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Charity Ball’s 100 Best Places to Play Soccer

By | Soccer Culture, Soccer Fields

Soccer is everywhere.

No matter where you travel in the world, you will find beautiful people playing The Beautiful Game. All you need is a ball.

To showcase the world’s love for the Game, we’ve compiled what we consider to be the 100 coolest places to play soccer. If you’ve ever seen or (better yet) played on any of these pitches, drop us a note on Twitter @teamcharityball, we’ love to hear about it.

—Enjoy.

100 Ice Soccer

Antarctica
Photo: Frank Hurley

99 Roof Top Soccer

Miami, Florida, USA
Photo: Brickell Soccer Roof Top

98 Empty Pool Soccer

Havana, Cuba
Photo: Alexandre Meneghini

97 Indoor Soccer [Grand Park]

Westfield, Indiana, USA
Photo: Grand Park

96 Naval Destroyer Soccer

USS Arleigh Burke
Photo: Scott Pittman

95 Street Soccer

Times Square, NYC
Photo: Street Soccer USA

94 Swamp Soccer

Hyrynsalmi, Finland
Photo: Nokian Tires

93 Ruins Soccer

Paricatuba, Brazil
Photo: Felipe Dana

92 5-a-side Soccer [Fives Futbol]

Cape Town, South Africa

91 Playmore Soccer [Moscova]

Milan, Italy

90 Renewable Energy Soccer [Morro da Mineira]

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

89 ESPN Wide World of Sports

Orlando, Florida, USA

88 Urban Pitch Soccer

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Photo: Ford Europe

87 Midnight Soccer

Mocimboa Da Praia, Mozambique
Photo: Ian Allen

86 Historical Soccer

Bambugh Castle, England

85 Crazy Cold Soccer

Tasiilaq, Greenland
Photo: Grant Dixon

84 Pier 5 Soccer

Brooklyn, New York, USA
Photo: Julienne Schaer

83 Hotspur Soccer [Tottenham Training Field]

Enfield, United Kingdom
Photo: KSS Group

82 Underground Soccer

Paris, France
Photo: Soccer Bible

81 Pick Up Soccer

Sorrento, Italy
Photo: Swig

80 Stade Louis II Soccer

Fontvielle, Monaco

79 Lake Michigan Soccer [Northwestern University]

Evanston, Illinois
Photo: Northwestern University

78 Build Your Own Soccer

Helsby, England

77 Tavares Bastos Soccer

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

76 Macul Soccer [Estadio Monumental]

Santiago, Chile

75 Favela Soccer

Sao Carlos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

74 Arctic Soccer

Qaqortoq, Greenland
Photo: Steve Menary

73 French Riviera Soccer

La Turbie, Monaco
Photo: AS Monaco FC

72 Favela Soccer

Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photo: Charity Ball

71 Mud Soccer [Harbor Island]

Grand Haven, Michigan, USA
Photo: Charity Ball

70 Arctic Circle Soccer

Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

69 Changlimithang Soccer

Thimphu, Bhutan

68 2013 Snow Classico [DSG Park]

Colorado, USA

67 The Big Issue Soccer [Darling Harbour]

Sydney, Australia

66 Alpine Soccer

Saas-Fee, Switzerland

65 Space Soccer

International Space Station
Photo: NASA

64 Laser Light Soccer [Adidas Nitro Charge Pitch]

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

63 Bamiyan Soccer

Bamyan, Afghanistan

62 5-A-Side Soccer [ProDirect Soccer]

London, England

61 Dome Soccer [Aspire Dome]

Doha, Qatar

60 Cage Soccer [Thompson Flyover]

Singapore

59 Parking Garage Soccer [University of Utah]

Utah, USA

58 Near West Soccer

University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA

57 Mountain Soccer

Bilad Sayt, UAE

56 Parking Garage Soccer [Pomona College]

Claremont, California, USA

55 Train Station Soccer [Five Points MARTA Station]

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

54 Oil Rig Soccer

Pechora Sea

53 Salt Mine Soccer

Soledar, Ukraine

52 Indoor Soccer [Soccer Coliseum]

Teaneck, New Jersey, USA

51 Africa Bush Soccer

Rongo, Kenya
Photo: Charity Ball

50 Mini Pitch Soccer

Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

49 Street Soccer

Yangon, Myanmar
Photo: Urban Pitch

48 Pier 40 Soccer [Hudson River Park]

NYC, New York, USA

47 Big Apple Soccer [Asphalt Green]

NYC, New York, USA

46 Play [well] Soccer

Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique
Photo: Charity Ball

45 Evergrande Soccer

Qingyuan, Guangdong, China

44 Roof Soccer

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Photo: Pillitz

43 Skyline Soccer

Tokyo, Japan
Photo: Eric Meola

42 Taj Soccer

Agra, India
Photo: Eric Meola

41 Beach Soccer

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

40 Ancient Soccer

Giza, Egypt
Photo: Stecker

39 Quarry Soccer

Uluwatu, Indonesia
Photo: Levon Bliss

38 Favela Soccer

Dona Marta, Brazil

37 Paradise Soccer

Hurawalhi, Maldives

36 Cornfield Soccer

Landshut, Germany

35 FIFA Soccer

Cape Town, South Africa

34 Floating Soccer

Ko Panyi, Thailand

33 Eiffel Soccer

Paris, France
Photo: Pries

32 Church Soccer

Jaurez, Mexico
Photo: Aguirre

31 Motor City Soccer [Keyworth Stadium]

Hamtramck, Michigan, USA
Photo: Degennaro

30 Power Soccer [Osceola Heritage Park]

Kissimmee, Florida, USA
Photo: Goodman

29 High-Rise Soccer [City Place]

Toronto, Canada
Photo: Tait

28 BVB Soccer [Westfalenstadion]

Dortmund, Germany

27 Pickup Soccer [Griffith Park]

Los Angeles, California, USA

26 ‘The Bont’ Soccer [Pontcysyllte Aqueduct]

North Wales

25 Gladiator Soccer [The Colosseum]

Rome, Italy

24 Scandinavian Soccer [Prioritet Serneke Arena]

Gothenburg, Sweden

23 West Coast Soccer [MacArthur Park]

Los Angeles, California, USA

22 Breathtaking Soccer

Celerina, Switzerland
Photo: van der Meer

21 Sugarloaf Soccer

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photo: Griffiths

20 Local Pride Soccer [Tabard Gardens]

London, England
Photo: Fox

19 Andes Soccer

Urubamba. Peru
Photo: Kass

18 Cocodrilos Soccer

Caracas, Venezuela

17 Camp Nou Soccer

Barcelona, Spain

16 Himalayan Soccer

Annapurna Region, Nepal

15 Big Dome Soccer [Toyohira-ku]

Sapporo, Japan

14 God’s Country Soccer [Lake Tahoe Community College]

Lake Tahoe, California, USA

13 Rocky Mountain Soccer

Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA

12 Zenit Soccer [Petrovsky Stadium]

St. Petersburg, Russia

11 Leicester City Soccer [King Power Stadium]

Leicester, England

10 Urban Soccer [The Base]

Berlin, Germany

9 Royalty Soccer [Buckingham Palace]

London, England

8 Winner Stays Soccer

Rome, Italy

7 Khayelitsha Township Soccer

Cape Town, South Africa
Photo: Amandla EduFootball

6 Laser Pitch Soccer

Madrid, Spain

5 Majestic Soccer

Henningsvaer, Norway

4 Puskás Soccer [Pancho Aréna]

Felcsút, Hungary
Photo: Takacs

3 Neighborhood Soccer

Houston, Texas USA
Photo: Londono

2 Backyard Soccer

Zeeland, Michigan USA
Photo: Charity Ball

1 Anywhere with your friends

All you need is a ball
Photo: Charity Ball

Southampton FC: Signed Jersey for Charity

By | Game Changers, Products, Soccer Culture

Today we are launching a very unique fundraiser for us here at Charity Ball. This is the first time we have been given an official jersey from a historic English club, Southampton FC, which has been signed by the ENTIRE first team. You can now enter to win this awesome and distinct prize. However, I thought the back story behind the jersey would be worth noting, especially for die hard soccer fans.

Southampton Signed JerseyThe main man behind this jersey donation is Hugo Scheckter (@hugoscheckter on twitter). Hugo was born in the great state of Georgia (USA) and now lives in London. Soccer has been an integral part of Hugo’s life and career, which started with coaching in high school. He then studied Sports Business at George Washington University and continued to coach club and high school soccer. After graduating from GWU he was hired by Indy Eleven, an NASL team at the time. He then progressed to work as a Player Liaison Officer for Southampton FC for 3.5 years. This past March, he signed on with West Ham to work as their Head of Player Care.

Hugo Sheckter

As the Head of Player Care, Hugo’s primary objective is to make sure the players have everything they need off the field so they can be their best on the field. On match days he arrives 5 hours before kick off to arrange reserve tickets for players’ friends and families, set up sponsor visits and organize pre match meals. Once warm up begins Hugo’s work is more relaxed and he gets to take in the game from the bench. He really enjoys the relationships he gets to build with both players and their families.

To wrap things up, I asked Hugo if he has a favorite team that he didn’t work for, and his answer was surprising: “To be honest, soccer is my life and my career – so my time as a fan is over! My entire energy goes into making sure the players I work with are the best they can be, so I don’t really have time for following other teams. But from time to time I like to check in on clubs that I used to support when I was younger, like DC United and Indy Eleven.”

Hugo found us on Twitter and wanted to get involved with us right away. He loved how Charity Ball is different from many other charities in that we use soccer as a medium to improve children’s lives across the globe. You can expect to see more collaborations between Charity Ball and Hugo in the future!

 

Now that you know the story behind the jersey be sure to check out our online raffle drawing below for the signed Southampton Jersey.

Be sure to follow and tweet us about this story! @teamcharityball, @hugosheckter, @ethan_king5 (our founder)

WIN THIS SIGNED SOUTHAMPTON JERSEY!

For every $25 you donate (using the link below) your name will be entered into a drawing and a new, quality soccer ball will be given to a child. Enter as many times as you like.

Winner will be announced at half time during the FA Cup Semi-Final, Southampton vs Chelsea (April 22, 2018).

SamBarthel

By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball

You Can Help: Layne Chesney

By | Uncategorized

14 year-old Layne Chesney was roasting marshmallows during a bonfire on New Year’s Eve when a gas can exploded. 95% of her body was severely burned. Over the past 30 days she has been in critical condition, undergoing surgeries and treatment at the Kendall Medical Center in Miami.

Layne, we want you to know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

With the help of friends at Wilson Sports, Charity Ball founder Ethan King, and the Butler University’s Men’s Soccer Team put together a little video message for you.

Charity Ball was created to promote generosity and give people (both young & old) the opportunity to give back and make the world a little more beautiful for others­—especially those going through challenging circumstances.

With a long road to recovery, Layne’s mom will need some help. A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the family with medical expenses and support. Layne Chesney & Family Go Fund Me Page

We’d love to have you consider giving to her fund. #LayneStrong24

—Team Charity Ball

Daily Facebook updates on Layne here

ENGAIGERS: Motorcyclists United to Make a Difference

By | Fundraisers

Evan Hoffman is a motorcycle rider and enthusiast who works for AIG (American International Group). After a visit to Africa almost 10 years ago, and learning that 6 million Africans die every year from preventable diseases, he decided to do something about it.

“I thought there must be a way to have an impact on a situation going from bad to worse. I began to think that there must be hundreds, if not thousands of bikers at AIG around the globe. What better way to have an impact than to engage the AIG biker community to help the cause? Bikers have always banded together and if you compound that with the giving spirit of AIG employees the possibilities are huge. We could have an enormous impact on a continent in dire need of help.”

In 2010 Evan launched ENGAIGERS, AIG’s global motorcycle network. The mission — engage the AIG biker community around the globe to raise funds for charitable organizations.

To kick things off he began rallying the AIG community, inviting them to ride for Virgin Unite’s Heaven’s Angels campaign. Heaven’s Angels provided motorbikes to rural healthcare workers in Africa who delivered medical supplies to people in need. Since 2010 over 300 bikers within the AIG Global Network have annually ridden and raised thousands of dollars for exemplary charities like Doctors Without Borders, The Susan G Komen Foundation and The Health & Social Development Foundation.

Evan being interviewed by NYC’s local news.

Evan (right) riding for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

This past summer, the ENGAIGERs picked Charity Ball as their 2017 charity of choice. True to form, members were invited to rally and ride for the cause during the months of July and August. Sponsored donations would match every mile/kilometer ridden up to $10,000. By the end of the project over 175 riders from 12 different countries logged 16,000+ miles!

ENGAIGERS submitted a photo of their odometer and a readable date reference at the beginning and end of the fundraising period.

On behalf of Charity Ball, we want to thank Evan and the ENGAIGER community for their incredible work and the $10,000 gift. We’re convinced that there is nothing better than using what you love to do to make the world more beautiful for others. Keep riding, keep making a difference!

-Team Charity Ball

The Beautiful Game in Uganda

By | Ball Deliveries, Recipients

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about working with children over the past five years in rural Uganda, it’s that kids love soccer. When everything else seems so unfair or uneven in a community that has abundant need, a game of soccer can be a way to level the playing field. A simple game played with a single piece of equipment (a ball) has the power to bring together people from different backgrounds, beliefs, tribes and cultures to achieve a common “goal”.

This past July, Far Away Friends partnered with Charity Ball to hand-deliver 24 soccer balls to kids in Namasale, Uganda where we work to alleviate education poverty by supporting schools in rural communities.

Our first stop in Namasale was the school that we opened in 2016, Global Leaders Primary School (GLP). Our team was warmly welcomed by our fifteen-member Administration, Teaching and non-Teaching staff who were excited to hear about our latest partnership with Charity Ball. They’d been busy planning GLP’s very first official soccer game against Namasale Central Primary School (another primary school located outside of the village in town) who they’d invited to play on our unfinished and thorny (but large!) pitch.

As our team began unpacking soccer balls one after another, our teaching staff (most notably Teacher, Sebastian, who has a deep love for soccer as a means of teaching teamwork, empathy and trust) were completely in awe. The look on their faces was something we’ll be sure not to forget for years to come.

We’d decided that we would keep several of the balls at GLP. The rest would be brought to the kids at the neighboring primary and secondary schools, and given as a gift to extend a hand of friendship. Next year, we plan to launch a program through which we will be able to support the needs and development of more schools in the Namasale area. The ability to gift a soccer ball to the kids at the schools we hope to work with, as a symbol of our future partnership, was an invaluable asset to our organization.

The day of GLP’s soccer match was one of our proudest days as an organization. Watching the students come alive and fearlessly compete against an established, (physically superior) across town team was an incredible experience.

For the last half of the game, we decided to do away with the tattered ball we’d been using and introduce one of the new soccer balls from Charity Ball. At this point of the game GLP was tied with Namasale Central 1-1. As if our own Charity Ball brought us good luck, our team scored two consecutive goals and won our very first soccer game against another school. After the final whistle, our entire staff — Ugandan AND American — stormed the field, hugging our students and screaming victory songs in the local language.

JaymeWard

By: Jayme Ward, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Far Away Friends, Inc.

Huge props to Jayme Ward and her staff & volunteers at Far Away Friends. Thanks for the empowering work that you’re doing for kids in Uganda. We’re so glad that the Charity Balls that you delivered were not only meaningful to the kids, but also a significant asset to your ongoing efforts.

Game Changer : David Bass

By | Game Changers

David is a student-athlete who is hard-core about his academics. At age 14 he’s already planning to attend an eastern US Ivy League school like Harvard or Yale. When he’s not hitting the books, he’s hitting the pitch and doing what he loves most—playing the game of soccer.

A resident of Tokyo, Japan, David plays for his American school team in the forward, winger and midfield positions. “Dribbling and taking players on is what I really enjoy,” he said.

At the beginning of summer David dropped us a note and indicated that he wanted to do something to give back. His bar mitzvah was coming up and his Rabbi encouraged him to use it raise money for a charity. With a passion for The Beautiful Game, Charity Ball made perfect sense.

After defining a big goal of $2000, he went right to work—setting up an online campaign page and inviting people in his circle to donate.

He also invited friends and family to come to an organized event on the roof of his synagogue. Here’s where it gets really cool. David’s Rabbi has a soccer-loving dog named Peter. Believe it or not, Peter is an insane goal keeper. No lie, this dog can compete with the likes of De Gea, Buffon and Neuer.

David set up a couple small goal nets and gave his guests the opportunity to shoot on Peter. Guests simply needed to make a donation in any amount to get 5 shots. If you hit the net, you’d win a prize. You’d think it would be pretty easy to score on a dog. Not Peter. David said that Peter stopped almost every shot. Check out the video below to see Peter warming up against David.

When everything was said and done, David raised a total of $3,352—that’s 137 new soccer balls. “The word Mitzvah means doing something good for others. That’s what this project has been all about,” he said.

We asked David if he had any words of advice for other kids his age.

He went on to say, “No matter how young or old you are, you can always make a difference, even if it’s a small difference. A little thing can sometimes change the world for a person, and when you give, it can also change the world for you.”

One hundred percent!

David, thanks for helping make kids’ lives more beautiful. Our world needs more game-changers like you!

—Team Charity Ball

Closer to Their Dreams in Havana, Cuba

By | Ball Deliveries

In 2016, travel restrictions from the USA to Cuba were historically lifted, making it possible for Americans to visit. Wanting to make the most of this historic opportunity, Charity Ball courier, Ginger Lu, booked a flight and set out to make the world a little more beautiful for kids on the island nation.

Ginger Lu

By: Ginger Lu.
Ginger is a freelance writer located in Chicago, IL.

Walking through the streets of Old Havana, the first thing that caught my eye were the rows and rows of colorful, but decrepit houses, and then the sounds of street vendors selling their batido de mamey or guarapo, drinks made from sugarcane and guava fruits. I rounded one corner and found myself in an old abandoned parking lot, which graffiti artists had turned into a place where children come to play sports. Even on a hot summer day, there were many children of all ages playing a pick-up game of soccer with a ball made of newspaper and crushed soda cans tied up with a piece of twine.

I approached one of the youths, Carolos, an aspiring professional soccer player at eight years old who was watching his older brother Jaime play a game with his friends. He told me that they came to the park to play every day after school. The rising popularity of the sport in recent years can be explained by increased access native Cubans have with the rest of the world.  Both children and adults can be seen playing pickup games on empty alleys and streets, making do with what little they have. Soccer fever has caught and spread with the young men of the island nation. However, soccer balls are still hard to come by for the majority of players. Apart from government and military officials, the majority of the citizens of Cuba make salaries that equal our $20 a week. Carlos said that on some days, they would have a ball to play with. More often than not, they would have to wait at least an hour until one of the lucky kids that owned a ball arrived so that they could start a game. I put one of Charity Ball’s new soccer balls in his hands and told him,”para ti, de tus amigos en los Estados Unidos.” For you, from your friends in the United States. He shouted with joy and ran off to show his brother and their friends. Within seconds, I was surrounded by happy kids hoping to get their hands on one of these prized possessions as well.

Children in the United States take these simple moments for granted, but for a child growing up in poverty, these moments mean more to them than words can explain. Jaime told me that they keep up with their favorite players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and aspire to be like them one day. Having the necessary equipment to practice will help them get one step closer to their dreams. With increased travel to Cuba opening up from the United States, we can begin to make more of a difference as time goes on to positively impact futures for hundreds of children.

Soccer Love: Mozambique Ball Deliveries

By | Ball Deliveries

This past week my dad and his team partnered up with Drop4Drop from the UK and began a 30 well restoration project in Northern Mozambique.

They also brought along some soccer balls and were able to surprise a few kids.

Just wanted to say a quick thanks to all of you for your ongoing support and helping spread the soccer love one ball at a time.

Ethan King

By: Ethan King, Team Charity Ball

Hope Rising in Kenya

By | Ball Deliveries

Over the holidays, Margaret Mongare, a student at Stanford University, delivered soccer balls on behalf of Charity Ball to the Hope Raisers Football Association at the Baba Dogo primary school in Nairobi, Kenya. The school provides free primary level education to children from the slum neighborhoods that encompass the school. Most individuals living there earn less than a dollar a day; gangs and drugs are prevalent due to a lack of proper peer support and mentorship. The school has a football field where students practice soccer.

Margaret said, “Meeting the kids was amazing and it reminded me how we should never take for granted mentoring kids growing up in poverty. An interaction can inspire someone, and a piece of advice can light up their path.” She went on to say, “We can forget that we still have a lot to offer others in terms of our time and intellectual resource,”  and that it’s the people who work hard and who live with courage and hope that really do change the world. We couldn’t agree more!

Margaret has worked with this community for the past 6 years and hopes that the new Charity Balls can contribute towards making the world a better place for the kids in the area.

Charity Ball sends it special thanks to Margaret for her outstanding work and contribution. Because of her efforts, children in poverty now have a reason to dream big.

Charity Ball Welcomes Hutt Trucking

By | Get Involved, Media, News

Charity Ball is proud to welcome Hutt Trucking as a 2017 corporate sponsor.

Located in Holland, Michigan Hutt Trucking specializes in supply chain services—offering trucking, deep frozen warehousing, and third-party logistics services.

“Mr. Hutt is a great business man and person. He cares about people and wants to leverage his business to make a difference. We’re excited to have Hutt Trucking on board for 2017 and look forward to developing our relationship even more in the future.”

-Ethan King, Charity Ball Founder

0034ethanking2016