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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.[2] The EBSL was originally created to promote the newly founded sport in Europe in a competitive environment.[3]

Euro Beach Soccer League
Euro Beach Soccer League (logo).png
Founded1998; 21 years ago (1998)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
DivisionsDivision A
Division B
Number of teams28 (12 in Division A, 16 in Division B)
Level on pyramid1–2
Domestic cup(s)Euro Beach Soccer Cup
European Games
International cup(s)Intercontinental Cup
Current champions Italy (2nd title)
(2018)
Most championships Spain
 Portugal
 Russia
(5 titles)
TV partnersMycujoo (online broadcaster)[1]
WebsiteBSWW
2019 Euro Beach Soccer League

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.[4]

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.[4]

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[5] and as east as Baku, Azerbaijan.[6] 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.

35 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.[7] Italy have two titles (and are also current 2018 champions), whilst Germany, France, Switzerland and Ukraine have one title each.

Contents

HistoryEdit

FoundationEdit

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.[3] 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.[3]

Early years (1998–2000)Edit

EBSL logo timeline
1998–2003
The first logo. Used until the competition was renamed from the EPBSL to the shortened Euro Beach Soccer League.
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.
2009–2015
Accompanying the new league structure in 2009 was the introduction of a new logo.
2016–present
A new logo design for all BSWW competitions was announced in 2016.[8] 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.[9] 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.[9] 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.[9] 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.[3] 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.[5] Furthermore, in 2002, BSWW divided the nations of the league into two divisions,[10] with a third division created in 2004.[11] (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.[12] 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.[12] Meanwhile, in 2004–05, the likes of Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Russia joined,[12] 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.[13][14] Meanwhile, major sponsorship deals were struck with McDonald's, Coca-Cola and MasterCard, the latter becoming lead sponsors in 2004.[13]

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.[15][16] The top teams at the end of the Division A regular season then proceeded to the Superfinal to contest the league title as usual.[17] (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.[18] 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.[12] 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.[12]

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 to having the regular seasons of the two divisions occur concurrently as in 2001-05.[19] (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.[20] The Superfinal and regular season stages have also spread out further across Europe. The Superfinal has been staged in Estonia,[21] Portugal[22] and Russia,[23] whilst regular season stages have been hosted in Serbia,[24] Hungary[25] and Ukraine.[26] 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,[7] 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,[27][28] whilst Switzerland and Ukraine have claimed their maiden crowns.[29][30] On the other hand, this era has seen the demise of nations like France, who saw relegation to Division B in 2010[31] and again 2012,[32] meanwhile Spain have only made two finals during these ten years, despite their five previous titles.

Competition structureEdit

Current formatEdit

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.[19] 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.[4]

Divisions A and BEdit

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 promotion 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 seasonEdit

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

SuperfinalEdit

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 FinalEdit

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 formatsEdit

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.[33]
  • 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.[33]
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.[5] A four team event in 2001, this number was increased to six in 2002[34] and eight in 2004.[35]

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.[33]

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.[36][10] The divisions were officially named A and B respectively in 2003.[37]
  • 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.[36][37] 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).[11]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[16] 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.[33]
  • 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 eventsEdit

 
  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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Location has hosted both regular season stages and/or the Superfinal
  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.[9] 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 21 seasons, there have been 131 events hosted in 68 different locations in Europe.

Nation Stages
hosted
Location(s) Superfinals
hosted
Location(s) Total
events
hosted
  Italy 20 Siracusa x2, Scoglitti x2, Cattolica, Riccione, Rome,
Lignano Sabbiadoro x4, San Benedetto del Tronto x2,
Ostia, Cervia, Ravenna, Terracina x2, Catania x2
3 Catania, Terracina,
Alghero
23
  Portugal 13 Figueira da Foz x3, Vila Nova de Gaia, Estoril,
Carcavelos x2, Portimão x3, Nazaré x3
4 Vila Real de Santo
António x2, Lisbon,
Figueira da Foz
17
  France 13 Saint-Galmier, Marseille x5, Palavas-les-Flots,
Tignes x4, Béziers, Valence
3 Marseille x3 16
  Spain 13 Sant Joan d'Alacant, La Coruña, Mallorca x7,
Cádiz, Malaga, Torredembarra, Sanxenxo
2 Torredembarra x2 15
  Russia 7 Moscow x7 1 Moscow 8
  Austria 8 Vienna, Kitzbühel, Linz x5, Sankt Pölten 0 8
  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
  Germany 5 Travemunde, Berlin x2, Warnemunde x2 0 5
  England 4 London, Brighton x2, Minehead 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
  Azerbaijan 1 Baku 0 1
  Belarus 1 Minsk 0 1
  Ireland 1 Dublin 0 1
  Serbia 1 Belgrade 0 1
  Ukraine 1 Kiev 0 1
  FR Yugoslavia 1 Montenegro 0 1

TeamsEdit

 
  Division A member
  Division B member
  Inactive
  Never competed

As of the 2019 season, 28 teams (a record high) comprise the Euro Beach Soccer League, split between two divisions: Division A consisting of 12 teams and Division B comprising 16 teams.[38] 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.[19] 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.[4] 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, 35 different nations have competed since the opening season. 21 members of UEFA are yet to enter the league. National teams such as Croatia, Malta[39] and Slovenia[40] have expressed interest in joining the league in the past, but have so far not participated.

Current line-upEdit

2019 season line-up:

Key:

«» Finished last in Division A but won the Promotion Final and were therefore not relegated.
1. Excludes absent years
2. Includes absent years in current spell
3. As FR Yugoslavia. Serbia, as the successor nation, debuted in 2016

Division A
Nation EBSL
debut
2018 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 8th 8th 11 debut 3 8 2017 N/A
  Belarus 2009 3rd 5th 11 debut 7 4 2013 N/A
  France 1998 9th DNQ 22 debut 10 1 2013 1 2004
  Germany 1998 12th ««»» 20 debut–2002, 2004–07, 2009– 7 4 2013 1 1998
  Italy 1998 7th W 22 debut 11 0 2009 2 2018
  Poland 2004 10th DNQ 16 debut 11 0 2015 N/A
  Portugal 1998 4th 3rd 22 debut 11 0 2009 5 2015
  Russia 2005 2nd 4th 14 debut, 2007– 11 0 2009 5 2017
  Spain 1998 1st RU 22 debut 11 0 2009 5 2006
   Switzerland 1998 6th 6th 20 debut, 2001– 11 0 2009 1 2012
  Turkey 2002 11th DNQ 15 debut, 2004, 2007– 3 8 2018 N/A
  Ukraine 2004 5th 7th 13 debut–2007, 2011– 7 2 2013 1 2016
Division B
Nation EBSL
debut
2018 results Total
EBSL
seasons
Years active Since promotion & relegation began in 2009
Regular
season
Promo
Final
Seasons
in Div. A1
Seasons
in Div. B1
Start of current
spell in Div. B2
Last Div. A
appearance
  Bulgaria 2013 2nd 4th 6 debut–2014, 2016– 0 6 2013 N/A
  Czech Republic 2007 10th DNQ 13 debut 0 11 2009 N/A
  Denmark 2016 12th DNQ 4 debut 0 4 2016 N/A
  England 2001 1st 6th 19 debut 0 11 2009 N/A
  Estonia 2008 9th DNQ 9 debut, 2012– 0 8 2012 N/A
  Finland 2019 N/A 1 debut 0 1 2019 N/A
  Georgia 2018 14th DNQ 2 debut 0 2 2018 N/A
  Greece 2004 11th DNQ 16 debut 4 7 2018 2017
  Hungary 2004 5th 5th 13 debut–2005, 2007–08, 2010, 2012– 1 8 2016 2015
  Kazakhstan 2014 3rd 3rd 5 debut, 2016– 0 5 2014 N/A
  Lithuania 2017 13th DNQ 3 debut 0 3 2017 N/A
  Moldova 2013 7th 8th 7 debut 0 7 2013 N/A
  Netherlands 2000 N/A 14 debut, 2004–06, 2008–14, 2016–17, 2019– 2 7 2016 2014
  Norway 2002 6th 7th 17 debut–2005, 2007– 1 10 2010 2009
  Romania 2009 4th 2nd 10 debut–2013, 2015– 5 5 2017 2016
  Serbia 19983 8th DNQ 5 debut, 2016– 0 4 2016 N/A

Inactive teamsEdit

Of the 35 nations that have competed at some point since the start of the EBSL, seven are currently inactive – absent from competing in the league in recent years, but may return to compete again in the future. However, note that 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
  Andorra 10 2008–09, 2011–18 1 year ago
  Austria 8 1999, 2002–06, 2008, 2014 5 years ago
  Belgium 4 2003–06 13 years ago
  Israel 4 2007, 2010–11, 2013 6 years ago
  Monaco 1 2004 15 years ago
  Republic of Ireland 1 2001 18 years ago
  Sweden 1 2004 15 years ago

ResultsEdit

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[12]
Best player Top scorer(s) Best goalkeeper
1998
details
 
Germany
 
Italy
 
Portugal
 
Spain
  Ramiro Amarelle   Ramiro Amarelle (24 goals) Not awarded
1999
details
 
Spain
 
France
 
Portugal
 
Italy
  Madjer   Quique Setién (20 goals)   Zé Miguel
2000
details
 
Spain
 
Portugal
 
France
 
Italy
  Ramiro Amarelle   Ramiro Amarelle (15 goals)   Abel
2001
details
 
Spain
 
Portugal
 
Italy
 
France
  Ramiro Amarelle   Madjer (40 goals)   Roberto Valeiro
2002
details
 
Portugal
 
Spain
 
France
 
Turkey
  Gianni Fruzzetti   Alan (31 goals)   Roberto Valeiro
2003
details
 
Spain
 
France
 
Portugal
 
Switzerland
  Ramiro Amarelle   Madjer (34 goals)   Adrian Lingenhag
2004
details
 
France
 
Portugal
 
Ukraine
 
Italy
  David Cordon   Madjer (30 goals)   Roberto Valeiro
2005
details
 
Italy
 
Portugal
 
France
 
Switzerland
  Cristiano Scalabrelli   Ramiro Amarelle (37 goals)   Bruno
2006
details
 
Spain
 
Portugal
 
Poland
 
Italy
  Madjer   Madjer (30 goals)   Roberto Valeiro
2007
details
 
Portugal
 
France
 
Russia
 
Spain
  Dejan Stankovic   Dejan Stankovic and
  Ramiro Amarelle (24 goals)
  Andrey Bukhlitskiy
2008
details
 
Portugal
 
Netherlands
 
Russia
 
Italy
Superfinal awards
  Madjer   Madjer (11 goals)   Ran Reijer
2009
details
 
Russia
 
Portugal
 
Italy
 
Spain
  Madjer   Paolo Palmacci and
  Madjer (7 goals)
  Andrey Bukhlitskiy
2010
details
 
Portugal
 
Italy
 
Russia
 
Switzerland
  Madjer   Dejan Stankovic (8 goals)   Andrey Bukhlitskiy
2011
details
 
Russia
 
Switzerland
 
Portugal
 
Romania
  Dejan Stankovic   Dmitry Shishin (7 goals)   Valentin Jäggy
2012
details
 
Switzerland
 
Russia
 
Italy
 
Romania
  Dmitry Shishin   Dejan Stankovic (7 goals)   Valentin Jäggy
2013
details
 
Russia
 
Portugal
 
Switzerland
 
Spain
  Ilya Leonov   Dejan Stankovic (9 goals)   Dona
2014
details
 
Russia
 
Spain
 
Portugal
 
Switzerland
  Noel Ott   Anatoly Peremitin and
  Llorenç Gomez (7 goals)
  Dona
2015
details
 
Portugal
 
Ukraine
 
Russia
 
Spain
  Ihor Borsuk   Dejan Stankovic (13 goals)   Elinton Andrade
2016
details
 
Ukraine
 
Portugal
 
Russia
 
Spain
  Be Martins   Paolo Palmacci (7 goals)   Vitaliy Sydorenko
2017
details
 
Russia
 
Portugal
 
Italy
 
Spain
  Artur Paporotnyi   Noel Ott (9 goals)   Maxim Chuzhkov
2018
details
 
Italy
 
Spain
 
Portugal
 
Russia
  Llorenç Gomez   Ihar Bryshtel (8 goals)   Simone Del Mestre
2019
details

Successful teamsEdit

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) 6 (1998, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2014, 2018)
  Spain 5 (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006) 3 (2002, 2014, 2018) 7 (1998, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  Russia 5 (2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017) 1 (2012) 5 (2007, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2016) 1 (2018)
  Italy 2 (2005, 2018) 2 (1998, 2010) 4 (2001, 2009, 2012, 2017) 5 (1999, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008)
  France 1 (2004) 3 (1999, 2003, 2007) 3 (2000, 2002, 2005) 1 (2001)
   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 Competition 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
2018   Germany 4–4 (a.e.t.)
4–3 (pens.)
  Romania   Germany (retained Division A status)1 None

1. In these seasons France and Germany, the defending Division A teams, 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 the Promotion Final, the next top 4 ranked 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 instead continued to compete in Division A.

StatisticsEdit

Regular season stage winnersEdit

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 AEdit

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 26 58 44.8% '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, '18 Baku
  Spain 25 60 41.7% '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 Béziers, '10 Marsielle, '11 Bern, '16 Moscow, '16 Sanxenxo, '17 Belgrade, '18 Nazaré, 18' Warnemunde, '19 Nazaré
  Russia 12 25 48.0% '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, 18' Moscow
   Switzerland 8 36 22.2% '08 Lignano Sabbiadoro, '10 Lignano Sabbiadoro, '10 The Hague, '11 Ravenna, '12 Torredembarra, '13 Valence, '14 Catania, '15 Siofok
  Italy 8 59 13.6% '98 Siracusa, '98 Sant Joan d'Alacant, '00 Saint-Galmier, '05 Cervia, '06 San Benedetto de Tronto, '09 Ostia, '15 Moscow, '19 Catania
  France 5 57 8.8% '98 Montenegro, '99 Figueira da Foz, '00 Cattolica, '02 Mallorca, '07 Mallorca
  Germany 3 27 11.1% '98 Zurich, '98 Travemunde, '99 Vienna
  Poland 3 29 10.3% '06 Tignes, '13 Kiev, '13 The Hague
  Belarus 2 12 16.7% '16 Siofok, '18 Minsk
  Ukraine 2 16 12.5% '14 Siofok, '17 Warnemunde

Division BEdit

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 12 25.0% '05 Linz, '10 Marseille, '17 Siofok
  Czech Rep. 3 12 25.0% '07 Athens1, '11 Berlin, '16 Sanxenxo
  England 3 21 14.3% '13 Valence, '17 Warnemunde, '18 Warnemunde
  Belarus 2 4 50.0% '09 Béziers, '12 Terracina
  Poland 2 6 33.3% '06 Sankt Polten, '07 Athens1
  Estonia 2 8 25.0% '14 Moscow, '17 Belgrade
  Netherlands 2 12 16.7% '06 Athens, '11 The Hague
  Belgium 2 12 16.7% '04 Istanbul, '04 Brussels
  Greece 2 15 13.3% '13 The Hague, '19 Catania
  Norway 2 21 9.5% '03 Stavanger, '03 Bern
  France 1 1 100% '11 Ravenna
  Georgia 1 2 50.0% '19 Nazaré
  Russia 1 2 50.0% '07 Athens1
  Romania 1 5 20.0% '09 Lignano Sabbiadoro
  Kazakhstan 1 5 20.0% '18 Moscow
  Bulgaria 1 6 16.7% '18 Nazaré
  Moldova 1 7 14.3% '16 Moscow
  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 winEdit

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
  Azerbaijan 5
  Turkey 5
  Austria 4
  FR Yugoslavia 4
  Republic of Ireland 3
  Hungary 2
Division B
Team Stages Pld
  Andorra 10
  Denmark 4
  Serbia 4
  Lithuania 3
  Finland 1
  Sweden 1
  Monaco 1

Superfinal appearancesEdit

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 18 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 19 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  Italy 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  Spain 17 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
   Switzerland 16 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  Russia 13 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  France 9 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2015
  Ukraine 2004, 2006, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  Poland 6 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2017
  Belarus 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  Romania 3 2010, 2011, 2012
  Germany 2005, 2014, 2016
  Austria 2002, 2004, 2005
  Netherlands 2 2008, 2013
  Turkey 2002, 2019
  Azerbaijan 1 2018
  Czech Republic 2008
  Hungary 2005
  Belgium 2004
  Norway 2003

Bold: Year the Superfinal (and hence the EBSL title) was won by this team

All-time tablesEdit

Division or status in 2019:

Currently in Division A
Currently in Division B
Inactive as of 2018
Country no longer exists

Division AEdit

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 21 217 139 4 7 67 1153 800 +353 432 1.99
2   Spain 21 218 129 10 7 72 1101 826 +275 414 1.9
3   Italy 21 219 90 14 11 104 965 950 +15 309 1.41
4   Russia 12 115 82 4 2 27 562 335 +227 256 2.23
5   France 20 193 76 5 6 106 899 911 –12 244 1.26
6    Switzerland 15 142 63 3 4 72 718 666 +52 199 1.4
7   Ukraine 7 71 33 4 4 30 278 244 +34 111 1.56
8   Poland 13 109 27 6 9 67 437 531 –94 102 0.94
9   Germany 10 78 23 1 3 51 259 359 –100 74 0.95
10   Belarus 6 53 20 3 1 29 186 171 +15 67 1.26
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   Turkey 2 15 3 0 0 12 58 80 –22 9 0.6
19   Azerbaijan 2 16 3 0 0 13 45 83 –38 9 0.56
20   Hungary 1 7 2 0 0 5 29 37 –8 6 0.86
21   England 3 30 1 1 0 28 101 232 –131 5 0.17
22   Republic of Ireland 1 9 0 0 0 9 18 75 –57 0 0

Division BEdit

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   Hungary 11 57 35 2 3 17 297 219 +78 112 1.96
2   Turkey 12 76 32 5 4 35 342 319 +23 110 1.45
3    Switzerland 6 60 34 3 1 22 343 266 +77 109 1.82
4   England 15 81 27 4 5 45 304 348 –44 96 1.19
5   Czech Republic 11 50 21 2 2 25 199 207 –8 69 1.38
6   Azerbaijan 8 39 21 0 0 15 151 130 +21 67 1.72
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 8 40 18 0 2 20 147 133 +14 56 1.4
10   Ukraine 6 25 18 0 1 6 130 80 +50 55 2.2
11   Greece 6 41 17 1 0 23 164 164 0 53 1.29
12   Norway 14 66 14 2 5 45 285 355 –70 51 0.77
13   Belgium 4 39 15 1 1 22 170 196 –26 48 1.23
14   Netherlands 10 37 14 1 1 21 140 170 –30 45 1.22
15   Romania 4 26 12 1 3 10 100 88 +12 41 1.58
16   Israel 4 19 12 0 1 6 86 59 +27 37 1.95
17   Bulgaria 5 27 11 1 1 14 107 116 –9 36 1.33
18   Poland 4 16 10 1 0 5 91 54 +37 32 2
19   Moldova 6 29 7 2 0 20 94 128 –34 25 0.86
20   Belarus 4 18 7 1 1 9 62 50 +12 24 1.33
21   Kazakhstan 4 15 6 0 1 8 55 58 –3 19 1.27
22   France 1 5 4 0 1 0 19 11 +8 13 2.6
23   Russia 2 5 2 0 1 2 20 17 +3 7 1.4
24   Serbia 3 8 2 0 1 5 29 33 –4 7 0.88
25   Denmark 3 9 2 0 0 7 41 62 –21 6 0.67
26   Lithuania 2 6 1 0 0 5 21 32 –11 3 0.5
27   Georgia 1 0 0 0 0 3 8 18 –10 0 0
28   Sweden 1 2 0 0 0 2 4 15 –11 0 0
29   Andorra 10 27 0 0 0 27 49 189 –140 0 0

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External linksEdit