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Non-orthogonal soccer fields
September 4, 2012 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Non-orthogonal soccer fields, a slideshow
posted by Tom-B (37 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hah. At first I thought, "What kind of idiot..." and then I realized that the lots themselves were oddly shaped, so they're making the best out of what's available. Good for them.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:26 AM on September 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Which is why we switch sides at the half. It's an elegant solution to a non-trivial problem.
posted by Xoebe at 9:29 AM on September 4, 2012 [12 favorites]


This is hilarious. Picture 8 is particularly baffling to me.

I get that you have to make do with what you've got. It reminds me of the year I played county softball, when we had a mysterious tractor show up to our practice lot one day and park itself smack in the middle of right field. And stay for the rest of the season.
posted by phunniemee at 9:29 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Could some of the weirdness of the shapes be due to the satellite photos?
posted by preparat at 9:31 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's a shame none of these photos take elevation into account
posted by pennig at 9:32 AM on September 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


... and then I realized that the lots themselves were oddly shaped ...

Well, making the most of it to my mind would have meant to reduce the field size somewhat, allowing an orthogonal field to fit into what are decidedly unfavorable lot dimensions.

Could some of the weirdness of the shapes be due to the satellite photos?

Due to perspective, you mean?

If so, then no, it couldn't. If there were any such distortion it would show as uniform skewing... and this is all over the map. But more importantly, there is no perspective distortion to speak of in satellite photos - the distance involved is simply too vast for any to show.
posted by oxidizer at 9:42 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of backyard baseball as a kid. bases were a mix of pieces of junk tossed on the ground, fence posts, shed corners, lawn chairs, whatever. The fields were diamonds in concept only.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:42 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is this, soccer or pinball?
posted by valkyryn at 9:50 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Eh, it's Brazil. Any relatively flat piece of land not currently occupied by cars is a football field.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:08 AM on September 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


I accidentally read that as non-euclidean soccer fields. Which could certainly make for interesting offside rules.
posted by frimble at 10:19 AM on September 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


These fields look like I lined them.
posted by stp123 at 10:25 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well yeah, that's just for casual play. You'd never find such variety in a major league sport.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:32 AM on September 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Thorzdad: "Reminds me of backyard baseball as a kid. bases were a mix of pieces of junk tossed on the ground, fence posts, shed corners, lawn chairs, whatever. The fields were diamonds in concept only."

Exactly what I was going to say. We most often played on a field in a friends side yard. The bases were a mailbox, a large tree, the general area around a bush, and a worn patch of dirt in the corner for home. The geometry was such that the distance from first to second was about twice the distance from second to third, and the left field foul line actually ran from home through second. Advancing from first to second was particularly challenging, as our homespun rules allowed a player to be called out by throwing the ball at him and hitting him with it (we usually didn't have enough players for multiple infielders).
posted by Rock Steady at 10:33 AM on September 4, 2012


Drawing straight/orthogonal lines on a footballsoccer field is hard.

My dad and I got dragged into doing it once for my little sister's soccer league after the guy who normally lined the fields got sick. Because the old lines had been completely washed away in a rainstorm, it took us upward of several hours to lay out a new field, making sure that everything was measured properly and properly square on the corners.

Later, we found out that the other coaches just did it by eye, and we began noticing that all of the other fields were hilariously askew. Apparently, the players don't care when they're 6. Even more experienced players tend not to notice odd angles when they're on the field itself.

But, yeah. What the heck is going on in #8? Wouldn't it have made more sense to rotate the field the other way?
posted by schmod at 10:41 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll defend #8. If #8 was the other way around, you'd have one end wide enough to be regulation width and one that was narrower than the standard penalty area. This would affect corners and other lateral plays near the goal.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:49 AM on September 4, 2012


I love the ones with the rounded corners. Must make for some great bodychecking down in the halfboards. Just watch out for legal action from Apple.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:55 AM on September 4, 2012


Imagine learning to play on challenging fields like this instead of perfectly manicured, rectangular fields? Maybe that's one of the reasons Brazil is so much better at soccer than, say, the U.S.
posted by swift at 11:21 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Imagine learning to play on challenging fields like this instead of perfectly manicured, rectangular fields? Maybe that's one of the reasons Brazil is so much better at soccer than, say, the U.S.

Yes, it's almost certainly the weird angles and lack of grass that's leading them to victory and not the fact that the every single person in the country plays soccer all the time(true statistic, look it up).

It also explains why the world soccer powers are largely drawn from third world countries with misshapen patches of dirt instead of fields and not well to do European countries with grass and rectangles.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:39 AM on September 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is a remarkable amount of work to such a trivial end.

Cue: metafilter - a remarkable amount of work towards a trivial end.

Gotta love the internet.
posted by Phreesh at 11:53 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Well, making the most of it to my mind would have meant to reduce the field size somewhat, allowing an orthogonal field to fit into what are decidedly unfavorable lot dimensions"

To do that would often mean adjusting the corner kick distances away from normal, as opposed to getting those as close to normal as possible given the lot sizes.

Orthogonality is way down the list of priorities after getting the pitch length and width maximized, unless your favourite part of soccer is throw-ins.
posted by striatic at 12:08 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


>Well yeah, that's just for casual play.
Many of these are used for the Copa Kaiser, an amateur league tournament sponsored by a major beer brand.
posted by Tom-B at 12:23 PM on September 4, 2012


Looks like in #11 , they still haven't moved the cars.
posted by MtDewd at 12:31 PM on September 4, 2012


This is fantastic. Thank you for posting this.

I am very involved with youth soccer in Florida. The vast majority of the fields that we play on are perfect. We are so lucky to have such good fields - yet it is so common for parents to complain about field conditions are various locations.

They need to take a lesson from these fields - because I am sure that the young Brazilians playing on those fields could school our kids in Florida.
posted by Flood at 12:33 PM on September 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Looks like in #11 , they still haven't moved the cars.

(I think that's the same picture, yo.)
posted by phunniemee at 12:42 PM on September 4, 2012


#16 looks like it might be particularly problematic, what with the schematic showing only one side having a goal.
posted by psoas at 1:06 PM on September 4, 2012


I think the most important thing to take from these pictures is the wear patterns. Every single one of these fields get used a lot. Someone's having fun on them. To hell with orthogonality!
posted by rh at 1:17 PM on September 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


Back when I played rugby in high school I was the fullback/kicker for our school side. We had a field affectionately known as 'the Hill Field' because it was literally on the side of a hill. There was probably a good 2-2.5m relief between uprights.

I was playing a practice match, kicking a conversion almost from touch uphill. The ref, my coach and phys-ed teacher, offered me the rest of the year's classes off with an A grade if I made the kick - this was in October. I don't think it even reached the goal line in flight.
posted by jimmythefish at 1:20 PM on September 4, 2012


#8 might be on a hillside.

...and for when you have no space at all.
posted by alexei at 3:25 PM on September 4, 2012


"there is no perspective distortion to speak of in satellite photos - the distance involved is simply too vast for any to show."

I'm not saying there's perspective distortion here, but a lot of 'satellite imagery' on mapping sites is actually photographed from planes not satellites.
posted by panaceanot at 3:58 PM on September 4, 2012


these are awesome, but my brothers and I used to play indoor soccer in an L-shaped hall-way so, y'know, whatever.
posted by es_de_bah at 4:01 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


#16 looks like it might be particularly problematic, what with the schematic showing only one side having a goal.

Time to invent half-field soccer. Like half-court basketball.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:03 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


but a lot of 'satellite imagery' on mapping sites is actually photographed from planes not satellites

True as well. I believe that if an image is presented as an aerial (top) view that it has generally been pre-distorted (stitched) to fit the Mercator-projection map. That is, what you see on GMaps, for example, is not a series of angled shingles, but rectangles that fit together. In short, I do not doubt that these are reasonable representations of the real irregularities.

Also, I think there is another goal area in #16 -- it just doesn't show up as well.
posted by dhartung at 5:24 PM on September 4, 2012


But more importantly, there is no perspective distortion to speak of in satellite photos - the distance involved is simply too vast for any to show

I don't know about true satellite photos but google maps images most definitely can have weird distortions that aren't real.

Last weekend my husband was showing me a google maps image of a soccer field somewhere near here where looks like a weird non-symmetrical trapezoid. He used to look at it and laugh about how great it would be to play left back (his position) on that field because it's so much narrower than the area that right back would have to cover. But now he's actually been to that field and discovered it's totally rectangular, all right angles and uniform sizing, despite what the google image appears to show quite clearly. On closer inspection of the google maps thing it looks like the field runs right next to an intersection between two photographs and some weird combination of different angles for each gives the appearance of a non-rectangular field while still looking fairly seamless and flat.

I don't know if that is contributing to some of the images here as some of these are really skewed. But that plus not-flat ground could be involved in at least some of them.
posted by shelleycat at 1:38 AM on September 5, 2012


Well that slideshow certainly does what it says on the tin, but I was disappointed.

I was hoping for some non-quadrilateral polygons. :\
posted by mrgrimm at 12:04 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


*dreams of non-euclidean playing fields*
posted by inpHilltr8r at 1:35 AM on September 6, 2012


Somebody should do a post on three-sided football (maybe they have?). An hexagon seems like an appropriate field for it. Oh hey, from that link. Or maybe this can be it. ;)

video: Triolectique
posted by mrgrimm at 8:07 AM on September 6, 2012


I hope field #8 has a lot of goalie goals.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 10:31 PM on September 7, 2012


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