By Liz Lane
(June 7, 2013) The 18th annual Sand Duels Beach Soccer Tournament will occupy the Dorchester Street beach in downtown Ocean City this weekend with an even bigger roster than last year.
The two-day competition will feature 518 teams going head-to-head from about 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Derek Wilson, Guru De Eventos for Baltimore-based ASG Events and Promotions LLC, said 4,144 players are signed up for this year’s tournament, which is up from last year’s 3,500 players.
“That number doesn’t even include coaches, family and friends so there’s going to be a lot of people,” he said.
Wilson said the players are traveling from Maryland and other states including Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. He said players came from North Carolina, Connecticut and New York in previous years.
Athletes participating in coed, boy’s, girl’s, men’s and women’s divisions will play about 896 games this weekend across four blocks of beach. The U-8 to U-13 boys and girls youth divisions will hit the sand Saturday and the U-14 to adult divisions will play Sunday.
Wilson attributes the increase in players to this year’s addition of the U-8 division. He said this “sped up” the growth of the tournament and the U-14 division now plays on Sunday, instead of Saturday, to accommodate.
Game will be four-on-four, with a goalie. Each team is guaranteed three games. They will continue to play until they lose. The winners and runners-up will each receive a commemorative Sand Duels Beach Soccer plaque.