By Brian Brashaw
Remember when they used to give you orange slices at halftime during your peewee soccer games? Ever wanted a beer at halftime instead? Off The Wall Indoor Soccer has you covered.
That’s right — the city’s “only full-sized indoor soccer facility” also serves “a choice of numerous domestic and imported beers, wines, frozen margaritas, daiquiris, mudslides, and other concoctions,” according to its Web site, www.offthewallindoorsoccer.com.
Off The Wall, just like any other soccer organization, makes its money from soccer moms. Its main leagues are for the kiddies.
But for the college wall-banging enthusiast, Off The Wall offers men’s open, women’s open, and co-ed (not naked) leagues.
UNO Sophomore Matt Lindmier has played three sessions in the men’s open league with his team.
“Even though we only had one game this session, it’s a blast playing there. There’s nowhere else in town to play,” Lindmier says.
Senior citizens enjoy their own leagues. The facility offers men’s and women’s over-30 leagues, as well.
Jenny Gillespie, who works at Off The Wall, explains that they also offer a special needs program.
“The T.O.P.S. [The Outreach Program for Soccer] offers handicapped kids the opportunity to get out and play. as well. The program runs ten weeks out of the year,” she says.
The next session is scheduled to run this spring on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 6:00 P.M. Fees for the 10-week session are $30.
Off The Wall has everything anyone could want in an indoor soccer complex. The arena is “designed to the standards of the National Professional Soccer League (N.P.S.L.), the field size is 200′ x 85′, with large 14′ x 8′ inset goals.” There is also an 8-foot wall and net surrounding the arena.
Also, NPSL rules apply. The arena has a three-point arc a la basketball. They also borrow the power-play goal form of hockey, which is worth one point. All others are worth two.
Off The Wall has 23 leagues that play in regular sessions. But it isn’t just a soccer facility, either. Gillespie says they’ve hosted hockey tournaments, volleyball leagues, and parties for anyone who wants to rent.
Skateboarding is being considered an option, as well. The summer months are kind of dead up there with everyone playing outdoor soccer, so Off The Wall is looking into ripping up the carpet and getting some skateboarding ramps to open it to boarders and bladers.
UNO psychology teacher assistant Brian Klinck has fond memories of the first hockey tournament that Off The Wall had.
“Basically, we were a bunch of scrubs going up against a bunch of teams that had practiced for months. We didn’t even have matching jerseys,” he said. “And we whipped their ass. We outscored the four teams we played something like 32-12, and our goalie played like Arturs Irbe.”
For more information on leagues or parties, call 593-9000.