond the beach shores for a more permanent location.
Here, are five steps to constructing an artificial beach soccer pitch.

  • Identify a suitable location and define your beach soccer pitch area, including the
    play zone and at least a two-meter off-pitch boundary around the play zone. Remember,
    the pitch size depends on your available space, even though regulation size measures
    between 35 to 37 meters and 26 to 28 meters.
  • Removing the topsoil of the defined area, most builders aspire to create a level
    surface with the sub-base of the pitch area generally sloped to help with the drainage.
    This is essential in case of rain. BSWW advises using perforated PVC pipes covered
    with permeable fabric inside gravel-covered ducts and covered again with another layer
    of permeable fabric. You don’t wanna have a waterlogged pitch.
    *Please note, as all these activities go on, arrangements for sand most have been
    sorted. To build a beach soccer stadium outside of a beach in the middle of a street or
    square, you need about 800 tonnes of sand, not just any sand, and certainly not the
    type used in general construction. Grains must be between 0.2mm and 0.3mm in
    diameter and are generally sourced from beaches and desert dunes. If this is not
    possible, a near-perfect fit can be sourced
  • Assuming topsoil is removed, sub-drain perforated pipes are installed to slope, sand
    is delivered sieved and free of pebbles, and a sand pitch is then laid to a depth of at
    least 40 centimetres. A wood or brick retention box should be installed to prevent sand
    loss and a mesh fence installed to prevent animals from fouling the pitch.
  • Pitch equipment and accessories. The Goal Post 5×2.2 meters can be locally
    fabricated, otherwise, a standard one can be ordered from BSWW equipment partners.
    Pitch Boundary Lines are blue Geo-textile materials, so you could use a fireman water
    hose, yes it’s blue too. A roll and a half would just be perfect for your standard pitch…
    Just like mine … :)). Although the corner flags are special PVC flag poles mounted on
    flexible rubber base which is buried in the soil to allow for free pole swings. A traditional
    hollow PVC round pipe of about 1.2 meters in height could just be stuck into the soil
    with your red and yellow fabric flags at the tip.
  • Get the balls, invite your friends and let the game begin!

This piece was first published on BSMag Issue No. 7 of 2017 by Taye Olajide

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