San Francisco hosts RollerSoccer World Cup


Athletes from around the world will attempt to kick and skate their way to international glory at Treasure Island's YMCA in the four-day tournament that starts today.

Organizers describe the sport as soccer on skates, or a combination of hockey and arena soccer, as the game is played in a rink.

"It's high-scoring, it's fast, it's exciting," said June Solomon, of the RollerSoccer International Federation. "It's the finesse of soccer, on skates."

Seven teams representing nine countries will compete in the sixth annual RollerSoccer World Cup, which began today with an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Belgium will take on France-Marseille in the first game at noon.

Solomon said the game originated on the streets of San Francisco in 1995 and that the RollerSoccer International Federation is based in the city.

However, this is the first time the World Cup is being held in North America for the sport, which is better known in Europe and some South American countries, organizers said.

Countries participating this year include Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands and the U.S.

Tickets for tournament events are between $5 and $25, and public transportation to the Treasure Island YMCA is available every 20 minutes by bus from San Francisco.

The final game is scheduled for noon Sunday.

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