About Futsal Sports

The indoor version of football or known as soccer in America is Futsal. It got its name from the Portuguese and the Spanish language which are futebol de salão and fútbol sala/de salón respectively. Both of the phrases means indoor football. Played between two teams, of which officially consists of 5 players per team, it is made up from 1 goalkeeper and 4 out field players. In the official game, there are 7 substitutes.

Lines are used to outline game courts and two goals pretty much make up the pitch. While the usual football emphasizes on strategy and tactics, futsal is more about technique and creativity as the courts are smaller, thereby allowing less space to run around and maintain the position. Futsal draw similarities with other indoor football games, but they are different in terms of rules as governed by FIFA. Other similar games include indoor soccer and five-a-side football.

History of Futsal

The history of Futsal can be traced back to the 1930s in Montevideo in Uruguay when Juan Carlos Ceriani came up with a smaller soccer game, a five-a-side game for the youth at YMCA. At that time, there were no pitches, so basketball courts were used. But it was the Americans who made it famous by implementing the words from the Portuguese and Spanish roots. But Futsal was chosen as it somewhat resembles the American name fUtSAl.

For anything football, while Brazil is always synonymous, the game had since been taken up in many other continents, spreading towards Europe, South American, Africa and Asia. The first international competition was in 1965, of which the South American Cup was won by Paraguay. Brazil then went on to win the next 6 consecutive championships.

In the USA, Futsal is governed by the US Futsal Federation, which was formed in the early 1980s. It was originally known as MiniSoccer which the name Futsal picked up only years later.

International Futsal Championship

Internationally, the Futsal World Championship holds the highest honour. The first championships was held in Brazil in Sau Paulo. The year was 1982 and the home team emerged champions. 3 years later, the Brazilians again won the finals which took place in Spain. The third championships in Australia, Brazil lost to Paraguay. All this while it was held under the governance of FIFUSA but after the third installment, FIFA took over and subsequent championships was held in Netherlands and Hong Kong, of which Brazil emerged World Champions.

Futsal is a fun game because of various reasons. Apart from the fact that it allows players to showcase their skills and techniques, it does not require a full footballing physique of a full football game. It allows the players to dream. Studies also show that Futsal allows players more ball touches compared to any other soccer games. Ball control is one of the best skills to have in Futsal as the courts are smaller, it requires better control.

Speed of Futsal is faster than outdoor soccer

Speed of game is faster compared to outdoor soccer. As Futsal is faster and smaller, teams find it difficult to waste time and an attacking flair is always a plus point, furthermore, teams cannot afford to sit back and wait for the other team to attack.

Score lines are often very high. As goals can be scored easily due to the offensive style of play, the scorelines can go up to double digits in most games. Team work is the essential elements in Futsal. It is difficult for a one man show although sometimes possible, one can hardly play the game without the help of team mates.

4 second restart rules apply in the game. That means when a game is out of play, they have 4 seconds to kick the ball back into the court. Therefore, Futsal is often times continous which leaves very little room for long time thinking.

Different gears

One have to ensure that when playing Futsal, equipments and gears are different from that of normal soccer. Where football uses football boots and shin guards, Futsal uses a different flat sole boots, with non marking soles. Basically, Futsal shoes have soles similar to that of court shoes but the top part of the shoes look similarly like football boots to ease kicking and dribbling.

Courts vary although officially courts uses Astro Turf, which typically are blue coloured rubbery turf. Some Futsal turf uses artificial grass or carpet grass, which are less impactful but where the ball rolls slower, which means it requires more strength when kicking.

All in all, Futsal is a fun game in the sense that it is typically football, but with less body contact, less roughness and more vigorous exercise. Its popularity perhaps could be contributed to the size of the pitch, which are easier to manage. At the same time, both male and female can play the game.

Dimensions

The playing court must be rectangular. The length of the touchline must be greater than the length of the goal line.

Length: minimum 25 m
maximum 42 m

Width: minimum 15 m
maximum 25 m

International matches

Length: minimum 38 m
maximum 42 m

Width: minimum 18 m
maximum 25 m

The pitch is marked with lines, which belong to the areas of which they are boundaries. The two longer boundary lines are called touch lines. The two shorter lines are called goal lines.

All lines are 8cm wide.

The pitch is divided into two halves by the halfway line.

The centre mark is indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line. A circle with a radius of 3m is marked around it.

The pitch and appurtenances are shown in the above illustration.

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