|BFA kicks for a cure|
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Jul 04, 2012
Local soccer players can look forward to ‘playing in the sand’ with the reintroduction of beach soccer in New Providence.
The Bahamas Football Association (BFA) is using the ‘Kick for a Cure’ tournament to increase the interest of members of the community. The second annual tournament, held in aid of a young female cancer patient, will kick-off on Saturday at the new pitch located next to the New Providence entrance to the new Paradise Island bridge.
A league will be formed shortly after the tournament, with play for youth, women and men. All three divisions will compete in the two-day tournament and some of the proceeds from the event will assist with the development of a youth program.
“This is not the first time we will be hosting a beach soccer tournament,” said Frederick Lunn, BFA general secretary.
“We had one several years ago and that was a success. The funds were given to a young lady who needed our help and assistance with her cancer treatments. It was such a great success so we decided that we would do it again, so it is a win-win for cancer and the sport.
“The game is a physical one and very tough. Since you are playing on sand and an uneven surface it makes it more difficult to control the ball. Running is also hard. The interest has grown and we have seen an increase in players on all levels and divisions. They know that it is tough but they enjoy learning and adapting [to] the changes.”
The beach soccer game is played for 36 minutes with each period running for 12 minutes. An abbreviated game will be played since the tournament this weekend has a round robin format. The men will play 14 minutes, seven minutes in each half. The women will play for 10 minutes, and the youth game will last seven minutes. If there is a tie, a sudden-death shoot out will take place.
Other changes to the rules include: The goal keeper must put the ball back in play within five seconds otherwise it is a turnover, there are no walls to block a penalty shot and the individual who is fouled must take the shot.
The first game on Saturday will start at 9 a.m. and at noon on Sunday. An early morning workout will be held on Saturday with a brief clinic later that day.
Lunn said, “We are going to play a friendly match with Jamaica in August, so we will be looking at potential players for that squad. There is also the preparation for World Cup. So it is a loaded weekend, but I think we will be able to put everyone in. There is still sunlight up until 8 p.m., so hopefully we will be finished by 3 p.m.
“This is not like the past where we had more than one pitch. We only have the one pitch, so we are trying to plan ahead. With the one pitch we have to limit some of the teams. There is a training pitch that we will use for the youth. But there are five teams in the men and four in the women. The other divisions have about three or four teams. I think it is going to be a fun day and persons are going to enjoy the new form of soccer.”
In other soccer news, the national under-17 boys team is competing in the Caribbean U-17 qualifiers for the 2013 Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).
The team will play host country Cuba on Thursday, July 5 and Puerto Rico on Saturday, July 7. They will take to the pitch with Aruba on Monday, July 9.