What is Futsal?
Do you love playing soccer but find the traditional field game a bit too slow? Or you’re looking for a way to improve your footwork and ball skills in the offseason. If so, then futsal may be just what you’re looking for!
Before we dive into the article, let’s address “what is futsal?” Futsal is a fast-paced small sided soccer game that closely resembles soccer.
Futsal is growing in popularity in the U.S. and all over the globe.
Unlike traditional soccer, which is played on a large field with eleven players on each side, futsal is played on a smaller court (usually basketball court) with only five players per team.
This “self-learning” sport continually challenges players’ ability to pass, receive, dribble, and move under pressure and in tight quarters.
This makes the game more intense and faster-paced and requires players to have quick feet and great ball control.
History of Futsal
Futsal is a unique take on football (American soccer), and its history dates back to the 1930s in Uruguay.
It was created to bring the popular sport of soccer to enclosed spaces where traditional outdoor fields would not fit.
The rules are less strict than in conventional soccer, allowing for faster matches and jaw-dropping plays. Just check out Instagram or Youtube highlights 😉
With the help of modern technology, it has become even more exciting by introducing innovations such as goal-line technology, team communication systems and an affordable ball tracking system.
Although it’s not an Olympic sport (just yet anyways), the small-sided game has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and is now enjoyed around the world by youth, adult and professional athletes.
With its fast-paced action on a scaled-down court field compared to other sports like soccer, futsal is sure to remain at the forefront of the sport for years to come!
Why Play Futsal?
Playing futsal is a great way to stay active while having fun.
With the smaller playing surface, the faster pace and just five players a side, it welcomes a lot of action in a short amount of time.
Additionally for those players in the northern part of the United States, soccer from December through February can be too frigid to play. Futsal can be a great alternative.
Futsal encourages creativity, as the game is based around fast passing and movement of space – quick decisions have to be made with fewer touches on the ball.
As less time is spent waiting for your turn compared to other team sports, everybody involved in a futsal game gets more chances to touch the ball and improve their skills due to the greater speed of play.
Furthermore, all players become more familiar with the ball as everyone is key in either attack or defense, extending those skills that would have been harder to learn outdoors.
Futsal also increases fitness by forcing quick reactions, often over short distances – this makes it great for improving agility and motor skills too!
Although Futsal became popular quickly, the regulations remained inconsistent until Luiz de Oliveira of So Paulo penned the ‘Book of Rules of Futsal’ in 1956.
After that, the regulations were mostly accepted globally.
FIFA’s approved set of rules controls present-day Futsal play:
- The futsal ball is heavier, smaller, and has less bounce than a regulation soccer ball. The standard size for a futsal ball is 24 inches to 25 inches, and its weight ranges from 14 ounces to 15.5 ounces.
- The matches are controlled by two referees, one for each sideline.
- The game does not include any throw-ins. The game continues with a kick-in.
- Offsides does not exist.
- The goalie must be identified by wearing a jersey of a contrasting color to the rest of the team.
- You can make rolling substitutions at any moment except during time-outs.
- Two 20-minute halves make up the total game time of 40 minutes.
- When a foul is called, or the ball goes out of bounds, time pauses. Time will start again once play is resumed.
- Each team has the option of calling a one-minute timeout per half (when in possession of the ball).
- In the case of overtime, time-outs are not allowed.
Is Futsal a Good Fit For You?
Like we mentioned previously, futsal is a great way to stay active and have fun while improving agility and motor skills. With its fast-paced action on a scaled-down dimensions, futsal has seen tremendous growth and is enjoyed by many Americans.
Futsal can be a great additive to a players offseason training program. Many players move indoors for their winter training and futsal can often take the place if turf fields do not exist in your area.
The game also follows strict regulations by FIFA, ensuring fairness among teams playing each other.
All these factors make Futsal an exciting sport with lots of potential for enjoyment! So why not give it a try today? You’ll be so glad you did!