The field in beach football is shorter by 38 yards than the standard 100-yard American football field. The goalposts are different as well. Most teams place a soccer goal on each end of the field and include four to six PVC pipes to create an H figure.
The more familiar American game players tackling on the grass, fully equipped with pads, mouth guards and helmets has come more recently. In 2009 the first national tournament was held, called Touchdown, a private competition that was limited to teams that could afford the equipment and travel costs. This year, the fourth edition of the tournament will host 18 teams in a five-month competition starting in July.
A study last year by the Brazilian Association of American Football found that there were about 200 people in Brazil who routinely played football in 2000. By 2011, that number had jumped to more than 5,000.
As more evidence of the sports growth, Brazils major soccer teams have noticed football. The Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, a major soccer team from Sao Paulo, formed a football team as a partner in 2004. Today 10 First Division soccer clubs have partnerships with American-style football teams, offering the use of their brand names and in some cases facilities.
The soccer teams give us visibility," said Caroliny Machado, 21, who plays wide receiver for Fluminense Guerreiras, a womens team in Rio. It works as a window to show the sport.
VIDEO: AMERICAN FOOTBALL IN BRAZIL