The Surprising New Sport of Brazil
Brazilians love their football. They are not just fans of the beautiful game; they’re passionate about it. Football is a national pastime and one of the most popular sports in Brazil. Soccer (soccer) is played all over the country, but there’s no doubt that it’s best in Rio de Janeiro where more than half of all players play professionally or semi-professionally.
Soccer is the national game of Brazil, which means that it’s played in every school and public high school. The sport is so popular that even children as young as five years old have been playing since the 1970s. There are currently more than 400 professional teams throughout the country with hundreds more amateur clubs. Most of these clubs compete in various levels of competition from local leagues to international tournaments.
There are many different types of soccer: the “football” style, the “soccer” style, the “pink ball” style, and others. Each type has its own rules and regulations. Some soccer games last up to 90 minutes while other games only last 20 minutes. The game is divided into two halves: a time-keeping period during which each team must stop playing until both sides agree to restart play at the beginning of each half.
Each team has up to three timeouts to stop play for a short period of time.
There are various types of soccer, some of the most popular being “football” (the English name for this is association football), “futsal” (indoor soccer played on hard floor courts), and “pink ball” (a mix between softball and regular soccer). The type of ball used in each game may be different, but the rules are almost always the same. There are many different types of goals including standard nets, target nets, and inflatables. Some games are played on grassy fields while others use playground interlocking tiles.
Football is similar to rugby in that it’s a contact sport where players from each team attempt to carry an oval-shaped ball across the opposing team’s goal-line. The team that carries the ball across the goal-line or has the ball when the final whistle blows wins. The rules and regulations are slightly different for each type of football. There are some “football” games that only last twenty minutes, while some can last up to three hours.
Futsal is the most popular sport in the world and many credit it with the rise of Brazilian soccer dominance during the last quarter of the 20th century and the start of the 21st century. This is due in part to the fact that many Brazilian children play futsal instead of football on the streets. The only real equipment that’s needed to play is a ball.
The first futsal court was created by Uruguayans across the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires, but it’s widely believed that Brazilians perfected the game. Futsal is most popular in South and Central America, but also enjoys popularity in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Brazilians are so obsessed with futsal that at one time the country had more registered futsal courts than it did soccer fields.
The pink ball style of soccer is played with an oversized golf ball and it’s a mix between American football and soccer. The game is sometimes referred to as “footgolf,” but the two sports are not really related beyond the fact that they are both played on grass fields and involve kicking a ball. The goal in this game is to kick the ball into a hole in as few strokes as possible, similar to golf. The other main rule is that players cannot run while carrying the ball; they must kick it and then run only after they’ve kicked it.
The type of goal that each team is trying to shoot into is usually different in futsal. The most common type of goal is one that’s the same size as a soccer goal, but there are also smaller goals and larger goals (such as those used in American football). Some futsal courts will have six to eight nets for players to shoot into, while others will only have one. The nets will either be hung from the ceiling or raised by posts that are cemented into the ground.
Futsal is played in much the same way as traditional soccer, except there are only five players on each side, there are only two halves as opposed to two 45-minute periods, and there is a much greater emphasis on speed and ball control since there is much less space to operate in. The first futsal world championship was held in 1985 in Spain.
The sport of footgolf is still relatively young. It was first played in 1992 and became an official sport in the Netherlands when the Dutch organized the first footgolf league in 2009. Since then the sport has spread to other parts of Europe and Asia. The first international footgolf tournament was held in 2013.
There are some important differences between football (soccer) and footgolf. The biggest one is that the playing field is much shorter, with the holes being much closer together than they would be in a normal game of golf. The other major difference is that the players are only allowed to use a special type of soccer shoe with rubber cleats that make virtually no noise when they are running. Running while wearing traditional soccer cleats on a footgolf course is grounds for immediate disqualification.
Tournaments are usually played on nine or eighteen-hole courses, but there have been tournaments where the holes were as far apart as one to two miles from each other. The number of footgolf courses in the world is steadily growing and many of them are also used for traditional golf.
The World FootGolf League was established in 2013 and it serves as the governing body of the sport. The WFGL holds an annual world championship and it also sanctions regional tournaments in North America, Europe, and Asia.
There are no major equipment differences between footgolf and traditional golf, other than the ball, which is slightly bigger so that it has a greater chance of going in the holes. The number of players per side is still typically four, or in some cases two, with the rules otherwise being the same as traditional golf.
The major footgolf tournaments are played using the same type of courses that normal golf tournaments are played on, with each hole having a par. Footgolf tournaments are often held separately from traditional golf tournaments so as not to interfere with each other.
There has always been a stigma attached to video games and the people who play them, but with the growing popularity of e-Sports, video gaming is gaining more and more recognition as a legitimate sport. There are numerous games that are played professionally including the first-person shooter Call of Duty, the real-time strategy game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, and the defense game League of Legends.
E-sports are especially popular in Asia, with most major tournaments having participants from countries such as China, South Korea, and Taiwan. For the first time, an e-sport was part of the Asian Games when the Defense Game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was played at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
One of the most popular e-sports games is League of Legends (abbreviated LoL), developed by the Californian video game developer Riot Games. The game was released in 2009 and has since become extremely popular, with 27 million people playing it every day. The objective of the game is to destroy the opposing team’s ‘nexus’, a structure that lies at the center of their base. There are a myriad of characters, or ‘champions’, to choose from that have their own strengths, weaknesses, and styles of play.
There are also different maps, which are altered versions of each other that help to keep the game fresh with varying strategies and obstacles for players to overcome.
Professional LoL matches are watched by hundreds of thousands of people around the world, with many fans attending live events. Some LoL players have become celebrities and are employed full-time by major teams. In 2013, over 200,000 people in Seoul, South Korea, watched the Season 3 World Championship held at the 12,000 seat Gwangang Art Center. The winning team, SK Telecom T1 took home a grand prize of $1 million (USD).
The most elite LoL players in the world compete for multi-million dollar prizes in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). The LCS is split into two five-player teams based in Europe and North America. Ten teams compete in the tournament with the bottom three being replaced each season. Each team represents a different city or franchise, with all the players on the roster living in that city and being available to practice and play at the team’s gaming house.
The total prize money awarded by Riot in North America in 2018 was over $25 million, with the winners taking home over $1 million alone. Team SoloMid, a team based in Los Angeles, California, won the 2018 World Championship and took home the $1 million grand prize.
Other popular e-sports games include Defense of the Ancients (DotA) and Heroes of Newerth (Heroes of Newerth), first-person shooters like Halo, Call of Duty, and Overwatch, and real-time strategy games like StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
Sources & references used in this article:
Sport and environment in Brazil: A historical overview by S Kuper – 2014 – Nation Books
Breaking their way in: Women jockeys at the racetrack in Brazil by C Dias – The International Journal of the History of Sport, 2014 – Taylor & Francis
Martial arts and combat sports in physical education and sport sciences degrees-a comparative study of Brazil, France, Portugal, and Spain by M Adelman, FA Moraes – Advances in Gender Research, 2008 – emerald.com
How to avoid fish introductions in Brazil: education and information as alternatives by M Gomes, B Avelar-Rosa – … perspectives on the martial arts and …, 2012 – repositorio.ipv.pt