Crazy Sport of the Week: Rollersoccer

Unfortunately this is one sports team that Dawson doesn’t have

By Carl Perks

There is a man in America who loved football so much he began shaving his hair in the shape of the truncated icosahedrons you find on a soccer ball, dying each pentagon in the color of a particular team with their symbols drawn in with paint. Finding the upkeep of this particular hairstyle uncommonly arduous, he decided to tattoo the lines and flags onto his scalp. You can currently find him in San Francisco, roller skating through parks, kicking footballs to passing strangers. This is the story of how this man went to invent an internationally recognized sport called rollersoccer.

A home-made video filmed in France in the early 90’s shows two young boys playing a game that seems to be a hybrid between rollerblading and soccer. Sadly, these kids lacked the funds and friends to start a team.

In their stead, a man called Zack Phillips (Soon to be known as Soccerhead), invented the sport shortly after roller skating through the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. As he strode through the gravel bicycle paths, a football rolled in his direction. At the time, Phillips was known as the man that invented ‘‘Kick the Cone’’, a game where the players rollerblade around and kick a pinecone into nets. When he noticed the recoil he could get out of kicking a ball with a skate, he rushed home and presented his sport idea to his friends.

The first ever match took place on John F. Kennedy Drive in San Francisco in 1995. Twenty-Three men and women chaotically tossed a ball around with their skates, witnessing the birth of rollersoccer.

In 2001, Phillips ventured to France to present his sport, hoping it would catch on in Europe. The French dubbed it football sur roller and created the first ever league called Caen Rollersoccer Association. Many partisans of the game then flew to San Francisco to get first hand coaching from Phillips.

The game has spread through most of Europe where they host a World Cup and a European Cup for the game. The French team, being the most enthusiastic, are the most competitive and won almost half of the World Cups.

Rollersoccer is played in handball court lined with short walls with two opposing nets/gates that are one by three meters in diameter. Most of the rules are copied right off football except for a few discrepancies: there are two teams of ten players and only five per team can be one the court at one time, the game lasts through two halves of 25 minutes, there are no goal tenders and if a ball passes through an enemy player’s legs before entering the net, the scoring team gains an extra point.

This year’s World Cup will happen in Numenberg in Germany and the first ever occurrence of the Europe Roller Soccer Cup will take place in Marseille, France.

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