Futsal is the official five-a-side indoor soccer game and the only indoor soccer recognized by FIFA. Futsal is beginning to take the country by storm as more and more soccer players, coaches, clubs and associations discover the unique and positive qualities of Futsal. It is a game played around the world as many of today’s world stars began their youth soccer by playing Futsal. The Brazilians attribute their world soccer success to Futsal. Pele, Zico, Socrates, Ronaldo, Kaka and Ronaldinho grew up playing Futsal and credit Futsal with developing their skills.
Futsal is a small-sided game (5v5 including the goalkeepers) played on a small field roughly the size of a basketball court. The game is played with the touchline boundaries and does not require the use of dasher boards. The official ball is a special low bounce ball that is smaller than an official size 5 soccer ball. The ball forces a player to use their skill rather than the ball’s bounce to propel it. It is a complete skill game. Futsal develops the overall fundamentals of soccer more effectively. It has been proven that youth players develop quicker reflexes, faster thinking and pinpoint passing. It is a superior game in terms of establishing players’ touch and technique.
One touch passing is essential in maintaining ball possession on a smaller surface. Therefore, an individual’s overall ball handling skills and off-the-ball movement enhance considerably. A player’s split second thinking improvesautomatically as one learns how to maintain possession and distribute the ball quickly. Shots must be more accurate, since a shot off target will not produce a rebound. More shots are also taken during the course of a game, which will enhance a player’s confidence, by taking on a defender and shooting quickly. A player does not have as much space or time to dribble with the ball. Futsal helps to develop tremendous close-quarters footwork.
Why Play Futsal?
Ø Fun – Players enjoy the challenge of playing a fast paced skill oriented game that tests their abilities.
Ø Safety – Futsal is much safer than outdoor and some other forms of indoor soccer. The rules of Futsal restrict physical play, and there are no walls to run into.
Ø Ball Touches – According to a FIFA report, in an average 40-minute futsal contest an outfield player will touch the ball roughly every 29 seconds, or 80 touches. Now compare that to a 90-minute outdoor game where it’s only around 30-40 touches. That is more than double in just half the time.
Ø Ball Control – With Futsal, the emphasis is clearly on control and technique. Without control and technique you cannot expect to succeed in Futsal. With limited space, boundary lines, and constant opponent pressure, improved ball control skills are required.
ØSpeed of Play – With limited space and constant opponent pressure, players learn to play fast to survive.
Ø Continuity of Play – Action is continuous so players are forced to continue play in support of their teammates.
Ø Mandatory Support – With only 4 field players on the field and always needing the proper support positions offensively and defensively, a player will instinctively learn better spacing, passing and general tactics from playing Futsal. Players without the ball must move to space and must truly support their teammates.
Ø Framing the Goal – The goal and Penalty Area are a perfect size for narrowing the angle so teams learn to frame the goal to score goals.
Ø Knowledge – With four court players and all the basic options of the outdoor game, players’ understanding of the game is enhanced.
Ø Encouraged Learning – The rules of Futsal encourage playing a skilled game by punishing all physical contact fouls.
Ø Rewards – Futsal rewards the same basic skills, tactics and knowledge of the game as the 11v11 outdoor game.
Ø Insurance – Every player, coach and referee registered with the indoor league is covered by an insurance policy. Very few indoor soccer facilities offer their players any insurance coverage at all. All junior and senior players will be insured through our association with Football Federation Victoria.
Ø Cost – Many people think the cost of indoor soccer is expensive, but when compared to other activities it is actually quite reasonable. Depending on the number of players, the average cost per player for a night of soccer is less than $10.00. Compare this to going to the movies along with the customary snack and drink, the price is very reasonable and healthier. If you are serious about skills and technique development, Futsal is the superior activity. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see a Futsal game, check it out!
Futsal was started in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1930 when Juan Carlos Ceriani created a version of football for competition in YMCAs. In Brazil, this version developed on the streets of Sao Paulo, and eventually a rule book was published. The sport began to spread across South America, and its popularity ensured that a governing body was formed under the name of FIFUSA (Federación Internacional de Fútbol de Salón) in 1971, along with the World Championships. The first FIFUSA World Championships were held in São Paulo, with hosts Brazil crowned champions ahead of Paraguay and Uruguay. Even more countries participated in the second World Championships held in Madrid in 1985. Due to a dispute between FIFA and FIFUSA over the administration of fútbol, FIFUSA coined the word fut-sal in 1985.
FIFA took control of the World Championships in 1989. Under new rules made by FIFA, the technical aspects of the game for players and spectators were improved. The linesmen were replaced with a second referee and there were unlimited substitutions. It also introduced a size 4 football, which was weighted to reduce bounce by 30% compared to a conventional ball, which enabled faster play and, for the first time, scoring goals with the head.
FIFA’s relationships with its member associations allowed more countries to gain knowledge and resources about futsal. FIFA soon began to administer its own indoor football games, hosting its first FIFA Indoor Soccer World Championship in 1989 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In 1992 it was the FIFA Five-a-Side World Championship (Hong Kong) and since 1996 it has been called the FIFA Futsal World Championship. Thanks to the increase of the number of nations that participated in the FIFA Futsal World Championships held in 2000, Brazil’s dominance in the competition was ended by Spain.
In 2004, members of PANAFUTSAL (La Confederación Panamericana de Futsal, The Pan-American Futsal Confederation) formed AMF (Asociación Mundial de Fútbol de Salón, World Futsal Association), an international futsal governing body independent of FIFA. Both FIFA and AMF continue to administer the game.
Futsal has become the standard for indoor play world wide. With the smaller playing field and reduced team size, each player has more involvement in the game and touches on the ball. The reduced bounce ball ensures true roll and the need for a precise touch. Futsal requires the same control and strategy needed on the full-size outdoor fields. Futsal sharpens both your playing and mental skills which allow continual personal growth and development throughout the year. It’s also a lot of fun!