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OSU World Cup Skills Challenge kicks off

With soccer being one of Ohio State’s more popular intramural sports, it came as no surprise that getting a spot in the World Cup Tournament was in high demand.

The World Cup Soccer Tournament started in autumn 2007 and has since then been an event every Autumn Quarter.

In order to meet the need for all of intramural’s dedicated soccer players, the week-long tournament, based off of the World Cup, gives students the opportunity to play in the fall.

“The demand seems to be very high, but we do not have the space or time in the fall to offer an entire regular season like we do in the winter and spring,” said Rachel Krasicki, intramural program assistant.

The 24 different teams are guaranteed two pool games and the top two teams from each pool will advance to the single elimination tournament.

With the tournament being a success its first year, all team slots were filled very quickly.

“Our captain had to go there around 5:30 in the morning to sign up for the tournament,” said Adam Harlow, a third-year in health science. “There was a long line that filled up within 20 minutes.”

The World Cup Skills Challenge started in 2008 and has been the kick-starter for the tournament.

“We wanted to offer the Skills Challenge as another opportunity for all OSU students to have the opportunity to compete. It allows us to try and meet the high demand for soccer related activities,” Krasicki said.

The World Cup Skills Challenge, which took place Sunday at the Adventure Recreation Center, was a 20-to-30 minute free challenge for individuals to compete in five different events.

According to Krasicki the five different skill events were:

Place Kick – Participants will kick a soccer ball from one end of the field to a cone at the other end. The person whose ball lands closest to the cone will win and participants will have two tries.

Juggling – Each participant will juggle a ball and whoever can juggle it for the longest amount of time without the ball touching the ground or their hands will win.

Shootout – Participants will have five shots on net with five targets in the goal. They will be awarded points for every target they hit.

Skills Course – This event involves throw-ins, dribbling, passing and shooting. This is a timed event and the fastest time will win.

Sprints – This last event is a timed sprint with the fastest time winning.

Although the skills challenge was open for anyone to compete in, Graem Boyer, a fourth-year in zoology, said it was for the individual players.

“The challenge allowed them to show off their ball skills, whether it is shooting or dribbling, it was their chance to shine away from their teams,” Boyer said.

Harlow, a participant in the tournament and competed in the skills challenge, said the shootout was his favorite event.

“It was placing shots and I like to do free kicks in games,” Harlow said. “It was fun for me and was a good warm-up for the game.”

Aside from the skills challenge, Boyer said the tournament was popular amongst participants.

“It is different than the regular season. In the regular season it is broken up into divisions and the world cup is one open division where everyone is playing each other,” Boyer said. “It determines the best of the best of the whole school.”

The tournament began on Sunday and goes throughout the week with the champion being crowned Thursday.

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