The Sydney Rangers FC will host their annual five-a-side tournament as part of the Mardi Gras Sports Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, February 20, the event will be held on a reduced pitch at the Bat and Ball Park.

“We thought it would be a good idea to start running smaller tournaments and allow them to grow as good practice for the main events,” Sydney Rangers president Gavin Meares said.

Five-a-side soccer, with 15-minute halves, is played on a half-size field with five players per team including the goalkeeper.

“Depending how many teams we end up with, we will have pools and each team will play a minimum of four or five games. The top team from each pool will play in semi-finals and finals,” Meares said.

“This is more about getting players more experience, more exposure for a gay sporting club, and to encourage more gay men who do, or used to, or wish to, play soccer to come out and join in.”

Players can register as part of a team or individually to be placed in a team.

In 2010 the Rangers hope to have two fielding teams in the mainstream league for the first time. They currently have four playing spots available.

The club is also sending a team to the Cologne Gay Games where they’ll be fighting to win the rights to stage the 2012 IGLFA World Championships in Sydney.

In the meantime, the Rangers currently hold social sessions every Sunday at the Reservoir Fields in Centennial Park from 4pm.

info: The Sydney Rangers five-a-side tournament is at the Bat and Ball Park, cnr Cleveland and South Dowling Sts, Moore Park. $20 player fee. To register for the tournament or for more information email [email protected]

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