What Futsal Offers You on the Field
Queen City Mutiny is decidedly not a punt the ball down the field and run after it type of team. We prefer sharp passing to move the ball around and smart shots on goal. Futsal is one way players can develop more rapidly in this style of play.
What is futsal?
Originating in South America in the 1930s, futsal is widely played across the world. It is the only form of indoor soccer endorsed by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and UEFA. The 5 v 5 small-sided game is played with touchline boundaries and without walls on a basketball-sized court.
Futsal is a high speed soccer. Played on a hard, indoor surface futsal uses a heavier size 4 ball (compared to a size 5 outdoor ball) with less bounce. Players are encouraged to control the ball with the sole of their foot (instead of the inside, outside, or instep of an outdoor player).
Unlike indoor soccer, in which players can use the boards surrounding the smaller field, futsal requires players to have greater control. If the ball goes out of bounds it is kicked in (as opposed to thrown in).
The sport is played across the world today with over 100 countries entering the FIFA Futsal World Cup. There is also a biannual UEFA European Futsal Championship and an annual UEFA Futsal Cup.
DYK? The word futsal comes from the Spanish ‘futbol sala’ or ‘futbol de salon,’ which can be translated as room football.
How futsal helps field players
Futsal is recognized globally as a way to refine and maintain control skills and touch. Soccer superstars such as Pele, Zico, Ronaldo, Messi, Kaka and Katia grew up playing the game and credit futsal with developing their skills.
“Futsal is an extremely important way for kids to develop their skills and understanding of the game. My touch and my dribbling has come from playing fustal.” — Ronaldinho, FIFA World Footballer of the Year 2004 & 2005
One University of Liverpool study found that futsal players touch the ball six times more often per minute. This alone helps soccer players improve their ball skills. At the same time, that heavier ball helps the player improve his or her power on the ball.
Playing within the compact lines of the futsal court also improves players’ decision-making skills. They are much more used to playing under pressure (since there is less room to maneuver), and have to react more quickly.
“Your technical ability is in overdrive,” said long-time U.S. national futsal team coach Keith Tozer. “You’re becoming technically sounder at a quicker pace because of the smallness of the field. With the lack of space, you have to react quicker and think quicker.”
The more technical style of play in futsal also rewards finesse play more than the aggressive physical play of some outdoor teams. Futsal demands sharp passing. The ball is always on the move an successful futsal players develop a strong vision for the game and are better able to complete quick combinations of passes with their team members.
Plus, if the ball is always on the move, so too are the players. Thus it’s like an indoor equivalent to the speed and agility training sessions our coaches are offering before regular outdoor practice this season.
“The small playing area helped me improve my close control, and whenever I played futsal I felt free.” – Cristiano Ronaldo, three time and current FIFA World Player of the Year. “If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”
Finally, futsal fosters player confidence in the first touch. If the player knows he can maneuver around opponents, trust his teammates to pass, and can shoot and score on a smaller net, the full-sized outdoor soccer field feels all the more exciting. There’s so much room to move the ball around!
Mutiny partners with Charlotte Futsal, the local US Youth Futsal affiliated program, to support our youth soccer development mission. Learn more today.