By Coma News Daily Staff
The first thing you learn in street soccer is to expect the unexpected.
From potholes and loose pavement to poor lighting and even traffic. You never know what logistical challenge will pop up when your trying to get in a quick game of “road ball” with friends.
“Coma may never have as many street soccer players as a place like Portland, but it could do a lot more to promote this sport, fix dangerous conditions, and teach its sometimes surly motorists how to drive in mixed company,” said Micah Horncraft, local street soccer enthusiast.
And try it will. This summer and next the town plans to double its Ball Kicking zones (cross hatched street markings of sections of busy roadways designated as street soccer areas), from 15 to 34 miles of Coma’s streets.
So Straatvoetbal (as the Dutch call it) and Ball Kicking zones are concepts that Coma motorists might as well get used to.
But many Coma motorists scoff at the idea of a freestyle futball-friendly town and appear to oppose the idea. In comments posted beneath a recent article about the town’s plan to increase BK zones, their disgruntlement is palpable.
“Almost knocked off my bike by a well-placed groin shot from one of these hooligans. Roads are for bikes!” wrote Quicksile22.
“To whoever kicked the ball through my passenger side window: I’m keeping it,” wrote Grammy1937.
“Balls!” wrote Journalismisdead.
Despite the skepticism and ridicule, road soccer is solidifying its place in town as a legitimate form of recreation. More than 60 percent of Coma homes lie within a half-mile of a “road field.”
Although the total number of players is devilishly difficult to obtain, Horncraft estimated offhand that 80 percent of Coma residents play road soccer “or wish they could.”
But its not all fun and games. Seven adults were hospitalized for injuries playing road soccer last year in Coma. Unlike traditional soccer injuries blamed on collisions with other players, the road soccer injuries generally stemmed from being imbedded in the grills or windshields of cars.
“Small price to pay for a tremendous cardiovascular workout,” Horncraft said of the vehicular challenges.