It’s a great honor for Senda to announce that the New Playa Beach Soccer Ball has been selected as the official ball of the North American Sand Soccer Championship 2022, the most important annual sand soccer event in the US and the world, that is held in Virginia Beach, VA at the beginning of summer.
During the weekend of June 10th-12th, this premier sand soccer festival will take place along the oceanfront of one of the nation’s top resort cities.
Around 1,000 teams from more than 15 states, with players aged from 8 on up to pros, will enjoy playing sand soccer in the largest event of this nature in the world.
About the ball
This is the first time ever that our newly released Playa Beach Soccer Ball was personalized and selected to be the official ball for such an amazing tournament.
Designed with larger-sized panels (12) and an extra soft cover for optimal barefoot play, the New Playa Beach Soccer Ball features best-in-class performance, superior playability, and durability on the sand. Elite beach soccer players will find it very friendly and apt for intense training and matches.
About the Championship
The NASSC is a huge annual event that is held usually in June, when the summer season is starting. It involves approximately 10,000 athletes who play 2,000 matches in a total of 100 fields throughout 25 city blocks, on over a mile-and-a-half of white sand.
When the day is done, the over 100,000 people attending the event can relax and have fun in the surroundings with live music, great food, and beverages.
Interview with Matt Whalen
Matt Whalen is the Director of Operations. His father -Dick Whalen- created the North American Sand Soccer Championships.
Matt has been a part of the event every year either as a player, a coach, a parent or as the Director of Operations.For some years, he has played every role.
Senda contacted Matt to learn more about this great festival.
Senda: Why has this beach soccer event become so popular?
Matt: During the early 90s, Virginia Beach soccer clubs had begun searching for additional facilities to serve the rapidly increasing numbers of area soccer participants. The first sand soccer event in Virginia Beach occurred in May 1994 when 26 youth and adult teams braved a blustery nor’easter to do battle on six fields in the “Beach Soccer Kickout”. The event, co-sponsored by Beach FC and the Virginia Beach Rotary Club, proved very successful and the good news about sand soccer in Virginia Beach began quickly spreading throughout the soccer community. Then the word of mouth did it all. Year after year, the number of participant teams grew more and more.
Senda: How does beach soccer help athletes in soccer?
Matt: Beach soccer helps athletes the most by highlighting the 4 pillars of the sport: technical, tactical, physical, and psychological. All 4 are required to be at the top of the game.
Senda: Why should coaches get involved with the sport?
Matt: Coaches should get involved with the sport as beach soccer is an outstanding complement to regular, outdoor soccer - the sport multiplies all of the excitement of the outdoor game: scoring, shots, tackles, aerial play, etc.
What is the story behind the North American Sand Soccer Championships?
Matt: The first sand soccer event in Virginia Beach occurred in May 1994. It proved very successful and the good news about sand soccer in Virginia Beach began quickly spreading. As “Pro Beach Soccer” expanded around the world, so did the North American Sand Soccer Championships, with over 1,075 teams competing on 65 fields in 2015. Included in the mix were nearly 20 states and a full range of festival amusements. A direct player/coach/fan population of 35,000 was associated with NASSC’s 2015. Boardwalk spectators viewing NASSC over its mile-and-a-half of oceanfront operations swelled the total 2 1/2 day demographic to 200,000!
What has made the NASSC the incredible event that it is today? What is the goal of your Championship for the teams that participate?
Matt: NASSC has become a permanent fixture in the fabric of Virginia Beach. As one of the city's largest festivals, NASSC has contributed nearly 15 million dollars in tax revenue annually while continuing to flourish in the rich beach culture of our city. Our event is the main funding generator for the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex, a 74-acre premier soccer complex serving the Virginia Beach sports community.
What type of impact do you want to make on the players that participate?
Matt: We want to create a fun, competitive environment while creating lasting memories that make our players want to come back year after year!
What is your hope for beach soccer in the future? How can beach soccer reach the next level in the US?
Matt: We hope that the United States continues to serve as a catalyst to grow the sport around the country. With the ever-increasing successes of our men's and women's US National Beach Soccer Teams, the United States will be a major player for the sport soon.
Why did you choose Senda beach soccer balls for the NASSC?
Matt: We’ve chosen Senda mainly because of the quality of the balls. We are very happy with the customized ball produced since it reflects exactly what we wanted. It is the result of the joint work we did with Senda’s design team.
Senda: Is Senda's commitment to Fair Trade Certification for our ball producers important to you? Why?
Matt: Absolutely! NASSC embraces the idea of doing what is right for our people and planet while making sustainable impact in the products that we use.
Be a part of the beach soccer explosion!
Visit our online store, buy the best beach soccer ball in the market and rock it on the sand!