Footvolley gains popularity in San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- On the shores of Mission Beach, a unique club gathers to play and teach San Diegans footvolley.

The sport came alive during the 1960's in Brazil and slowly continues to gain popularity in the United States. It's beach volleyball minus the use of your hands and instead of a volleyball, a soccer ball.

"As you can see we use the foot and the chest and pretty much everything so it's pretty much a combination," said Daniel Gaspar, founder of the Footvolley club of San Diego. "We've got a lot of soccer players that never played volleyball and do well and also have volleyball players that never played soccer and also do well."

Two players on each side of the net rely on everything but their hands to get the ball over the seven-foot net. Teams switch every six points and the first group to 18 wins.

"There's multiple techniques that you can do," said Gaspar. "Some people jump over the net, spike with the foot. The different tricks of the game, I think, is the most exciting part."

"We have people spike with their feet and the other guy he blocks with his feet also," said player Cesar Lima. "It's just an amazing thing to watch and I think that's what this sport is about -- it's a spectacle."

The Footvolley club started just two years ago with two people and has since grown to include more than 30, many of who joined after being mesmerized by just watching.

"People gather around like oh my God, what is this sport, how do you call it and how do you play it," said Lima. "And for us to take it to the next level and now we're competing, we have our own stop for the national Footvolley league."

The Carlsbad Footvolley cup, where several teams from across the state gather to play, kicks off this weekend.

"A local ranking so that's pretty much how we divide the players but we don't leave people out if they're beginners," said Gapar. "We have two divisions but we try to do one very good professional with a local player."

"Just like anything in life, the more you practice, the more you train, the more you play, the better you'll get," said Lima. "So it's not impossible."

Gaspar says anyone interested in learning more about playing Footvolley can stay up to date by checking our their Facebook.

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