Walking football

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Walking football is a variant of association football that is aimed at keeping people aged over 50 involved with football if, due to a lack of mobility or for other reason, they are not able to play the traditional game. The sport can be played both indoors and outdoors.[1] Walking football was devised, during 2011, by the Chesterfield F.C. Community Trust.[2] Coverage of a session on Sky Sports News and a documentary aired on Sky Sports Football in October 2017, led to several other clubs taking up this version of the game.[3][4] It has since become a current craze.[5][6]

Though based on association football, the key difference in the rules, from standard football, is that if a player runs then they concede a free kick to the other side.[7][8] This restriction, together with a ban on slide tackles, is aimed both at avoiding injuries and facilitating the playing of the sport by those who are physically disadvantaged.[9][8] The manner in which the sport is played promotes cardiovascular fitness whilst producing the least stress on the body.[10] It also helps participants maintain an active lifestyle.[11] In walking football the game was originally played without goalkeepers (though goalkeepers now play in some variations) and, crucially, the ball must never be kicked above hip height.[12] Different footballs are used in the indoor and the outdoor variations of the sport. When played indoors, a size 4 futsal ball is used. Outdoor games involve a traditional football. The size of the pitch can vary to suit different locations. The length should be from 20 to 40 yards and the width between 15 and 30 yards.[13]

The sport came to wider public attention in July 2014, when Barclays Bank aired a television advertisement featuring walking football to promote their services.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Older men invited to try out a new sport". The News. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Walking Football". Chesterfield FC Community Trust. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Walking Football FREEVIEW". Chesterfield F.C. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Sky Sports to air walking football film in October". Walking Football World. 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  5. ^ "Walking sport craze sweeping Surrey and Hampshire". 96.4 Eagle Radio. 7 August 2014. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Walking Football". Derbyshire FA. 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Walking football: A slower version of the beautiful game". BBC News. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Walking Football". Chelmsford City Council. 2014. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014.
  9. ^ "OldStars, nieuw project Heracles Almelo Scoort Voor Iedereen". Almelo's Weekblad. 1 August 2014. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Walking Football Club is a Runaway Success For Society Member Mick Quinn". The Society of Sports Therapists. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Walking football". BBC. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  12. ^ "FC Groningen gaat door met het project OldStars" (in Dutch). Ouderen Journaal. 22 July 2014. Archived from the original on 6 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Walking Football". Sussex FA. 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  14. ^ "England legends unite to enjoy Walking Football". Premier League. 4 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 October 2015.

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