Drone soccer trains Long Beach students to build, program, fly open-source aircraft as a team

Jaysha Patel Image
Thursday, October 12, 2023
The sky's the limit for Drone Soccer team in Long Beach
It's not your average soccer team! Long Beach school are mastering E-sport of Drone soccer, which combines sports competition with engineering, technology skills.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The sky's the limit for these high school soccer players, quite literally.

This is not your average soccer team

The Sato Academy of Math and Science in Long Beach says they're the first school in Southern California to form a drone soccer team.

The idea to start a team at the school came from Albert Gallo, an aerospace engineering teacher who is also the coach of the school's drone soccer team

"This is a 10-by-10-by-20 arena and the reason for the arena is this is a full contact sport where the drones can hit each other as much as they want to. When they do hit each other, the drone kind of shakes for a little bit and it kind of takes off," said Gallo.

The drones have a protective layer over them to prevent damage when they crash into each other.

"There's two teams of five drones, and on both those teams there is one striker that's the only drone that can go through the goals through the hoops in the air, and they score points by how many times they can go through the hoop," said high school junior Alan Arroyo.

The rest of the drones are defenders trying to block the other team's striker from making goals.

Students stand off to the side and wear safety goggles when they fly the drones, and nets are around the arena They say drone soccer is a new exciting E-sport that combines engineering and technology with sports

"I think drone soccer is just an amazing competition and sport that people can get into, and it's just a great learning experience. From learning how to build a drone, how to code them, getting your foot in the door on the new aviation industry, it's prominently rising," said senior Michael Riostolano.

These students use grants and raise money for their equipment through community events. They're hoping more schools and students decide to compete in the E-sport.

If a school is interested in having drone soccer on their campus, they can go to Cadrones.org for more information.