The real beautiful game


Beach Soccer is a variant of soccer that is played on sand. 

Played on a rectangular pitch, smaller than a regular soccer pitch the objective of the game is to score more goals than your opposing team before the end of the match.

There are five players from each team on the field of play at any given time during the match, and unlimited substitutions are allowed. Rather than 2 halves, a match consists of 3 periods of 12 minutes.

For the full rules of Beach Soccer please download the latest rules document from the FIFA website


The playing area in Beach Soccer is known as the pitch, and it consists of a boundary around the pitch known as the touch line (length) and goal line (width), an imaginary halfway line which is marked by two red flags outside the playing area and the central point of the imaginary halfway line is the kick off point. There are marks around the pitch boundary at defined points to help indicate where set plays should be taken from and to guide players and referees as to the distances that must be maintained in specific scenarios throughout a match. 10 flags in total are used as these markers. 



An imaginary line 9m inside the pitch from the goal line is used to determine the boundary of the penalty area. To aid referees and players knowing where this line is and therefore the penalty spot (due to not being able to mark the sand because of constant movement) yellow flags are place outside the boundary of the pitch at the 9m mark. 



There is an imaginary quarter circle inside the pitch on each corner, with a radius of 1m from each corner where the ball can be placed when corner kicks are awarded



There is a goal smaller than a standard soccer goal positioned on the centre of each goal line. It is 5.5m wide and 2.2m in height.


The ball looks like a regular soccer and is usually made of leather or another suitable material that does not absorb moisture. The balls circumference must be between 68 and 70cm and the ball must weigh between 400g and 440g. 


The objective of the game is to score goals. 


A goal is scored when the whole of the ball crosses the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar where no rules were infringed by the scoring team leading up to the goal.


The following scenarios would see a goal being disallowed:

1. The goalkeeper of the attacking team throws or hits the ball intentionally with his hand or arm from inside his own penalty area and is the last player to touch or play the ball. 

2. Where an extra player on the attacking team was on the pitch at the time of the goal being scored.

3. Where a substitution was not carried out correctly just before the goal was scored.


The team that scores the highest number of goals during a match is the winner. If both teams score an equal number of goals or there are no goals in the match then the result is a draw, unless the rules of the specific competition dictate otherwise. In these instances extra time maybe played or a penalty shoot out will take place to determine the winning team.


Two teams compete against each others. Each team can have up to 5 players on the pitch at any time, one of whom must be the goalkeeper. A match will be abandoned if one of the teams cannot get at least three players on the pitch.



In organised FIFA competitions, a team may have a maximum of 7 additional players on the team. They can be substituted for players on the field of play throughout the match. Unlimited instances of substitutions are permitted.

Substitutions have to be made within 2.5m either side of the half way line.


Whilst there are more detailed rules which can be read by going to the beach soccer website. Here are the basics to get you started:


1. The sport is essentially 5 a side with up to 7 substitutes waiting on the bench

2. If the score is level after 36 minutes then 3 minutes of extra time are played

3. If the scores are level after extra time then a penalty shoot out takes place. Each team nominates 3 players to take a penalty. Level scores after each team has taken 3 penalties leads to sudden death penalties until a winner is found.

4. Goalkeepers can take the ball out of their 9 metre area and play the ball with their feet but cannot then re-enter their 9 metre area with the ball and pick the ball up.

5. Goalkeepers can shoot and score from outside their area.

6. If the Goalkeeper handles the ball outside their area then a free kick is awarded.

The Goalkeeper cannot throw the ball to a player on their team in the 9 metre area



1. Kick off takes place from the centre of the pitch at the start of each period and after a goal has been scored.

2. Scoring directly from a kick off is NOT allowed

3. All players need to be in their own defending half at kick off and defenders need to be 5m from the ball.

4. As a minimum at kick off the ball must move forward by one full rotation

5. Attacking team members cannot enter the opposing half until the ball has been played



1. Where a foul results in a free kick, the player who was fouled is required to take it

2. All free kicks in beach soccer are direct, therefore any kick resulting in the ball crossing the goal line into the goal without any other interaction sees a goal being awarded

3. Handball and other offences that are not fouls on a player can be taken by any player in the attacking team

4. The defending team are not permitted to form a wall

5. The person taking the free kick is permitted to build a small mound of sand with the ball or their feet, but they are not permitted to build this with their hands.

6. where attacking with the with a free kick in your own half, the referee will indicate a cone shaped imaginary segment, and no player either attacking or defending team may not enter this area other than the goal keeper

7. defenders must be 5m from the ball

8. where attaching with a free kick in your opponents half all outfield players must stand behind the ball by at least 5m except the player taking the kick



1. The player taking the corner has 4 seconds to take the corner from when they first receive the ball.

2. A small mound of sand may be created with the ball and/or your feet, to aid the taking of the kick, but players are NOT permitted to make this mound with their hands

3. A goal can directly result from a free kick should it pass into the mouth of the goal without any prior infringement.


1. When the ball goes out of play over the sideline a throw in is awarded to the team who did not put it out of play. 

2. A throw in can be taken with the players hands or feet.

3. Once the throw in taker has decided to either kick or throw the ball into play they cannot then change their mind.

4. The taker has 4 seconds to take the throw in from the point that they receive the ball.

5. Any player on the attacking team can take the throw in, but once the ball has been picked up , that player must take the throw in.

6. A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw in



1. If the attacking team are responsible for the ball going behind the oppositions goal line then the defending goalkeeper restarts the game by throwing the ball out of their 9m area

2. Goalkeepers have 4 seconds to throw the ball back into play after receiving the ball



1. Are taken from the top of the goalkeepers area on the 9 metre line

2. All players apart from the defending goalkeeper and the player taking the penalty must stand behind and at least 5 metres from the ball.

3. Penalty taker may build a small mound of sand with the ball and/or your feet, but NOT with hands.



1. Diving

2. Handball

3. Careless, reckless or excessive force when challenging for the ball.

4. Charging into an opponent

5. Kicking an opponent.

6. Jumping into an opponent

7. Sliding into an opponent

8. Playing the ball back to the goalkeeper twice without the opponents touching the ball at least once.

9. The defending team keeping the ball in their defending 9 metre are for more than 4 seconds

10. Infringements in the defensive teams 9 metre are will result in a penalty kick


Like all sports Beach Soccer has it’s own language. Below we have a few. 



The combination of sand being the playing surface, and players playing bare foot means players are free to throw their bodies around the pitch in ways not really permissible or safe to do so in the standard soccer game. Because of all this Beach soccer is known for players displaying athletic volleys and acrobatic bicycle kicks. A bicycle kick is achieved by throwing the body backward up into the air and, before hitting the sand, the player makes a shearing movement with the legs to get the ball-striking leg in front of the other.



Heading is the act of playing the ball with the head and is a critical part of the game as the ball is in the air very often.



Due to the nature of the sport and the smaller field of play, shooting can pretty much happen from everywhere at every angle by any player on the pitch. As such it’s a key skill to master, no matter your position.



A key skill in soccer is the ability to scoop under the ball and quickly flick it up. This action is known as scooping. Due to the unpredictable and uneven nature of sand most moves start by scooping the ball up. The scoop pass is where the player scoops the ball up and immediately 

passes to another player.


A volley is considered any shot where a player plays the ball from the air

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