Sand, Sun, Soccer and Fun – What More Could You Ask For
One of the unique annual events in Virginia Beach is the North American Sand Soccer Championships (NASSC), held on over 25 blocks of the city’s oceanfront. The three-day competition is being held June 10-12 and attracts teams from around the world.
Soccer News: The 2016 North American Sand Soccer Championships (NASSC) anticipates over 1,100 teams, including nearly 12,000 youth/adult players, plus 100,000 daily weekend visitors/spectators; all from over 20 states and several countries.
NASSC has hosted over 149,000 players and has raised over $5 million dollars since inception in 1994. Tournament Director, Dick Whalen, is dedicated to making this event an annual success.
“NASSC was created in the early 90’s as professional beach soccer was evolving worldwide, primarily in Europe and South America,” said Whalen. “Given our longevity and demographics, NASSC is honored to be an international flagship for the exciting sport, at the amateur and pro/am levels. As was the case with the growth of NASL and MLS, North American TV audiences should soon be able to view beach soccer action with regularity. It’s a perfect venue for eventual inclusion in the Olympics.”
The beach soccer tournament is open to boys and girls age 8-19; college men and women and adult men and women, all competing on 63 sand fields positioned oceanside, on over twenty-five city blocks of beautiful Virginia Beach.
Approximately a third of the 1,100 teams are in the adult (over 19) category; the remainder in the Under 19 cohort. Given event proximity to region military installations, numerous members of the Armed Force and their families participate.
One of the cool facts about this well known summer beach soccer tournament is that NASSC players really love playing in the tournament. The NASSC has a 93% rate of returning players.
This year will mark the 16th annual Men’s Pro/Am U.S. Open played in a 3,000 seat beach stadium. The Open is the centerpiece of NASSC, routinely drawing international entries and attracting several thousand spectators to the NASSC Beach Stadium located at 24th Street.
Men’s Pro/Am U.S. Open 2015 Results:
1. FC Barcelona, Spain
2. HRSC Elite, Virginia
3. Miami, United, Florida
4. Montco Azzurri, Pennsylvania
The 2016 U.S. purse is expected to be a minimum of $25,000.
With live beach music, food and retail shops, the NASSC is fun for the whole family. This year’s beach soccer events include the COED Flag Football Beach Bash, Beach Wrestling, the North American SANDLAX Championships, Beach Sand Hockey and Volley Futbol.
NASSC provides fundraising for Hampton Roads Soccer Council- Joy Fund, Special Olympics – TOPSoccer, Ronald McDonald House – Fun Fours for Food Festival and REACH for disadvantaged international children.
Dates: June 10-12, 2016
$525 – Youth teams Boys & Girls U8-U19 and Coed High School
$550 – All Men’s, Women’s, and Adult Coed Amateur Teams
$650 – Men’s Pro/Am cash division
10 players max EXCEPT 12 players on U.S. Open, Military, U8, U9 & U10 Boys and Girls divisions. Minimum of 3 females required (4 recommended) for COED divisions; two females must be on field at all times during coed matches. Addition of Men and Women Over 40 divisions being considered and will be based on registrations.
Main Image Photo Credit: Aerophoto America