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Soccer and Beach Soccer: What’s the Difference?


Beach soccer is a sport for all; men, women, and children, and is considered to be one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Even though beach soccer is still in the early growing stages, the game has grown in popularity across the globe, despite the fact that the sand is not as accessible as playing on a patch of grass. But considering beach soccer is now played in 75 countries, it’s safe to say that the sport is quickly conquering the world.

While beach or sand soccer is similar to regular soccer, there is a difference between soccer and beach soccer. Learn more about the differences between these two exciting sports.

  • The most noticeable difference is the playing surface. One is played on grass, dirt, or turf while the other is performed on the sand.

  • With regular soccer, each team can field 11 players on the field at one time, while beach soccer has 5 players out on the pitch.

  • Regular soccer players wear cleats when they play, while beach soccer players play the game barefoot or with a pair of neoprene booties.

  • The goal size is different between the two versions. With outdoor soccer, the goalie net is larger than the net used in beach soccer. The outdoor soccer net is 8’x24’, while beach soccer uses a 7’x 18’ goal.

  • Beach soccer has a smaller playing area than regular soccer, and the game lasts 36 minutes, which are split into three 12-minute periods, while regular soccer has two 45-minute halves.

  • The soccer ball is inflated to a lower pressure in beach soccer. A soccer ball used in regular soccer is inflated to 0.6-1.1 atm, while the soccer ball is inflated to 0.4-0.6 atm in beach soccer.

  • Due to the difference in playing surface, the ball acts differently on sand than it does on grass. With sand, you can’t dribble the ball, and it’s harder to control, so the game becomes more of an aerial game.

  • The style of play of beach soccer is quite different than what you see in regular soccer. There’s less passing with beach soccer, more risk-taking and improvisation, and more goals.

  • Setting up plays in soccer can take time, while the pace of beach soccer plays is much faster than regular soccer. Unlike regular soccer, plays can be executed in seconds, so there’s no time for daydreaming!

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