Futsal is one of the fastest growing sports for soccer players, coaches and clubs, and proves to provide a unique and positive outcome regarding the development of its participants.
The history of futsal can be traced back to Uruguay in 1930 when a version of a five-a-side game was created in a YMCA. U.S. Futsal claims that the term ‘FUTSAL’ is the international term used for the game. It is derived from the Spanish or Portuguese word for “soccer”– FUTbol or FUTebol, and the French or Spanish word for “indoor” — SALon or SALa.
There are some differences between futsal and soccer. In futsal, the ball has 30% less bounce than a normal soccer ball. Another difference in futsal is that there is no slide tackling, no off-sides, and you are allowed to substitute players on the fly while the game is being played. These are some of the qualities that attract so many players to the game of futsal, whereas in soccer, the momentum of play is stopped while substitutions are being made. Furthermore, playing futsal allows you to touch the ball nearly twelve times more than playing outdoor soccer. According to a FIFA report, “an average 40-minute futsal game, a player will touch the ball roughly every 29 seconds, or 80 touches.” Now compare that to a 90-minute outdoor soccer game where it’s only around 30-40 touches; that is more than double in just half the time. The game places considerable demand on technique, movement and tactical awareness. Futsal is a great skill developer, and demands quick reflexes, fast thinking, and pinpoint passing. The speed of play is such that you are forced to make quicker technical and tactical decisions.
Futsal motivates players in an environment that is conducive to learning. The more pleasure kids find from their participation, the more they wish to play and practice on their own. While their instinct to play is natural, their appreciation for soccer must be nurtured.
In addition, futsal is the foundation to such goals because it:
- allows players to frequently touch the ball many times,
- is very economical and safe, and simple and fun to play,
- presents many opportunities to score goals and score goals often,
- encourages regaining possession of the ball as a fun and rewarding part of the game (defending),
- maximizes active participation and minimizes inactivity and boredom,
- provides a well organized playing environment with improvised fields,
- reflects the philosophy of player development: be creative, good ball control and technical skill, agility, lightning reflexes and decision making,
- eliminates complicated rules such as off-sides that may hinder youngsters from “playing”, and
- allows the game to be the teacher.
As futsal is fast and action packed, fitness is improved while learning and having fun. We find children love playing futsal because it is exciting, many goals can be scored and many subs are made throughout the game without slowing it down. Children learn so much faster if they enjoy what they’re playing – this is futsal.