This would never work on the courts of Venice, CA

When I lived in Venice, CA, I went down to the beach and watched some of pickup hoops games. Well, I tried to watch the games. You could not go 2 minutes without a foul call and then incessant jawing between players and of course, one player walking away with the ball. Nice.

A key feature of the street football event taking next week in Germany is the absence of referees and the mandate that the players must work out disagreements through dialogue. While I am sure there will be some heated dialogue, I don’t foresee anyone walking away with the ball.

From October 13th to 15th, streetfootballworld, founder of the German streetfootball network, will hold the 2nd national Street Football Festival in Hamburg.

The festival brings together non-profit organisations from all over Germany using football as a key element for social development and integration. A total of 16 teams will participate in the tournament, including streetfootballworld network member kickfair.

Two age groups (U-15 and over-15), will compete in the tournament, with girls and boys in mixed teams on small fields.

There will be no referees present at the festival – unfair play must be announced by the players themselves and conflicts will be resolved through dialogue.

The tournament will be accompanied by a programme developed with input from the organisations, including project presentations and workshops on development and integration through football, in order to raise awareness about the issues in the field of Development through Football and to encourage an intensive exchange of knowledge amongst all stakeholders.

In addition, on October 14th all participants will attend the World Cup 2010 qualifying match between Germany and Finland.

The organisation and implementation of the festival is supported by Sportjugend, a Hamburg-based organisation.