South Florida loves its soccer. It's the favorite sport of much of our imposing Hispanic population, undoubtedly number one among our European imports, and, of course, tops for our sexy soccer moms. Even so, we didn't know just how much Miami loved soccer until we looked at what's going on in South Beach this weekend.
That's when we noticed that two separately organized soccer tournaments would be taking place simultaneously on South Beach. Actually they'll be played less than a mile from one another on the sand. To that we say, huh?
Organizers from the Beach Soccer Worldwide Tournament between 20 and
22nd St. acknowledged that their tournament had nothing to do with the
Pro Footvolley tournament between 7th and 8th Street on Lummus Park. The
Beach soccer tournament will use the stadium already in place for the
Beach Polo tournament from the past weekend, while the footvolley
tournament uses the beach volleyball area.
Sure both games use a soccer ball, both originated in Brazil, and have
international tours, but they do have their differences. Beach Soccer is
essentially a smaller version of regular game only with 5 players on
each team, including the goalie, and of course it's played on sand.
difficulty of controlling a rolling soccer ball on the beach encourages
players to keep the ball in the air. Unlike the regular game, which is
often slow paced and low scoring, beach soccer teams shoot an average of
every 30 seconds and score about 9 goals a game. The Beach Soccer
tournaments starts Friday and pits teams from the USA, Mexico, Brazil,
and Spain against each other.
Footvolley, on the other hand, is hybrid of soccer and volleyball with two
player teams playing volleyball, only with their feet. It's similar to the popular Asian sport sepak takraw, except footvolley uses a
regular soccer ball and regular volleyball nets. Organizers describe the
sport as "extreme volleyball" and say the sport, which will be going
around to four other cities after Miami Beach, was given a make-over,
South Beach style.
Both tournaments have a South Beach party feel to them with music,
scantily glad women cheering, and booze - they are on the beach, after
all. We won't recommend one or the other. Instead, we suggest checking
them both out. They're just blocks away from one another. And both are
The Beach Soccer Worldwide tournament starts Friday at 3:30 p.m. and
goes until Sunday, at the beach stadium located between 20th and 22nd
streets in South Beach. There is a celebrity game scheduled on Sunday.
Visit beachsoccer.com for more information.
The Pro Footvolley tournament is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Lummus Park,