Euro Beach Soccer League

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Euro Beach Soccer League
Euro Beach Soccer League (logo).png
Founded 1998; 19 years ago (1998)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Divisions EBSL Division A
EBSL Division B
Number of teams 27 (12 in Division A, 15 in Division B)
Level on pyramid 1 & 2
Domestic cup(s) Euro Beach Soccer Cup
International cup(s) Intercontinental Cup
Current champions  Russia (5th title)
(2017)
Most championships  Spain
 Portugal
 Russia
(5 titles)
Website BSWW
2017 Euro Beach Soccer League

The Euro Beach Soccer League (EBSL) is the premier competition in beach soccer contested between European men's national teams. Originally called the European Pro Beach Soccer League until 2004, the competition has been held annually since its establishment in 1998, making it not only the oldest beach soccer tournament in Europe but one of the oldest still in existence in the world, only surpassed in longevity by the World Cup and Mundialito events.[1] The EBSL was originally created to promote the newly founded sport in Europe in a competitive environment.[2]

Organised by Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW), the teams of the league compete in two divisions; A, consisting of the league's 12 best nations and B, consisting of the other teams competing that year. A system of promotion and relegation exists between the two divisions.[3]

The league is played in two phases; a regular season and a post-season. Teams play in stages of fixtures during the regular season, hoping to earn enough points for their division's league table to qualify for their respective post-season events; for Division A, the Superfinal, in which league title is then directly contested, and for Division B, the Promotion Final, in which promotion to A is then directly contested.[3]

The competition takes place between May and September. The league's rounds of matches are staged in a series of locations across Europe in which multiple nations gather to play, having spread as west as Dublin, Ireland[4] and as east as Alanya, Turkey.[5] Matches take place every few weeks over the course of a weekend, including Fridays. At most, Division A teams play 10 games a season and Division B nations, 7 games.

33 nations of Europe have competed since the initial 1998 season. Only four have featured in every season – France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. The most successful nations are Spain, Portugal and Russia with 5 titles each, the latter also current 2017 champions.[6] Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Ukraine also have one title each.

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

After beach soccer's inception in 1992, the sport grew quickly. By 1996, the Pro Beach Soccer Tour (PBST) had been created – a series of exhibition events across the Americas, Asia and in Europe, totalling in 60 games by the end of 1997, promoting the sport on a global level.[2] In Europe, the interest generated was particularly prevalent. Beach Soccer Company (BSC), the organisers of the PBST, perceived that the media, sponsors and fans in Europe desired a multi-event, summer-long competition with consistent national teams and star players to follow and support in a competitive environment. Consequently, BSC proceeded to launch the first European Pro Beach Soccer League season (EPBSL) in 1998, moulded and structured in the aforementioned vision of fans and media alike.[2]

Early years (1998–2000)[edit]

EBSL logo timeline
1998–2003The first logo. Used until the competition was renamed from the EPBSL to the shortened Euro Beach Soccer League.
1998–2003
The first logo. Used until the competition was renamed from the EPBSL to the shortened Euro Beach Soccer League.
2004–2008Introduced in view of the name change to the EBSL in 2004. Accompanied by the Mastercard logo (as lead sponsors) until 2007 when MasterCard ended their sponsorship, so the logo was stripped back to this base design.
2004–2008
Introduced in view of the name change to the EBSL in 2004. Accompanied by the Mastercard logo (as lead sponsors) until 2007 when MasterCard ended their sponsorship, so the logo was stripped back to this base design.
2009–2015Accompanying the new league structure in 2009 was a new logo.
2009–2015
Accompanying the new league structure in 2009 was the introduction of a new logo.
2016–presentA new logo design for all BSWW competitions was announced in 2016. The EBSL logo was altered to match the new designs.
2016–present
A new logo design for all BSWW competitions was announced in 2016.[7] The EBSL logo was altered to match the new designs.

In the inaugural season of 1998, seven countries took part, mostly from Western and Southern Europe – France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Yugoslavia, Switzerland and Portugal.[8] The league events toured across Europe, with multiple countries hosting rounds of fixtures called stages (see defunct formats for more), concluding in Monte Carlo, which saw Germany crowned champions – their only title to date. During this time, Prince Albert of Monaco became Honorary President of the EPBSL and Monte Carlo was chosen to host the final stage each year including a gala event.[8] Spain went on to win the 1999 and 2000 editions which saw Austria and the Netherlands debut.

Much of the success of the league's early years was due to the recognisable association footballers who made the transition to the sand attracting fans to attend and watch matches on TV such as Eric Cantona, Michel, Claudio Gentile, Uli Stielike, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Emilio Butragueño and Andreas Brehme to name a few.[8] Meanwhile dedicated beach soccer players, without the footballing background of these players also made a name for themselves, most notably the young duo of Spain's Amarelle and Portugal's Madjer.

Introduction of the Superfinal and a multi-division league (2001–2005)[edit]

In 2001, Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW), became the EPBSL's new organisers, succeeding BSC.[2] Subsequently, the league underwent significant changes. BSWW split the league into two phases – the existing regular season and a new post-season phase called the Superfinal in which the league champions would be determined instead of via the final regular season league table.[4] Furthermore, in 2002, BSWW divided the nations of the league into two divisions,[9] with a third division created in 2004.[10] (see defunct formats for more)

Despite the new format, the Iberian nations were not deterred and their dominance continued initially. Spain claimed their third straight title in 2001 whilst two-time runners-up Portugal finally claimed their first title in 2002. Spanish superiority continued as they won their fourth crown in 2003. However, 2004 finally saw France become league champions for the first time and Italy also claimed their first title in 2005.[11] Nations such as England, Norway and Belgium joined in 2001–03, showing expansion in participation further north but failed to make an impact against the superior, established Southern European quartet of France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.[11] Meanwhile in 2004–05, the likes of Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Russia joined,[11] highlighting how interest in the EBSL was also fast spreading Eastward.

In 2004, BSWW renamed the competition to the shortened Euro Beach Soccer League (EBSL). Commercially, the league enjoyed some of its greatest success at this time; BSWW secured "vastly expanded television coverage" of the EBSL from such networks as Sky Sports (UK), RAI (Italy), SIC (Portugal) and NRK (Norway) and "unprecedented demand from promoters" to host league events.[12][13] Meanwhile major sponsorship deals were struck with McDonald's, Coca-Cola and MasterCard, the latter becoming lead sponsors in 2004.[12]

Third era (2006, 2007)[edit]

The EBSL once again underwent significant changes in 2006, entering its third distinct format era. In summary, the new format had Division B start and complete their regular season first, early in the summer. The top teams then qualified to play in Division A, to compete alongside the top tier's automatic entrants, which began its regular season later in the summer.[14][15] The top teams at the end of the Division A regular season then proceeded to the Superfinal to contest the league title as usual.[16] (see defunct formats for more)

Having switched from Monte Carlo to Marsielle in 2005, BSWW made the French city the Superfinal's permanent new home for 2006 and 2007. Its impressive hosting was key in FIFA's decision to award the city as hosts of the 2008 World Cup.[17] The EBSL continued to double as the World Cup qualification route for European nations into the FIFA era.

These years saw the Iberian nations return to the summit; Spain won their fifth title in 2006 and Portugal their second in 2007, narrowly denying France their own second crown by a single goal in the final.[11] However the latter year saw the birth of a new European power, that of Russia who finished top of the Division A regular season table in just their first season in the top tier, ultimately finishing third in the Superfinal. This era saw the rise of the likes of Switzerland and Poland, establishing themselves as regular participants of the top tier.[11]

Current era – promotion and relegation (2009–present)[edit]

France, coached by Eric Cantona (top right), lined up before a match in the Marseille stage of the 2010 season

The 2008 EBSL season was greatly affected by the scheduling of the World Cup which shortened the league's calendar. Because of the time constraints, the 2006-07 format could not be implemented. Instead, all the teams of the league (of all abilities) competed in one unified division in what was ultimately an anomalous season in terms of its format.

Heading into the 2009 season, BSWW did not return to the 2006-07 format and instead completely revamped the league's format, primarily introducing a system of promotion and relegation between Divisions A and B involving making the Superfinal a Division A only event, the establishment of a second post-season event exclusively for Division B nations, the Promotion Final, in which promotion is achieved, and reverting back to having the regular seasons of the two divisions occur concurrently as in 2001-05.[18] (see current format for more)

During this era participation has continued to increase, breaking the 20-team barrier in 2011 and a record 27 nations competed in 2017, seeing participation expand to nations even as small as Moldova and Andorra and as far east as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, debuting and becoming league regulars.[19] The Superfinal and regular season stages have also spread out further across Europe. The Superfinal has been staged in Estonia,[20] Portugal[21] and Russia,[22] whilst regular season stages have been hosted in Serbia,[23] Hungary[24] and Ukraine.[25] Russia's rise culminated with their first title in 2009; with four further titles since, Russia equalled Spain and Portugal's record tally of titles,[6] and at least finishing in the top four every season since 2007, the Russians have cemented their position as a superpower. During this period Portugal have continued to be a dominant side, having added another two titles to their haul,[26][27] whilst Switzerland and Ukraine have claimed their maiden crowns.[28][29] On the other hand, this era has seen the demise of nations like France, who saw relegation to Division B in 2010[30] and again 2012,[31] meanwhile Spain have only made one final during these nine years, despite their five previous titles.

Competition structure[edit]

Current format[edit]

In 2009, BSWW overhauled the existing league structure and introduced a new format that remains in use, featuring a system of promotion and relegation between two divisions of teams.[18] The league currently consists of two phases – a regular season, typically taking place between June and August, and two post-season events, taking place in August or September. Minor amendments to the format were made in 2013 that focused on increasing the size of Division A and the number of teams advancing to the post-season events.[3]

Divisions A and B[edit]

The nations of the EBSL are divided between two divisions; A, the league’s top tier, and B, the league’s lower tier. Each season, Division A nations aim to win the EBSL title, whilst Division B nations aim to be promoted to Division A, with one promotion spot available per season.

12 countries comprise Division A. These are the league’s best teams. It features the top 11 finishers from the previous year's final Division A regular season league table, plus the one nation who earned promoted from Division B at end of the preceding season (the Promotion Final winners). Division B hosts all other participants, those with lesser ability on the sand than those in the top tier. The division features teams from the previous Division B season who were not promoted, nations returning after an absence from competing, the team relegated from Division A at the end of the previous season, and any debutants. Hence the total number of nations competing in Division B varies by season and as such is not fixed in size like Division A.

Regular season[edit]

The league begins with the regular season, consisting of multiple rounds of fixtures taking place every few weeks. Each set of matches is treated as its own event, known as a stage. Each stage of the season is hosted in a different European country. Typically, both Division A and Division B matches are organised to take place together during the same stage event. Overall, Division A nations generally take part in two stages per year and Division B nations, one stage each.

In each stage, the participating teams compete in groups of four in a round robin format (sometimes Division B nations play in groups of three) over the course of three days (usually Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Teams earn points for their divisions’ league table for winning matches during these stages, trying to earn enough to qualify for their respective divisions' post-season events (see below). The team who earned the most points during the event are declared stage winners and are presented with a trophy. Individual awards are also presented for the MVP, best goalkeeper and top scorer.

End of regular season scenario:
Division A:
Pos Qualification
1 Top 8
advance
to
Superfinal
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9 9th–11th:
season
ends here
10
11
12 12th place into
Promotion Final
Division B:
Pos Qualification
1 Top 7
(stage winners,
best runners-up)
advance to
Promotion
Final
2
3
4
5
6
7
8 8th and below:
season
ends here
9
10
11

Superfinal[edit]

The post-season event for Division A teams is called the Superfinal. Of the 12 teams in Division A, the top eight ranking nations with the most points in the Division A league table at the end of the regular season proceed to the Superfinal. In this event, the participating nations directly compete for the league title. A four-day event, the eight teams are split into two groups of four, competing in a round robin format. The two group winners then proceed to the final, with the winner of this concluding match crowned champions of the EBSL.

Promotion Final[edit]

The post-season event for Division B nations is called the Promotion Final, staged in parallel with the Superfinal during same dates and in the same location. The top seven ranking nations with the most points in the Division B league table at the end of the regular season proceed to the Promotion Final. In this event, teams directly compete for the single promotion spot available. An eighth nation also takes part, the team that finished last in Division A, who compete to try and defend their Division A status.

The eight teams are split into two groups of four, competing in a round robin format. The two group winners then proceed to the final to play for promotion. The Division B nation which wins this match is promoted to Division A the next season, with the team bottom of Division A relegated. However, if the defending Division A team successfully wins the Promotion Final, fending off the challenge of the Division B teams, they will retain their Division A status for the next season, denying any prospective Division B team promotion.

Defunct formats[edit]

1998–2000 (original format)
  • The founding years of the EPBSL were played similar to any typical domestic association football league in Europe. The participating teams played eight games a season, earning points for the league table, with the team top of the table becoming league champions after all the fixtures were complete. There was no post-season, the final standings, including the league champions, were decided purely by the regular season results alone.[32]
  • Each participating nation hosted a round of fixtures otherwise known as a stage, played as small, four-team knock-out tournaments over the course of two days. Day 1 consisted of the semi-finals and day 2, the final and third place deciding match. The teams earned points towards the league table during these stages by winning matches and earning bonus points for being stage winners or being runners-up.[32]
2001–2005 (changes made to the 1998-00 format)
Post-season established (Superfinal):
  • The Superfinal was introduced as a new post-season phase of the league's season from 2001 onward, to come after the completion of the existing regular season phase. It was decided that from this edition forward, the team top of the league table at the end of the regular season would no longer be crowned league champions as in 1998–00. Instead, the teams occupying the top handful of spots of the league table at end of the regular season would advance to a new playoff event to be known as the Superfinal, in which the title would then be contested directly by these teams, with the winner becoming league champions. The Superfinal was played as a knockout tournament.[4] A four team event in 2001, this number was increased to six in 2002[33] and eight in 2004.[34]

Stages:

  • The format of the regular season stages was also changed for the 2001 season and onward. No longer would the stages of fixtures be played as small knockout tournaments as in 1998–00; the stages remained four-team events but the format was altered to having the stages played in a round robin style, with the results tallied up in a table to determine the winners of the stage based on which team had gained the most points over the course of the event. Stages now took place over three days. The bonus points awarded in previous years for being stage winners and runners-up was also scrapped. Teams now earned points for the league table solely on match wins.[32]

Divisions, Superfinal berths:

  • In 2002, BSWW divided the nations of the league competing that season into two divisions based on ability; a top tier for the league's best teams and a lower tier for the season's other entrants, less proficient on the sand. The nations competed exclusively against other teams in their own division during the regular season. Each division held separate regular season events, in different locations and during different dates and continued to be hosted by all participating nations (when possible) as in 1998–00.[35][9] The divisions were officially named A and B respectively in 2003.[36]
  • At the end of their regular seasons, the top-ranking teams from both Division A and Division B qualified for the Superfinal. In recognition of the quality of the nations in the top division compared to the bottom division, Division A was rewarded with more qualification berths to the Superfinal than in Division B throughout this era.[35][36] For example, in 2002, the top division had four teams proceed to the Superfinal whereas only two teams from the bottom division progressed.
  • In 2004, eighteen nations took part, a jump from ten in 2003. In response, BSWW created a third division, C. The Superfinal qualification berths were reshuffled to accommodate this third division, once again recognising the quality of the cohorts in each group; teams in Division A received the most berths (4), B fewer than A (3) and C fewer than B (1).[10]
  • BSWW expanded and reduced the sizes of the divisions every season during this era. Teams were moved around between divisions from the end of one season to the start of the next in order to make up the numbers decided on by BSWW for the division in question going into the new season. However this was not a relegation/promotion process. The allocation of teams into each division at the start of each season was by the discretion of BSWW and not simply because of the performance of the team in question in the previous season earning that team a move between divisions.
2006 & 2007 (changes made to the 2001-05 format)
Divisions:
  • In 2006, Division C was scrapped. In both 2006 and 2007, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal were given automatic entry into Division A. All other teams entering the EBSL's season were placed into Division B.[15]
  • Instead of the Division A and B regular seasons taking place concurrently as in the 2001-05 era, the new format had Division B start and complete their regular season first, early in the summer. Division B nations no longer directly qualified for the Superfinal either. In place of this, the top four nations at the end of the Division B regular season then qualified to play in Division A, within the same season, which began its regular season later in the summer, to compete alongside the top tier's aforementioned automatic entrants.[14] Note this was not a promotion system.

Superfinal:

  • The top six teams of the Division A table at the end of the regular season advanced to the Superfinal to compete for the league title.[15] The Superfinal was played as a multi-stage event during this era. Starting with a round robin group stage, the six teams were split into two groups of three. The top two teams moved onto the knockout stage, starting with the semi finals.

Stages:

  • Division A itself was altered. Each regular season stage was changed from a four team, round robin event to a knockout tournament involving all eight teams of the division. The Division A regular season in 2006 and 2007 consisted of four stages, with one hosted in each of the four automatic entrants' countries.[15] The points system was also amended – points were earned for the league table based on a nation's final placement (1st–8th) in each sage, not for match wins.[32]
  • Division B stages remained four-team round robin events in 2006, with an additional final stage, played as a knockout tournament, consisting of the best teams after the previous stages, to then directly determine the four teams that would play in Division A later in the season. In 2007, Division B consisted of one single stage involving all teams. The nations were split into groups, competing against other members of their groups, with the winners earning a place in Division A.

Locations of EBSL events[edit]

  Countries that have hosted regular season stages and the Superfinal
  Countries that have only hosted regular season stages
  Countries that have competed in the EBSL but have not hosted any events
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Blue pog.svg Location has hosted both regular season stages and the Superfinal
Yellow pog.svg Location has only hosted regular season stages

Part of the original concept of the EBSL was to link the multiple promoters of beach soccer in the different countries of Europe under the umbrella of a single Europe-wide competition. This was to ensure a strong structure of development for beach soccer throughout the Old Continent through such unity.[8] This has meant that BSWW have hosted and continue to host EBSL events right across Europe.

The table below shows the countries which have hosted EBSL events, in order from the country which has hosted the most, down to the least. The specific host towns and cities in each country are also listed. Overall, in 20 seasons, there have been 125 events hosted in 65 different locations in Europe.

Nation Stages
hosted
Location(s) Superfinals
hosted
Location(s) Total
events
hosted
 Italy 19 Siracusa x2, Scoglitti x2, Cattolica, Riccione, Rome,
Lignano Sabbiadoro x4, San Benedetto del Tronto x2,
Ostia, Cervia, Ravenna, Terracina x2, Catania
2 Catania, Terracina 21
 France 13 Saint-Galmier, Marsielle x5, Palavas-les-Flots,
Tignes x4, Béziers, Valence
3 Marsielle x3 16
 Spain 13 Sant Joan d'Alacant, La Coruña, Mallorca x7,
Cádiz, Malaga, Torredembarra, Sanxenxo
2 Torredembarra x2 15
 Portugal 11 Figueira da Foz x3, Vila Nova de Gaia, Estoril,
Carcavelos x2, Portimão x3, Nazaré
3 Vila Real de Santo
António x2, Lisbon
14
 Austria 8 Vienna, Kitzbühel, Linz x5, Sankt Pölten 0 8
 Russia 6 Moscow x6 1 Moscow 7
 Monaco 3 Monte Carlo x3 3 Monte Carlo x3 6
 Netherlands 4 Scheveningen, The Hague x3 1 The Hague 5
  Switzerland 5 Zurich, Basel, Bern x2, Interlaken 0 5
 England 4 London, Brighton x2, Minehead 0 4
 Germany 4 Travemunde, Berlin x2, Warnemunde 0 4
 Hungary 4 Siofok x4 0 4
 Belgium 2 Knokke, Brussels 1 Knokke 3
 Greece 2 Athens x2 0 2
 Norway 2 Stavanger x2 0 2
 Poland 2 Poddebice, Sopot 0 2
 Turkey 2 Alanya, Istanbul 0 2
 Estonia 0 1 Pärnu 1
 Ireland 1 Dublin 0 1
 Serbia 1 Belgrade 0 1
 Ukraine 1 Kiev 0 1
 FR Yugoslavia 1 Montenegro 0 1

Teams[edit]

  Division A member
  Division B member
  Inactive
  Never competed

As of the 2017 season, 27 teams (a record high) comprise the Euro Beach Soccer League, split between two divisions: Division A consisting of 12 teams and Division B comprising 15 teams.[19] Teams move between the divisions through a promotion and relegation process established in the 2009 season. One team a season can be promoted/relegated from each division.[18] Prior to 2009, teams were simply allocated to divisions at the start of each season.

An eight team group from 2009–12, the size of the top division has been fixed at 12 since 2013, seeing four extra teams promoted at the end of the 2012 season.[3] However, teams returning after an absence from competing and new nations debuting are placed into the bottom division, hence its size, and the overall number nations participating in the league, has varied every season throughout the history of the competition.

Having started with seven nations in 1998 (France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Yugoslavia, Switzerland and Portugal), who all still compete today (Yugoslavia now as Serbia), the milestone of 10 participating nations was reached in the 2002 season and 20 teams first took part in the 2011 season. Overall, 33 different nations have competed since the opening season. 23 members of UEFA are yet to enter the league. National teams such as Croatia, Malta[37] and Slovenia[38] have expressed interest in joining the league in the past, but have so far not participated.

Current line-up[edit]

2018 season provisional line-up based on participation in the 2017 season.

Superscript key:

1. Won the 2017 Promotion Final and were promoted up from Division B at end of the season
2. Excludes absent years
3. Includes absent years in current spell
4. Lost the 2017 Promotion Final and were relegated down from Division A at end of season
5. As FR Yugoslavia. Serbia, as the successor nation, debuted in 2016
Division A
Nation EBSL
debut
2017 results Total
EBSL
seasons
Years active Since promotion & relegation began in 2009 Titles Last
title
Regular
season
Super
final
Seasons
in Div. A
Seasons
in Div. B
Start of current
spell in Div. A
 Azerbaijan 2009 11th DNQ 10 debut 2 8 2017 N/A
 Belarus 2009 3rd 6th 10 debut 6 4 2013 N/A
 France 1998 9th DNQ 21 debut 9 1 2013 1 2004
 Germany 1998 10th DNQ 19 debut–2002, 2004–07, 2009– 6 4 2013 1 1998
 Italy 1998 7th 3rd 21 debut 10 0 2009 1 2005
 Poland 2004 8th 8th 15 debut 10 0 2015 N/A
 Portugal 1998 1st RU 21 debut 10 0 2009 5 2015
 Russia 2005 5th W 13 debut, 2007– 10 0 2009 5 2017
 Spain 1998 4th 4th 21 debut 10 0 2009 5 2006
  Switzerland 1998 6th 5th 19 debut, 2001– 10 0 2009 1 2012
 Turkey 2002 3rd (B) ↑↑↑1 14 debut, 2004, 2007– 2 8 2018 N/A
 Ukraine 2004 2nd 7th 12 debut–2007, 2011– 6 2 2013 1 2016
Division B
Nation EBSL
debut
2017 results Total
EBSL
seasons
Years active Since promotion & relegation began in 2009
Regular
season
Promo
Final
Seasons
in Div. A2
Seasons
in Div. B2
Start of current
spell in Div. B3
Last Div. A
appearance
 Andorra 2008 15th DNQ 10 debut–2009, 2011– 0 9 2009 N/A
 Bulgaria 2013 5th 6th 5 debut–2014, 2016– 0 5 2013 N/A
 Czech Republic 2007 12th DNQ 12 debut 0 10 2009 N/A
 Denmark 2016 11th DNQ 3 debut 0 3 2016 N/A
 England 2001 2nd 5th 18 debut 0 10 2009 N/A
 Estonia 2008 4th 2nd 8 debut, 2012– 0 7 2012 N/A
 Greece 2004 12th (A) ↓↓↓4 15 debut 4 6 2018 2017
 Hungary 2004 1st 3rd 12 debut–2005, 2007–08, 2010, 2012– 1 7 2016 2015
 Kazakhstan 2014 13th DNQ 4 debut, 2016– 0 4 2014 N/A
 Lithuania 2017 10th DNQ 2 debut 0 2 2017 N/A
 Moldova 2013 7th 7th 6 debut 0 6 2013 N/A
 Netherlands 2000 14th DNQ 14 debut, 2004–06, 2008–14, 2016– 2 7 2016 2014
 Norway 2002 8th DNQ 16 debut–2005, 2007– 1 9 2010 2009
 Romania 2009 6th 8th 9 debut–2013, 2015– 5 4 2017 2016
 Serbia 19985 9th DNQ 4 debut, 2016– 0 3 2016 N/A

Inactive teams[edit]

Of the 33 nations that have competed at some point since the start of the EBSL, six are currently inactive – absent from competing in the league in recent years, but may return to compete again in the future. However, Monaco are not a FIFA member and so are not eligible to return to compete – their solo appearance in 2004 took place before FIFA became governing body of beach soccer.

Nation Total EBSL
seasons
Years active Last active
 Austria 8 1999, 2002–06, 2008, 2014 4 years ago
 Belgium 4 2003–06 12 years ago
 Israel 4 2007, 2010–11, 2013 5 years ago
 Monaco 1 2004 14 years ago
 Republic of Ireland 1 2001 17 years ago
 Sweden 1 2004 14 years ago

Results[edit]

The results shown were decided via the Superfinal since 2001 and via the end of season league table between 1998 and 2000.

The awards shown were presented after the Superfinal. However note the following – awards presented to the players listed between 1998 and 2007 were based on those players' performances and goals amassed over the entire season. From 2008 onwards, season-encompassing awards were made defunct – the players listed received the awards based solely on their performance in the season-ending Superfinal.

Year Winners Runners-up Third place Fourth place Season-long awards[11]
Best player Top scorer(s) Best goalkeeper
1998
details

Germany

Italy

Portugal

Spain
Spain Ramiro Amarelle Spain Ramiro Amarelle (24 goals) Not awarded
1999
details

Spain

France

Portugal

Italy
Portugal Madjer Spain Quique Setién (20 goals) Portugal Zé Miguel
2000
details

Spain

Portugal

France

Italy
Spain Ramiro Amarelle Spain Ramiro Amarelle (15 goals) Spain Abel
2001
details

Spain

Portugal

Italy

France
Spain Ramiro Amarelle Portugal Madjer (40 goals) Spain Roberto Valeiro
2002
details

Portugal

Spain

France

Turkey
Italy Gianni Fruzzetti Portugal Alan (27 goals) Spain Roberto Valeiro
2003
details

Spain

France

Portugal

Switzerland
Spain Ramiro Amarelle Portugal Madjer (24 goals) Switzerland Adrian Lingenhag
2004
details

France

Portugal

Ukraine

Italy
Spain David Cordon Portugal Madjer (30 goals) Spain Roberto Valeiro
2005
details

Italy

Portugal

France

Switzerland
Italy Cristiano Scalabrelli Spain Ramiro Amarelle (37 goals) Portugal Bruno
2006
details

Spain

Portugal

Poland

Italy
Portugal Madjer Portugal Madjer Spain Roberto Valeiro
2007
details

Portugal

France

Russia

Spain
Switzerland Dejan Stankovic Switzerland Dejan Stankovic and
Spain Ramiro Amarelle (24 goals)
Russia Andrey Bukhlitskiy
2008
details

Portugal

Netherlands

Russia

Italy
Superfinal awards
Portugal Madjer Portugal Madjer (11 goals) Netherlands Ran Reijer
2009
details

Russia

Portugal

Italy

Spain
Portugal Madjer Italy Paolo Palmacci and
Portugal Madjer (7 goals)
Russia Andrey Bukhlitskiy
2010
details

Portugal

Italy

Russia

Switzerland
Portugal Madjer Switzerland Dejan Stankovic (8 goals) Russia Andrey Bukhlitskiy
2011
details

Russia

Switzerland

Portugal

Romania
Switzerland Dejan Stankovic Russia Dmitry Shishin (7 goals) Switzerland Valentin Jäggy
2012
details

Switzerland

Russia

Italy

Romania
Russia Dmitry Shishin Switzerland Dejan Stankovic (7 goals) Switzerland Valentin Jäggy
2013
details

Russia

Portugal

Switzerland

Spain
Russia Ilya Leonov Switzerland Dejan Stankovic (9 goals) Spain Dona
2014
details

Russia

Spain

Portugal

Switzerland
Switzerland Noel Ott Russia Anatoly Peremitin and
Spain Llorenç Gomez (7 goals)
Spain Dona
2015
details

Portugal

Ukraine

Russia

Spain
Ukraine Ihor Borsuk Switzerland Dejan Stankovic (13 goals) Portugal Elinton Andrade
2016
details

Ukraine

Portugal

Russia

Spain
Portugal Be Martins Italy Paolo Palmacci (7 goals) Ukraine Vitaliy Sydorenko
2017
details

Russia

Portugal

Italy

Spain
Russia Artur Paporotnyi Switzerland Noel Ott (9 goals) Russia Maksim Chuzhkov

Successful teams[edit]

Team Titles Runners-up Third-place Fourth-place
 Portugal 5 (2002, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2015) 9 (2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016, 2017) 5 (1998, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2014)
 Spain 5 (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006) 2 (2002, 2014) 7 (1998, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017)
 Russia 5 (2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017) 1 (2012) 5 (2007, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2016)
 France 1 (2004) 3 (1999, 2003, 2007) 3 (2000, 2002, 2005) 1 (2001)
 Italy 1 (2005) 2 (1998, 2010) 4 (2001, 2009, 2012, 2017) 5 (1999, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008)
  Switzerland 1 (2012) 1 (2011) 1 (2013) 4 (2003, 2005, 2010, 2014)
 Ukraine 1 (2016) 1 (2015) 1 (2004)
 Germany 1 (1998)
 Netherlands 1 (2008)
 Poland 1 (2006)
 Romania 2 (2011, 2012)
 Turkey 1 (2002)

Relegated and promoted teams (Promotion Final results)[edit]

The following table lists the results from the final match of the Promotion Final – the secondary post-season event in which the winner is promoted from Division B to Division A. (see Compeition structure#Promotion Final for more)

The table also shows which defending Division A team failed to defend their place in the top tier during the Promotion Final and were therefore relegated (if applicable). The promoted teams are also listed because, in some seasons, more teams than simply the Promotion Final winners gained promotion. These special circumstances are explained below the table.

Year Final match Outcome
Winners Score Runners-up Team(s) promoted to Division A Team relegated to Division B
2009 Romania  5–2  Greece  Romania  Norway
2010 Turkey  4–3  France  Turkey  France
2011 France  6–3  Turkey  France  Turkey
2012 Ukraine  1–1 (a.e.t.)
2–1 (pens.)
 Belarus  Ukraine
 Belarus2,  Netherlands2
 France2,  Germany2
 France (revoked)2
2013 France  2–1  Greece  France (retained Division A status)1
 Greece3
None
2014 Hungary  6–4  Poland  Hungary
 Poland4
 Poland (revoked)4
2015 Romania  6–6 (a.e.t.)
3–2 (pens.)
 Estonia  Romania  Hungary
2016 Azerbaijan  5–5 (a.e.t.)
4–3 (pens.)
 Hungary  Azerbaijan  Romania
2017 Turkey  4–2  Estonia  Turkey  Greece
1. France, the defending Division A team, successfully won the Promotion Final and therefore retained their Division A membership for next season, avoiding relegation.
2. Going into the 2013 season, BSWW expanded Division A from 8 to 12 teams. This meant, along with Ukraine who earned promotion by winning won the Promotion Final, the next top 4 placed teams from the 2012 Promotion Final, despite not winning the event, were retrospectively handed Division A membership for 2013 in order to make up the numbers. France, the relegated Division A team, happened to be among these next top four teams and hence, despite originally being relegated, were bumped back up to Division A before the season even began.
3. Romania, a Division A team, decided not to compete in 2014. In order to ensure the usual 12 teams competed in Division A in 2014, Greece, as the runners-up from the 2013 Promotion Final, were retrospectively promoted to make up the numbers.
4.The Netherlands, a Division A team, decided not to compete in 2015. In order to ensure the usual 12 teams competed in Division A in 2015, the runners-up from the 2014 Promotion Final, were retrospectively promoted to make up the numbers. The runners-up happened to be the relegated Division A side, Poland, who ultimately did not see relegation materialise for this reason and continued to compete in Division A.

Statistics[edit]

Regular season stage winners[edit]

The first phase of the EBSL is the regular season. The matches of the regular season are organised as small round robin tournaments known as stages. The team which earned the most points at the end of the stage are declared stage winners and receive a trophy.

The following tables list every nation that has ever won a stage and how many stages in total they have won, by division. For comparison, the number of stages said team has ever played in that division in order to achieve the number of stage victories is also shown.

Division A[edit]

This table shows the teams which have won Division A regular season stages.

Note: 1) Before divisions were introduced in 2002, the league consisted of a single division. For this table, the stages of that time have been counted as de facto Division A stages (in both the wins and pld columns). 2) A solo division was also used a final time in 2008. For this table, if the team was a member of Division A in 2007, the stages of '08 count (in both the wins and pld columns). If they were not a member of Division A in '07, the stages count towards the Division B table.

Nation Stage Wins Stages Pld Win % Full list of regular season stages won
 Portugal 25 55 45.5% '98 Figueira da Foz, '98 Monte Carlo, '99 La Coruna, '99 Scoglitti, '00 Vila Nova de Gaia, '01 Dublin, '01 Carcavelos, '01 Riccione, '02 Carcavelos, '02 Rome, '03 Estoril, '03 Brighton, '04 Marsielle, '04 Portimao, '05 Tignes, '05 Figueira da Foz, '05 Mallorca, '06 Portimao, '07 Portimao, '09 Minehead, '11 The Hague, '12 Terracina, '14 Sopot, '17 Nazare, '17 Siokof
 Spain 22 57 38.6% '99 Siracusa, '99 Monte Carlo, '00 Mallorca, '00 Cadiz, '00 Monte Carlo, '01 London, '01 Marsielle, '01 Malaga, '02 Marsielle, '03 Marsielle, '03 Lignano Sabbiadoro, '03 Mallorca, '04 Scoglitti, '04 Stavanger, '04 Mallorca, '06 Mallorca, '09 Beziers, '10 Marsielle, '11 Bern, '16 Moscow, '16 Sanxenxo, '17 Belgrade
 Russia 11 22 50.0% '07 San Benedetto del Tronto, '07 Tignes, '08 Tignes, '09 Lignano Sabbiadoro, '10 Moscow, '11 Berlin, '12 Terracina, '12 Berlin, '13 Moscow, '14 Moscow, '17 Moscow
  Switzerland 8 33 24.2% '08 Lignano Sabbiadoro, '10 Lignano Sabbiadoro, '10 The Hague, '11 Ravenna, '12 Torredembarra, '13 Valence, '14 Catania, '15 Siofok
 Italy 7 56 12.5% '98 Siracusa, '98 Sant Joan d'Alacant, '00 Saint-Galmier, '05 Cervia, '06 San Benedetto de Tronto, '09 Ostia, '15 Moscow
 France 5 54 9.3% '98 Montenegro, '99 Figueira da Foz, '00 Cattolica, '02 Mallorca, '07 Mallorca
 Germany 3 24 12.5% '98 Zurich, '98 Travemunde, '99 Vienna
 Poland 3 26 11.5% '06 Tignes, '13 Kiev, '13 The Hague
 Ukraine 2 13 15.4% '14 Siofok, '17 Warnemunde
 Belarus 1 9 11.1% '16 Siofok

Division B[edit]

This table shows the teams which have won Division B regular season stages since the division was introduced in 2002.

Note: 1) Division C stages in 2004 and 2005 have been counted towards this table (both the wins and pld columns). 2) A solo division was used in 2008. For this table, if the team was a member of Division B in 2007, the stages of '08 count (in both the wins and pld columns). If they were not a member of Division B in '07, the stages count towards the Division A table above.

Nation Stage Wins Stages Pld Win % Full list of regular season stages won
  Switzerland 9 17 52.9% '02 Brighton, '02 Alanya, '03 Knokke, '04 Linz, '04 Interlaken, 05' MallorcaC, '06 Linz, '06 Scheveningen, '07 Athens1
 Turkey 6 17 35.3% '02 Basel, '02 Kitzbuhel, '10 Bibione, '14 Siofok, '15 Siofok, '17 Moscow
 Austria 4 17 23.5% '02 Linz, '02 Palavas-les-Flots, '03 Linz, '04 Mallorca
 Israel 3 4 75.0% '10 Moscow, '11 Bern, '13 Terracina
 Ukraine 3 7 42.9% '04 MallorcaC, '06 Poddebice, '12 Torredembarra
 Azerbaijan 3 8 37.5% '09 Minehead, '10 Lignano Sabbiadoro, '16 Siofok
 Hungary 3 10 30.0% '05 Linz, '10 Marseille, '17 Siofok
 Czech Rep. 3 10 30.0% '07 Athens1, '11 Berlin, '16 Sanxenxo
 Belarus 2 4 50.0% '09 Beziers, '12 Terracina
 Estonia 2 6 33.3% '14 Moscow, '17 Belgrade
 Poland 2 6 33.3% '06 Sankt Polten, '07 Athens1
 Netherlands 2 11 18.2% '06 Athens, '11 The Hague
 Belgium 2 12 16.7% '04 Istanbul, '04 Brussels
 England 2 19 10.5% '13 Valence, '17 Warnemunde
 Norway 2 19 10.5% '03 Stavanger, '03 Bern
 France 1 1 100% '11 Ravenna
 Russia 1 2 50.0% '07 Athens1
 Romania 1 3 33.3% '09 Lignano Sabbiadoro
 Moldova 1 5 20.0% '16 Moscow
 Greece 1 13 7.7% '13 The Hague
 Germany 1 15 6.7% '12 Berlin
1. The 2007 Athens stage title was shared between four teams
C. Division C stage victory

Teams without a stage win[edit]

The following teams have previously competed in Division A or B stages but currently have 0 stage victories in that division.

Division A
Team Stages Pld
 Greece 11
 England 10
 Romania 10
 Netherlands 8
 Norway 6
 Czech Republic 5
 Austria 4
 FR Yugoslavia 4
 Republic of Ireland 3
 Azerbaijan 2
 Hungary 2
 Turkey 2
Division B
Team Stages Pld
 Andorra 9
 Bulgaria 4
 Kazakhstan 3
 Serbia 2
 Denmark 2
 Lithuania 1
 Sweden 1
 Monaco 1

Superfinal appearances[edit]

The Superfinal is the post-season event in which the nations with the most points at the end of the regular season qualify to play in, with the winner becoming league champions.

The table below lists all the teams who have ever qualified for Superfinal and the total number of times said team has appeared in the event.

Italy and Portugal are the only two teams to appear in all 17 Superfinals. Of the eight winners of the EBSL, Switzerland appeared in most Superfinals before finally winning the title, claiming the crown at their 9th attempt. Meanwhile, Poland have appeared in the most Superfinals (six) without winning the EBSL title.

Nation Superfinal
appearances
Years
 Portugal 17 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
 Italy 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
 Spain 15 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  Switzerland 14 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
 Russia 11 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
 France 9 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2015
 Ukraine 7 2004, 2006, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
 Poland 6 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2017
 Belarus 4 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
 Romania 3 2010, 2011, 2012
 Germany 2005, 2014, 2016
 Austria 2002, 2004, 2005
 Netherlands 2 2008, 2013
 Czech Republic 1 2008
 Hungary 2005
 Belgium 2004
 Norway 2003
 Turkey 2002
Bold: Year the Superfinal (and hence the EBSL title) was won by this team

All-time tables[edit]

Division or status in 2018:

Currently in Division A
Currently in Division B
Inactive as of 2017
Country no longer exists

Division A[edit]

The all-time Division A table is a cumulative record of all match results, points and goals of every team that has ever played whilst being a member of Division A of the EBSL.

  • For the purposes of this table, any match in a team played in the EBSL whilst holding division A membership counts, including match results from both the regular season and post season events – this encompasses matches against Division B teams during the Superfinal events of 2002–05 and as the defending Division A team during the Promotion Final since 2009.
  • Before divisions were introduced in 2002, the league consisted of a single division. For this table the matches of that time have been counted as de facto Division A results.
  • A solo division was also used a final time in 2008. For this table, if the team was a member of Division A in 2007, the results of '08 count. If they were not a member of Division A in '07, the results count towards the Division B all-time table.
  • In 2006 and 2007 it was possible to play in both divisions in the same season. Note for teams for which this was the case, a season has been added to the relevant column in both tables along with that year's results from their matches in the relevant division.
Pos Team Seasons Pld W W+ WP L GF GA GD Pts Av. Pts
1  Portugal 20 207 133 4 6 64 1104 771 +333 413 2
2  Spain 20 208 122 9 6 71 1053 795 +258 390 1.88
3  Italy 20 209 86 12 10 101 924 915 +9 292 1.42
4  France 19 187 75 5 6 101 886 889 –3 241 1.29
5  Russia 11 105 76 3 2 24 516 309 +207 236 2.25
6   Switzerland 14 132 59 3 4 66 664 624 +40 187 1.42
7  Poland 12 103 26 6 9 62 407 489 –82 99 0.96
8  Ukraine 6 61 29 3 3 26 240 207 +33 96 1.57
9  Germany 9 68 20 1 2 45 228 317 –89 64 0.94
10  Belarus 5 43 16 0 1 26 143 139 +4 49 1.14
11  Romania 5 43 10 1 1 31 144 244 –100 33 0.77
12  Greece 5 37 3 2 2 30 86 180 –94 15 0.41
13  Netherlands 3 24 4 1 0 19 70 128 –58 14 0.58
14  Czech Republic 2 18 4 0 0 14 59 107 –48 12 0.67
15  Norway 2 21 4 0 0 17 67 132 –57 12 0.57
16  FR Yugoslavia 1 8 3 1 0 4 25 31 –6 11 1.38
17  Austria 1 8 3 0 0 5 40 42 –2 9 1.13
18  Hungary 1 7 2 0 0 5 29 37 –8 6 0.86
19  Turkey 1 9 2 0 0 7 38 46 –8 6 0.67
20  England 3 30 1 1 0 28 101 232 –131 5 0.17
21  Azerbaijan 1 6 1 0 0 5 16 25 –9 3 0.5
22  Republic of Ireland 1 9 0 0 0 9 18 75 –57 0 0

Division B[edit]

The all-time Division B table is a cumulative record of all match results, points and goals of every team that has ever played whilst being a member of Division B of the EBSL since the division's establishment in 2002.

  • For the purposes of this table, any match in a team played in the EBSL whilst holding Division B membership counts, including match results from both the regular season and post season events – this encompasses matches against Division A teams during the Superfinal events of 2002–05 and against the defending Division A team during the Promotion Final since 2009.
  • The Division C results of 2004 and 2005 are also counted in this table
  • A single division was used in 2008. For this table, if the team was not a member of Division A in '07, the results count. If they were a member of Division A in 2007, the results of '08 count towards the all-time Division A table.
  • In 2006 and 2007 it was possible to play in both divisions in the same season. Note for teams for which this was the case, a season has been added to the relevant column in both tables along with that year's results from their matches in the relevant division.
Pos Team Seasons Pld W W+ WP L GF GA GD Pts Av. Pts
1  Turkey 12 76 32 5 4 35 342 319 +23 110 1.45
2   Switzerland 6 60 34 3 1 22 343 266 +77 109 1.82
3  Hungary 10 50 31 2 3 14 266 187 +79 100 2
4  England 14 74 24 3 4 43 272 328 –56 84 1.14
5  Azerbaijan 8 39 21 0 0 15 151 130 +21 67 1.72
6  Czech Republic 10 47 20 2 2 23 185 196 –2 66 1.4
7  Germany 9 47 22 0 0 25 221 227 –6 66 1.4
8  Austria 7 59 22 0 2 35 295 350 –55 65 1.1
9  Estonia 7 38 18 0 2 18 145 129 +16 56 1.47
10  Ukraine 6 25 18 0 1 6 130 80 +50 55 2.2
11  Greece 5 38 16 1 0 21 154 152 +2 50 1.32
12  Belgium 4 39 15 1 1 22 170 196 –26 48 1.23
13  Netherlands 10 37 14 1 1 21 140 170 –30 45 1.22
14  Norway 13 59 12 2 4 41 256 328 –72 44 0.75
15  Israel 4 19 12 0 1 6 86 59 +27 37 1.95
16  Poland 4 16 10 1 0 5 91 54 +37 32 2
17  Romania 3 19 9 1 2 7 73 71 +2 31 1.63
18  Belarus 4 18 7 1 1 9 62 50 +12 24 1.33
19  Bulgaria 4 20 7 1 0 12 73 91 –18 23 1.15
20  Moldova 5 22 6 1 0 15 68 95 –27 20 0.91
21  France 1 5 4 0 1 0 19 11 +8 13 2.6
22  Russia 2 5 2 0 1 2 20 17 +3 7 1.4
23  Serbia 2 6 2 0 0 4 25 29 –4 6 1
24  Lithuania 1 3 1 0 0 2 12 15 –3 3 1
25  Denmark 2 6 1 0 0 5 31 46 –15 3 0.5
26  Kazakhstan 3 8 0 0 1 7 21 36 –15 1 0.13
27  Sweden 1 2 0 0 0 2 4 15 –11 0 0
28  Andorra 9 24 0 0 0 24 47 163 –116 0 0

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External links[edit]