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Beach 5 Sand Soccer tournament

If you are in Ocean City this week, you may notice a couple of changes as you drive down Coastal Highway. The speed limit, normally 40 mph through North Ocean City, has been reduced to 30 mph, and Downtown, the speed limit has also been reduced. This is due to the expected, unauthorized H2Oi Pop-Up Rally.  It is reasonable to expect heavier than usual traffic, noise and strict enforcement of vehicle laws during the week and weekend.

(June 19, 2015) Close to 300 teams will participate in the family-friendly Beach 5 Sand Soccer tournament taking place on Saturday and Sunday with 30 fields lining the beach from Dorchester to Second Street.

The participants range in age from under 8 years old to adult teams, with 10 players on each team. They will compete in a two-day event, beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday morning with both boys’ and girls’ teams contending until about 7 p.m. on June 20.

“Purely for the fun and experience of playing soccer in the sand, I mean really? Who knew how fun that could be, and boy what a challenge,” said Angela Lewis, the administrator for Beach 5 Sand Soccer.

The soccer-filled weekend continues on Sunday at 8 a.m. with boys’ and girls’ teams competing until after 7 p.m. Most of the championship games will take place on Sunday evening.

The event is free for spectators and Lewis says there are always surprises.

“It’s totally free to come, watch and cheer on the kids. You never know what you might see,” Lewis said. “One year, we had a boys’ under 17 team come in pink tutu’s to play in our tournament, I mean talk about fun.”

Teams will be visiting from all over the East Coast including North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware.

“We are very careful about what we allow as far as jerseys and shirts at our events and focus on the fun of the game and not the competition,” Lewis said. “It’s giving the participants an opportunity to play beach soccer as opposed to what most players are used to: grass.”

Beach 5 Sand Soccer has teamed up with Jolly Roger Amusement parks to provide a fun time for families when the kids are not playing in the tournament, she added.

In addition, they will be selling specially designed T-shirts, socks and other items on site at the tournament.

“We focus on the fun factor at our events and we emphasize this to coaches, parents, participants and our staff every day,” Lewis said. “If you can’t have fun doing what you love then why do it?”

Any soccer lovers who missed out on this weekend’s soccer tournament will receive another chance to participate. Beach 5 Sand Soccer will be back Aug. 8 for a second tournament in Ocean City.

“We’d love to have new teams come out and join us,” Lewis said.

Catch this weekend’s events on the Boardwalk between Dorchester and Second Streets from 8 a.m. to about 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Visit www.beach5sandsoccerseries.com for more information or to sign up for the tournament in August.

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