Futsal… Never heard of it?

In 2018 Little Strikers are taking to the Futsal courts, but in many cases when I speak with parents and say ‘Lets get little Jonny into Futsal!!’ I tend to get a bemused look, and the question what’s Futsal??

Folks, let me introduce you to a special game.

Futsal is a high intensity, fast paced, dynamic, non-violent and enjoyable 5-a-side version of football that caters for both male and female participants.

Futsal is normally played on a flat indoor pitch with hockey sized goals and a size 4 ball with a reduced bounce, the heavier ball encourages the ball to played on the ground more. It is played to touchlines and all players are free to enter the penalty area and play the ball over head-height. Games are up to 20 minutes per half, played to a stopping clock (like basketball)

It is the only 5-a-side version of football officially recognised by FIFA, and is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

The History

The Futsal court was first created in Uruguay in 1930 after the world cup, they seen the small sided game as a way to create faster, more agile and quicker thinking players and hopefully win the next World Cup. Since it was played in an enclosed space, it was called ‘Futebol de Salon’ or freely translated – room or court football. The game expanded rapidly across South America (especially in Brazil) and the first rules were drawn up in Brazil around 1949.

In 1985 in Madrid the name changed to Futsal and the World Championships started after that.

….Ok back to the game and why your little ones should play.

There are a number of major benefits for young ones playing futsal, due to the fast nature of the game research shows that players will receive the ball 6 times more often than what they would do playing in larger teams outdoor (Liverpool John
Moores University, 2001), this is hugely important in allowing them to explore and develop their skills and abilities.

  • Close Control – learn to feel the ball at their foot, and mastering its movement
  • Confidence on the ball – encourages good passing and movement
  • Quick thinking and decision making
  • Spatial awareness – In the tight games, it is a skill in itself to make room for yourself to receive the ball
  • Fitness and core strength – your puffed and sweaty after a game.
  • Team environment – 5 on the pitch and a few subs makes for a tight knit group
  • Lots of Goal Scoring opportunities!! – There are always chances to score, the game is end to end attacks, launching your own counter attack upon the breaking down of the opposing teams attack.

All in all I myself love playing Futsal and have learned a lot from the guys at Futsal Oz.

Even the ‘famous’ guys love it,

“Futsal is an extremely important way for kids to develop their skills and understanding of the game. My touch and my dribbling have come from playing Futsal.” Ronaldinho, FIFA World Footballer of the Year 2004 & 2005 *

“As a little boy in Argentina, I played Futsal on the streets and for my club. It was tremendous fun, and it really helped me become who I am today” Lionel Messi, FIFA World Footballer of the Year 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012*

*Quotes taken from The FA – benefits of Futsal

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