What’s futsal you ask?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Futsal (Portuguese pronunciation: [fuˈtˢsaw]) is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguesefutebol de salão, which can be translated as “hall football” or “indoor football”. It is the International Football equivalent of the US’s Arena Football. During the sport’s second world championships held in Madrid in 1985, the name fútbol Sala was used. Since then, all other names have been officially and internationally changed to futsal.
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. Futsal is also played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football. The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.
Both my girls love to play futsal! We are fortunate to have the newly revamped LA Galaxy Soccer Center within driving distance. This huge indoor soccer center has been open for several years, but was recently purchased by the Galaxy. They run youth leagues throughout the year as well as pick up games and camps. My girls both have played in leagues and enjoy the fast paced action and footwork. Size doesn’t play as much of a factor in futsal- ball skills and passing will easily win out over booting the ball. Since my girls are both on the smaller side this is a major plus for them.
On the Galaxy site there is a great quote…
“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, AC Milan
On the negative side, it’s easy to get injured playing futsal due to the hard surface, the heavy ball and the amount of contact. Last year, little soccer girl seriously sprained her ankle going in for a hard tackle against a much larger girl. Fortunately (or unfortunately?!) that hasn’t stopped her desire to play.
From a mom perspective I love futsal because it’s indoors and there are bathrooms and vending machines! Sounds terrible, but hey, just keeping it real. Do your kids play futsal?