162 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Beach Soccer Histories is the first text to consider the sport as a historical, social and cultural phenomenon, to define its traditions, and present leading research on the development and significance of football played on sand.

    Following a period of expansive, rapid growth, beach soccer is an internationally governed professional sport, which has come a long way from its origins in Rio de Janeiro in the 1920s. The sand-based variant is distinguished from football by a range of factors, including the dramatic impact of the playing surface. Yet, the game has undergone very little academic scrutiny. This research adopts and adapts qualitative methods related to oral history and football studies, including extensive archival research, semi-structured interviews, and textual and thematic analyses. As it looks beneath the game’s contemporary reach, it considers origins, organisations – including FIFA’s influence – and the beach cultures that underpin its sporting and historical development. This the most comprehensive exploration of beach soccer and a century of its existence.

    Beach Soccer Histories examines the game’s historical development, critical moments and movements in its progress, successes and contentions, and its contemporary state of play with a view to deepening and advancing our understanding of the game.

    List of Acronyms


    1 Beach Soccer Contexts

    2 The Beach: More Than a Pitch

    3 Beach Soccer, Histories, and Context

    4 Beach Soccer in Brazil 1923–1994

    5 Beach Soccer in the United States 1992–2012

    6 Beach Soccer in Australia 2005–2019

    7 Beach Soccer in Tahiti and Solomon Islands 2006–2021

    8 Beach Soccer in 2023



    Lee McGowan is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast. His primary research interests are in the intersections of creative writing, sport (particularly football), and community engagement. His publications include books, journal articles, book chapters, a digital history, fiction, and creative non-fiction.

    Elizabeth Ellison is Associate Professor and Deputy Dean (Research) for the School of Education and the Arts at Central Queensland University. She has researched the Australian beach since her PhD (2013) situated within creative arts and cultural studies. She also has a focus on applied regional arts, leading research projects in the Centre for Research in Equity & Advancement of Teaching and Education.

    Michele Lastella is Senior Lecturer and researcher at the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science at CQUniversity. His primary area of expertise is sleep, recovery, and sport psychology. Being a former Beach Socceroo, Michele brings experience from both an athlete’s perspective as well as a researcher’s perspective.