It was 2011 when two teams decided to play walking football for the first time, and now 5 years later some are reporting there are 800 clubs in the UK.
This is great news and just goes to show that people are starting to become more serious about competing in walking football competitions.
over 40s play walking football
At first, the whole idea behind the game was to get over 40s football players out of the house and playing some casual games to help improve their fitness, and while this is still the main selling point of the game, there is no denying things are starting to become more organised.
We are now in a situation where Premier League clubs such as Manchester City and Spurs encourage people in their city to play walking football on a regular basis, and where the FA have decided to come up with an official rulebook so there is no confusion about what players can and can’t do.
Not only that, but some ex football players have even been talking about a professional walking football league, where matches would be televised and thousands of people would go and watch in a stadium.
Walking football world cup
Who knows, maybe it won’t be long until we are watching a walking football world cup with players that have played in world cups from years ago? This would surely draw in millions of viewers on the television and generate millions more in advertising and sponsorships.
For now though we have 800 clubs in the UK who are playing the game on a regular basis, while thousands more play casually for fun.
the rules of walking football
So what are some of the rules you might be wondering? Obviously the main one is no running, although that doesn’t mean players are moving around at a casual pace. Some of the games do get very competitive.
There is also no tackling, especially slide tackling, and no going into the goalkeepers defensive semi-circle (similar to five a side).
In fact, many leisure centres are now reporting that walking football has become more popular than five a side, which just goes to show you how popular it is right now, especially among players over 50.
reasons to play walking football
Why has the game become so popular? Well, for one, it is a great form of exercise, while at the same time allowing men and women the chance to play the game they enjoy. Many of the people that play used to compete in local and Sunday league teams and now they get the chance to keep on putting those boots on every week and getting on the pitch.
Another reason is the social aspect, with many players enjoying a drink with their team mates and rivals after the game. This is a great way to meet new people and make friends.
If you want to play walking football then you should have no problems finding a team in your local area, or you can even start your own team and then apply to join a league once you’ve played a few friendly matches.
Remember to have fun and enjoy yourself.