OCEANSIDE — From May 18 to May 20, 300 beach soccer teams will face off on sand soccer fields at Oceanside Harbor.Competing in the 1,600-seat soccer stadium will be eight professional teams including past festival champions the San Diego Sockers, SoCal Beach FC Oceanside, Portugal National, and Oros Mexico. The total prize purse for professional teams is $10,000 to be awarded between the top four teams.Beach soccer is a more aerial game than soccer played on grass fields. It is played on a 30-by-40 yard field that is less than half the size of a grass soccer field. Teams can have up to 12 or 14 players on their roster and four players and a goalie on the field at a time.
“There’s a lot more activity and opportunity for scoring from different positions in the field,” Gino Rossi, founder of the Beach Soccer Festival, said.
Festival competition includes adult men, women and coed teams as well as youth teams with players who range from ages 8 to 18. Youth teams compete in like age and skills categories with recreational league teams playing each other and competitive youth teams facing off on the field.
Rossi said the festival is packed with three days of ongoing activities and soccer games. There will be a samba show, free beach soccer clinic and live deejays. Beach booths will sell food, refreshments and soccer gear.
The Beach Soccer Festival began in Oceanside in 2007 and has expended to festivals in Long Beach and Huntington Beach.
Admission to the festival is free. For more information, see beachsoccerusa.org.