Does soccer sound like too demanding a game for you? Maybe you feel like you do not have enough energy to run up, down and across a 100-yard pitch for an entire 90 minutes. Or perhaps the laws of the game are a bit of a turn off for you. Do not walk away; there’s another much simpler version of the game that you will probably enjoy more.
Welcome to street football, the informal version of the game of soccer, or, in official lingo, association football. Street football is more like a party than a soccer match; it is the AND1 of soccer. It is a version of the game that is played purely for fun and has been around for a while now.
History of street football
Street football has been around almost for as long as football itself. There is no recorded date or period when people started playing street football– that is just how informal it is.
That said, there is evidence and history of informal matches played around the world more than a century ago.
Street football format
The main format is no format at all. There really are no filed rules of street football, which is the basic idea. For example, while in one place you will find people using wooden goalposts in one area, others will be using clothes as goals elsewhere while in a different place you will notice a wall used as the target.
While you may expect football to have two opposing teams, you will find instances where teams have a neutral player kicking for both teams according to the specific rules. This variation of rules from place to place and from one game to the net is what makes street football continuously exciting.
The only universal feature of street football, thus, would be the presence of a football. That said, the balls used do not have a specific standard in regards to size or material. Anything goes.
Street football matches may have referees to enforce the set rules, but this is not mandatory either. Rules may even be altered within the course of a match. Another popular feature of street football matches is their flair. Players are more interested in showing their dribbling, control and trickery skills than anything else. How a goal is scored is almost always more important than whether it is scored.
Order within chaos
While the format may make street sound like a chaotic game, it really is a far cry from that. The games themselves are usually friendly encounters and hardly ever involve violence. There is never a shortage of shouts and yells but these are more about cheering than conflict.
There exist organizational structures that guide street football in many areas. These organizations help to promote the game of skills around the world. There have been serious competitions in the years gone past- the Street Football World Championship is the most notable among them.
Different crop of players
Usually, the most renowned street football players do not go into professional soccer. They are usually flair boys who wouldn’t survive in the pressure environment of a pro soccer team. That said, street soccer is so exciting that even professionals love to get a kick when they can. Frenchman Thierry Henry and Brazilian Ronaldinho ‘Gaucho’ were especially popular figures in this soccer model.