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Beach Sports in the Caribbean

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On any given Sunday (and maybe even Saturday), it’s not unusual to see people partaking in a variety of beach sports in the Caribbean. Going to the beach on weekends is a popular activity and one of the most chill things to do in the Caribbean. And spending time playing beach sports with friends and family is a wonderful norm that complements any beach day. There is a comforting relationship between sea baths and beach sports and people of all ages benefit from this experience.

Beach Sports in the Caribbean

The Caribbean enjoys great weather for playing sports and other alternative tourism activities all year round. The region is warm; there is consistent sunshine; and cool breezes blow from the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. For sportspeople, these conditions allow for training and fitness activities at any time throughout the year. Additionally, these factors are critical elements that allow for sports to be played on the beach.

The most popular beach sports in the Caribbean are beach volleyball, beach paddleball, beach tennis, beach football, beach cricket, kite flying and beach handball. Although most of these sports require very little instruction and regulation, beachgoers should exercise caution when playing them.

Beach Volleyball

For some, beach volleyball is an exciting Olympic sport. For us in the Caribbean, it’s great exercise, an opportunity to see big slams and dives, and the ultimate backdrop to a beach lime. Beach volleyball does not require much. You need a beach with enough space for a good-sized court, a volleyball net and side lines for spectators. If you’re committed to playing a game of beach volleyball in the Caribbean, please remember to warm up before you start jumping and spiking.

Beach Paddleball

Beach paddleball is not for the weak, but it can make you strong. The aim is to hit the ball back and forth without it bouncing. This is one of the beach sports in the Caribbean that doubles as a fitness training activity. To play paddleball, all you need are wooden paddles, a rubber ball and a court drawn out in the sand. Talented paddleboarders are skilled at hitting the ball hard but keeping it inside the court. If the term beach paddleball is not familiar, you may know the sport by other names such as frescobol or matkot.

Beach Tennis

Although some people may say that beach tennis and beach paddleball are one in the same, there is definitely a sport called beach tennis. It is literally the beach version of tennis that is played on a lawn or clay court. Beach tennis is played on a sand court, it uses the same 15-30-40 scoring as regular tennis, and players must serve from behind a baseline. To be noted, beach tennis uses a ball that cannot hit the sand. If the ball does hit the sand, the other team wins a point.

Beach Football

There is thin line between loving beach football and hating beach football. If you are on a small beach, that’s perfect for swimming and lazing on the sand, you will not enjoy a group of people kicking a football in your limited space. However, if you believe that you are the next Pele, you will play beach football anywhere and everywhere, even on the tiniest beach. Football is one of those sports that is prone to injuries, so be very careful when you are showing off your fancy footwork.

Beach Cricket

There is nothing quite as entertaining as a game of beach cricket. Maybe it’s the fact that if you don’t have a traditional bat and ball, you can improvise with a coconut tree leaf and a young coconut. Beach cricket is one of the most popular beach sports in the Caribbean. And because there are little or no rules, beach cricket can get very heated all in the name good, clean, fun. Whatever you do, please avoid sending straight drives through the beach umbrellas and beach chairs.

Kite Flying

Kite flying in the Caribbean is a celebration of the art of kite flying, which is a popular past time for the Easter Season. It is a tradition to make kites using wood, tissue paper, pieces of cloth and twine and then fly them on vast, open spaces far away from power lines. When you decide to go kite flying in the Caribbean, please choose a location that is not close to airports. There are regulations that govern kite flying and breaches of these laws will result in prosecution.

Beach Handball

Beach handball is a sport that consists of two teams trying to throw a ball into the opposing team’s net. Regulations are tight, so you must know how to play the game correctly. Players can take three steps while holding the ball, they can only hold the ball for three seconds, they can dive for the ball and if the ball is dropped, it can be picked up within three seconds. This rigorous sport will leave you drenched in sweat and feeling the muscle burn.

Beach Sports Events

Are you a sports fanatic looking to spend some of your Caribbean vacation watching beach sports? If you are, here a few of the beach sports events in the Caribbean, that you can plan to visit.

Beach Volleyball Tournaments

The NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour attracts teams from throughout the Caribbean. In addition to this premier event, there are other smaller events in the individual territories.

Beach Football Tournaments

The largest beach football tournament in the Caribbean is the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship. The event is now held every two years and features beach soccer teams from the Caribbean. There are smaller events held in the Caribbean throughout the year.

Beach Cricket Tournaments

Organisations in many destinations in the Caribbean host local beach cricket competitions. Here is a peek at some of the larger beach cricket tournaments.

Beach Sports for Children

For families travelling with children to the Caribbean, a question that often pops up is if there are any beach sports for children. Children can play all of the sports mentioned above. Where possible children’s teams should be organised so that they can enjoy the sports and not be overwhelmed. Additionally, please ensure that children are properly supervised when playing beach sports in the Caribbean.

Image: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

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