Author Topic: Swamp soccer comes to Scotland  (Read 1042 times)

Offline David

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Swamp soccer comes to Scotland
« on: March 06, 2008, 09:04:37 PM »
Here's one summer football tournament the home nations could qualify for – this year's Swamp Soccer New World Championships which will be held in Scotland in June.

Over 100 teams from countries including New Zealand, Germany and Finland will make the trip to Strachur near Glasgow for the event, which is now in it's third years.

Teams of six players compete over two days on a pitch churned to mud by a digger although there will be no professional players on show – despite organizer Stewart Miller's best efforts.

'I tried to get a Scotland versus England match or Rangers versus Celtic but footballers are too precious these days,' said Miller. ;They're insured to the hilt and they're not allowed to play in these sports.

'Nobody's ever been injured seriously at swamp soccer - sometimes somebody's got a cut or two in the swamp but nothing big - but footballers won't do it.'

Three leagues - men's, women's and mixed - make up the championships, and teams play games of 24 minutes with unlimited substitutes permitted. Fancy dress is allowed at the event, which runs from June 20 to 22.

The captain of last year's winners, the Fuddy Muckers, said the key to the game was a good defence and plenty of substitutes.

'The secret tactic was to always have one player at the back defending,' Gareth Rimmington, 27, said.

'Because there's no offside rule we always had one player who was right up against the opposition's goal, so if you get a break he can get it from the goalkeeper and throw it up to the attacker.'

The sport was conceived by Finnish cross-country skiers looking for a way to train during the snowless summer months, and was first played in the Nordic swamps.

And Scotland's wetlands provide good pitches for the sport - with a little help from a digger and some extra water if it does not rain in the days leading up to the tournament.