In case you missed it, there is a soccer craze going on in the U.S. Since the opening rounds of the World Cup last month, the sport has finally caught on with the American public. While it has been gaining momentum with participants for about 30 years, the explosive viewership of the latest Cup has led to a huge interest in actually playing the game. Nowhere is this more indicative than on the oval in Hunters Point South Park. Every evening makeshift games are formed and shoehorned into the awkward playing field. It’s exactly what was intended for the site, and an unbeatable location, but its discovery revealed the need for more areas such as this.
We have highlighted this need previously1. What made our appeal distinct, was 1) the recognition that pick-up soccer is different from that organized in leagues, and 2) the knowledge that Hunters Point South Park was still in the planning stages and exactly how it was to be developed is still tbd. Thus we made the request for quadras: small, individualized soccer fields optimal for pick-up games.
Now I provide added evidence that miniature fields are also the right size for kids as well. According to a recent article in The New York Times:
“In addition to athletic diversity, kids’ sports should be kid-size. In Brazil, host of this month’s World Cup, kids are weaned on “futsal,” a lightly structured and miniaturized form of soccer. Futsal is played on tiny patches of grass or concrete or on indoor courts and typically by teams of five players. Players touch the ball up to five times as frequently as they do in traditional soccer, and the tighter playing area forces children to develop foot and decision-making skills under pressure.”
So let’s have Long Island City take the forefront in this new and enduring soccer craze, by optimizing the yet-to-be-determined remaining land of Hunters Point South Park with 21st century field(s) of dreams. After all, we are the gateway to Queens … and the world.
Sports Should Be Child’s Play – “Children are playing sports in too structured a manner too early in life on adult-size fields…”
Pickup Soccer in Brazil Has an Allure All Its Own – the pickup variety, the kind played in the cities and the countryside, is called pelada, a term Brazilian men also use to refer to a naked woman. “Football and women,” he said, “are the only two things we really love.”
G-Train Not Available to LIC Residents for Five Weeks – you need a new way to get to Brooklyn until Sept. 2
My Beloved Creek – Mitch Waxman’s ode to, and EPA-sponsored trip on, Newtown Creek
NY Foundling Finds Space in LIC – 35,000 square feet available no more
- not that the city didn’t know it already [↩]