Beach football hard but fun

HANNAH MCKEE
Last updated 05:00 16/01/2014
football
MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ

KICKIN' IT: Paul Kothroulas, left at back, and John Carras will be competing in the Oriental Bay Beach Football Tournament on Saturday. "It's ridiculously hard but good fun," Carras says.

Relevant offers

Capital Life

It's all inline for Zach Actor turns activist to help save Maui's A pilgrim's travels - in Wellington You can't always bake what you want Massey Maori art students auction work Cooking in the 'real Italy' Why do we wear bras? Zest for life Review: MariLuca Ristoro Kirkcaldie's doormen - proud city icons

There will be no grass stains but plenty of action at Saturday's Beach Football Tournament at Oriental Bay.

It is the fifth tournament of its kind, and organiser Damien Hochberg says spectators should be ready for a day of fast-paced football fun.

"The tournament always gets a good reception in Wellington. I wouldn't say it's an easy sport, but it's enjoyable and everyone has a laugh."

The maximum number of teams entered relatively quickly this year, reflecting the tournament's growing popularity.

In addition to the winning title, teams are playing for $4000 worth of prizes, from sunscreen, Wellington Phoenix tickets, vouchers for Exodus gym and Public Bar and Eatery, and spot prizes too.

This year's event comes after a successful 2013 tournament, when the weather gods played along nicely, Hochberg says.

"The nature of the Wellington tournament is that all the teams come with great sportsmanship and they are there to play and have fun. Winning is important, but it's not the be-all."

Generally the contestants should be over 18, but some players may be 16 with parental consent, Hochberg says.

Teams will be either all-men or mixed, as no all-women teams entered this year.

"I really think women should come and check it out, we have had quite a few girls play in the past and they loved it.

"Sand is a real leveller, so as long as you've got a little bit of fitness, you're fine."

Players' skills will vary, with some regularly playing competitively while for others it will be their first time.

Last year saw Bay Boys take the grand prize, and they will be entering again under the team name Futsal Gypsies.

Team Zico, winners of 2011 and 2012 , will be out to win back their champions' title.

This will be Miramar's John Carras' third time playing in the tournament, and he is keen to go one better after his team lost in the 2012 final by one goal.

"It's very difficult playing on sand, and that's why we have eight people in a team to keep rotating. It's ridiculously hard, but good fun."

Oriental Bay's sand was a particular challenge. "It's like playing on gravel – your feet get ripped up, so that's why some of us play in socks."

THE RULES

No shoes allowed

Players use a lighter football

The field is roughly 15m x 25m

Teams consist of five players, including the goalkeeper

Unlimited number of substitutions allowed

Goalies can be swapped during the game

THE DETAILS

Kickoff for the first game is at 9.30am and the final is at 4pm, rain or shine. See beachfootballnz.co.nz for more details.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

What effect will a potential ban on booze at Rugby Sevens 2015 have on you?

I'd no longer go ... what's the point?

I'd buy a ticket, with rugby the priority again.

Ban or no ban, I'm still going.

I'd rather watch 'Wheel of Fortune' on a 24/7 loop than 7s.

Vote Result

Related story: Booze ban hovers over sevens

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content