What is Futsal?
Futsal is a modified form of soccer played with 5 players on an indoor court (typically a basketball court). The court is defined by lines, rather than walls like are used in arena soccer. The use of boundaries requires players to fine tune their ball handling skills to maneuver in a small court and to understand positions. A smaller, heavier ball with less bounce is used for play. This smaller ball allows players to focus on speed and control. This is especially helpful for younger players to learn ball handling skills without worrying about the ball bouncing away. When a pass is received, the ball will stay closer to the player’s foot, building confidence and allowing for more concise passing and ball movement. Smaller team sizes require players to stay active and aware at all times and have more interaction with the ball. Players will have to quickly transition between offense and defense and will learn positioning through fast game play. It’s a quick and exciting game that will teach players to make fast decisions and creative moves that will enhance their skills on the soccer field too!
Futsal was developed in 1930 in Uraguay as an indoor alternative to soccer to be played recreationally at YMCA’s. Futsal’s creator, teacher Juan Carlos Ceriani, borrowed rules from soccer, but also from basketball (number of players on the field and game duration), water polo and handball. Futsal grew in popularity within the YMCA network throughout South America, with International Rules adopted in the 1950’s and FIFA sanctioning in 1989. Futsal became a popular way for soccer players to practice their skills throughout the year, regardless of the weather. The term Futsal is a contraction of “fútbol de salón”, literally translated as “Hall” or “Lounge” soccer. Some of the most famous soccer players in the world spent their childhood off seasons playing Futsal!