Field and Equipment Regulations
Beach soccer is played on a sandy beach, free of debris or materials that may cause injury. The rectangular field measures 115 feet long by 90 feet wide. Touchlines and endlines are marked with colored tape that measures 3.5 inches wide. The centerline is marked by red flags on each side. The penalty area is designated with two yellow flagpoles. Goals are portable, but during play, they must be anchored to the ground.
The beach soccer ball should be made of leather or a similar material and needs to be weatherproof. It also must retain its shape. In FIFA sanctioned competitions, the ball should have an official FIFA logo.
By the Numbers
Five players take the field for each team. One of the players is the goalkeeper. Only five substitutions may take place during a match. Subs must hold up a sign indicating which player they are replacing. All substitutions must take place in the substitution zone, which is clearly marked on the field. The match consists of three 12-minute play periods.
Play may go longer if penalty or free kicks need to be taken. The designated timekeeper determines the end of each play period. A three-minute period is observed between each time period. If the match is tied at the end of regulation, a 3-minute-long extra period will be played. If the game is still tied at the end of the extra period, alternate penalty kicks are taken. The team that scores the most goals with an equal number of kicks is the winner.
Let the Beach Soccer Game Begin
Play begins with a kick off. No goal can be scored from the kick off. If the ball goes out of bounds, a drop ball resumes play. To score a goal, the ball must pass over the goal line. It can't be thrown or assisted by the goal keeper. The team with the most goals at the end of regulation play is declared the winner. If a team only has three players, due to expulsions, they are declared the loser of the match, regardless of the score. If a foul occurs, a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team. Players may not form a wall. A goal may be scored from a penalty kick. A ball inbound takes place when play needs to be restarted. Goals can't be scored directly from a ball inbound.
The goalie may begin the ball inbound. Another way to restart play is the goal clearance. Goals cannot be scored directly from this move. The ball is in play once it leaves the goalie's hands. A third way to restart play is by the corner kick. Goals may be scored from this move, but only against the opposing team. The pass-back rule is in effect in beach soccer.
This rule means the goalie can't touch the ball with his hands or arms when the ball is returned to him from a teammate, twice consecutively, without the ball being touched by the opposition. This includes an inbound pass or a header. The referee signals the first pass to the goalie. Beach soccer is a fun, fast-paced version of the game. Although the objective of the game is the same, rules differ due to the field and its size.