Futsal, although it is growing in popularity in the UK, is still relatively unknown to most.
So firstly, what is futsal?
Futsal is a fast and exciting small sided (5 as side) football based game that originated in South America in the 1930's. It is currently the fastest growing indoor sport in the world and the only indoor sport approved by both UEFA and FIFA. The name futsal was chosen by FIFA using the combination of the Spanish words for indoor (Sala) and football (Futbol).
Is it like UK 5 a side football?
No, futsal is very different and the rules are much more like the 11 a side game. Similar to football, you are confined by the lines of a pitch (court), you can run and score anywhere on the court and are not restricted by head height rules. The main difference is the ball. In futsal you use a smaller leather ball with less bounce, encouraging the game to be played on the hard court surface.
What are the benefits of futsal for aspiring footballers?
I am obviously biased but for me the benefits are massive. Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo are just 3 examples of players that developed through playing futsal as a child.
Touches of the Ball
Research has shown that on average, in a futsal match, players can expect to be in possession of the ball about 3 times a minute. Dribbling, passing or shooting every 20 seconds!!!. This is an incredible 6 times more than 11 a side football and 3 times more than 7 a side matches. More touches of the ball means more enjoyment and accelerated development.
Game Awareness & Decision Making
Playing in a small confined space, you are naturally in possession of the ball more frequently, however, you also have less time to think and less time playing without pressure. This automatically means that you have to be more aware of your surroundings and have to think quickly. In futsal players are always on the move so you are constantly thinking both in and out of possession of the ball. If you are able to play in a confined space of a futsal court it makes playing on a 7 a side or 11 a side football pitch much easier.
Movement & Player Rotation
In futsal, although you have positions, you do not remain in that position for long. Similar to basketball, players rotate and have the freedom to move anywhere on the court. Players then have to adapt to receiving the ball on the left, right or centre of the court in both advanced and defensive positions. This assists in player development as players are not pigeonholed in a specific position which often happens in football, in particular at 11 a side.
Tactical Awareness, Teamwork and Communication
As with modern day football, futsal can be a very tactical game and the above areas of player movement, game awareness and decision making are part of that. Playing on a smaller field of play means mistakes are punished more frequently. Good ball retention, movement are awareness have to be matched with hard work. If an attacker in 11 a side football fails to follow his runner in the attacking end of the pitch, the opponent still has another 10 players and up to 100 yards to progress before scoring a goal. In futsal this is very different, this scenario could easily result in being punished by losing a goal. A single player not working hard is 25% of your outfield team and it is vital that all players recognise this. Teamwork and communication are vital components in futsal.
What age do I have to be to start futsal and do I have to be a certain standard?
Futsal Escocia has a vision to provide children with the opportunity to learn and play futsal from 3 years old into adulthood. Our sessions are split on both age and ability. Children develop at different rates and we aim to ensure your child is playing in a fun and challenging environment.
- Futsal Niño's - An introduction to futsal for 3-5 year olds. Our new Niño's programme includes futsal, fun and entertaining games that will improve hand/eye coordination whilst also learning basic Spanish. Education, development and fun all combined into one session.
- Beginner Level - For children that have progressed from the Niño's or just starting out in futsal and between 5-7 years of age.
- Intermediate Level - For children that have progressed from the beginner level but not as developed as those in the advanced groups. For children aged between 7 and 11 years of age.
- Advanced Level - For the more developed players aged between 9 and 12 years of age.
- Teens - For players aged between 13 and 17 years of age. Numbers dependant, groups may be split into ages (13-15 & 15-17 years)
- Girl's Only - Girl's are welcome at any of our sessions, however, we also offer coaching sessions for girl's only.
- Performance Centre - Coming Soon!! A monthly invitation only centre for elite players involved at our regional academies across the country. Players will be split on age groups u9, u11, u13, u15 and u17.
- Adult Leagues - We currently only run an adult league in Fife, however, we hope to add further recreational adult leagues in other areas soon.
Is futsal all tricks and flicks?
No, players are encouraged to play with freedom and to express themselves. This can include tricks and flicks but decision making and teamwork comes before individual play.
Why choose Futsal Escocia?
The Futsal Escocia 'Developing the Player' programme is for ages 5 and above and is designed to develop players for both futsal and football. A 6 week block of sessions covers the following:
- Control, Technique and Awareness
- Ball Retention
- Tactical Awareness
We feel that this programme is what separates us from other coaching organisations. Players are encouraged to think for themselves and assisted by advice and guidance from coaches. Each of the aforementioned sessions are vital components and attributes for playing futsal but also football. We will be adding a goalkeeping specific section very soon.
Where do we have academies?
We currently have coaching academies in Fife, Ayrshire and Glasgow with more to follow soon. Please have a look at our Coaching Timetables for further details.
How do I register?
Fife - contact Russell on email@example.com
Ayrshire - contact Craig on firstname.lastname@example.org
Glasgow - contact Juan on email@example.com
Do you want to be part of Futsal Escocia and own your own Franchise?
We are looking for ambitious and passionate individuals or groups to help provide Futsal Escocia Coaching to all areas of Scotland. If you would like further information please contact Russell on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07738164905.
Futsal El Mundo Limited