Soccer, or as it is officially called, association football, is played by more than 275 million people throughout two hundred countries. Since the 1994 World Cup, soccer has gained popularity in the United States, and is played by an estimated seven million U.S. children.
The game of soccer can be played on sand, hard court, grass, or turf fields regardless of inclement weather. A rectangular shape forms the perimeter of the field with goals on adjacent sides. Players use an assortment of ball sizes pertaining to age, gender and skill level. An official ball measures twenty eight inches in circumference. All players excluding the goalie must use any body part except the hands and arms when advancing the ball downfield. In addition, players can not use their hands or arms to create an advantage by touching other players. At the conclusion of a match the team with the most goals wins. In case of a tie, an overtime and/or penalty shootout is played. Soccer rules are officially called “The Laws of the Game.” Differentiating rules affect the size of the field, and number of players on the field. Other rules such as offside’s, foul kicks, and hand balls remain constant.
One of the most productive ways to improve is simply to get involved in pick-up or drop-in games. They are free and usually fun. Depending on the location and time, skilled soccer players may attend. This usually results in games with a lot of quick passing and footwork that can resemble a professional soccer match. During these games both the goals and field size are often significantly smaller than an actual soccer field. Usually this makes the game a little quicker and allows players to run less. A good place to find pick-up soccer games is found here.
Boulder County offers a variety of places where one can enjoy practicing and competing with other local players, including a multitude of parks and indoor facilities. For intermediate to advanced players, one of the most scenic places to play is at Kittredge field at the University of Colorado. Stunning views of the flatirons provide players of various backgrounds a well lit venue to showcase their skills. This turn field is open to both men and women. Play resides on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 5:30PM and lasts until 10 pm. Often twenty five people arrive. When more than 20 players arrive simultaneous games are played. Turf fields play much faster than grass fields and good conditioning is necessary to keep pace with play.
One of the best indoor facilities in Boulder is Boulder Indoor Soccer (BIS). Located at 2845 29th Street, (near 29th and Valmont) BIS offers everything from toddler, youth, and Adult leagues. BIS provides a heated facility which provides a great venue to play soccer on cold and snowy days. Pick-up games cost $7 per player and registration must be completed a week prior. The times, days and players are as follows:
12 to 2 PM
Max. 18 Players
12 to 2 PM
Max. 15 Players
4 to 6 PM
Max. 18 Players
Various other towns in the county host various pickup games. Left Hand Creek Park, located in Longmont, provides intermediate players with a well manicured field. Play begins Saturday Mornings at 9:30AM and generally lasts until noon.
Boulder County has a plethora of clinics and leagues for youth and young adults. The YMCA of Boulder Valley currently provides soccer instruction to over 2,000 youth. Spring and Fall constitute the two major seasons for soccer. Throughout the summer a three on three league, hosted at Community Park in Superior, is provided through a partnership with Trebol soccer. The following are the main youth soccer leagues in Boulder County: YMCA of Boulder Valley, Boulder Force, Nova Athletic Soccer, Longmont United Soccer Association, Trebol Soccer, and St. Vrain FC.
Boulder County offers facilities, clinics and venues to hone and develop skills. Numerous fields are located throughout this area offering people of all ages and skill levels an opportunity to play. Soccer promotes dedication, teamwork, communication and perseverance, making it a fun, healthy and beneficial activity for all ages.