Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided football game that is widely played across the world and is officially recognized by FIFA.
The nature of the game places a large emphasis on technical skill and ability in situations of high pressure, and is subsequently an excellent breeding ground for football competencies that can be translated into the 11-a- side format of the game. The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.
Many of the top world class footballers played Futsal in their youth and credit it with supporting their footballing development; players of the caliber of Pele, Zico, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Lionel Messi to name a few South American legends which all played and enjoyed Futsal. But Futsal has not just helped produce South American football stars, on the European stage Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco, Xavi, Fabregas are amongst many others that have played Futsal to develop their skills.
HOW TO PLAY
Futsal is a variant of association football played on a smaller field and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football.
Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor football, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used. The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.
Futsal is played with a smaller and heavier ball with less bounce than a regular soccer ball. The ball speeds up the game and requires players to have better technical control of it.
Read more about futsal on Wikipedia, Futsal USA or UEFAs website.
BENEFITS OF FUTSAL
Research indicates that individuals playing Futsal receive the ball six times more often than they would do when they are playing 11-a- side football (Liverpool John Moores University, 2001). It allows players to perform more individual techniques such as passes, controls, fakes, feints, dribbles and runs with the ball.
Players will often receive the ball under pressure from opponents developing their confidence with the ball. Futsal as a game naturally brings players into regular one-on-one situations with their opponent, encouraging players into quick decision making as to how they overcome these scenarios; this could be through beating the opponent with a skill, or through clever passing to a team mate.
Although Futsal is very much a game in its own, there are also a number of benefits that are transferrable to soccer.
Here are some of the reasons why Futsal helps players to develop faster:
More touches on the ball
Many opportunities to score goals and score more often
Encourages possession (attacking) and regaining possession of the ball
Stimulates attacking and defending as a team, all involved
Teaches fast transition, from attacking to defending, and vice-versa
Maximizes active participation and minimizes inactivity
Reduced space require players to think faster, speed up decision making, demand good ball control, precise passing, and most of all stimulate creativity
Better motor ability: balance, agility, and coordination
Learning by discovery, playing