Record-Breaking Effort

The team celebrates after playing 35 hours of futsal. Three months later, Middlesbrough's Futsal Club out of England attempted to break the record. They claim to have played 36 hours. Both teams are waiting to hear official word from Guinness.

Playing futsal nonstop for almost two days is quite an accomplishment, but it’s nothing compared to the hours of work that go into coordinating and documenting an official Guinness™ World Record.

On Monday, April 11, 2011, the Bethel men’s soccer team played 35 hours of nonstop futsal. That’s longer than the record of 32 hours and 20 minutes. The idea to attempt to break the record was conceived by soccer player Ryan Needs (’12).

He presented his idea to Head Coach Thiago Pinto (’05, ’07) and the two made plans to not only pursue the record, but to use the event as a fundraiser for the team’s mission trip to Brazil.

Neither of them imagined the mountain of work that lay ahead. “There are a lot of things behind the scenes,” says  Needs. “It’s quite overwhelming.”

More than 100 volunteers — including players, witnesses, stewards, medical staff, timekeepers and referees — were involved in the event. There were very specific rules for all aspects of the event, such as keeping time, game breaks,  substitutions, notarized statements from each witness and video documentation of the event.

Needs and Pinto received support from many on Bethel’s campus, including the men’s soccer team, student council, student volunteers, faculty and staff. Alumni Director Lois Pannabecker was a key supporter, helping to ensure that things went smoothly during the record attempt.

“The requirements for Guinness™ are voluminous, and their guidelines are pages long,” says Pannabecker, who believes the attempt was a great experience for students to learn how much effort is required to pull off such an event.  “They could play the game [for 35 hours] but if they don’t play the game by the rules and have everything supported and documented, they could lose the attempt.”

Pinto and Needs sent an evidence package to Guinness™ and at the time of publication, were still waiting for the official world record designation.

Watch the video below to see news coverage of the event:

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