Futsal – A game with more dynamics, more goals, and more shots
By Ushara Shamini
Futsal is the only official form of indoor soccer as approved by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The word ‘futsal’ can be traced back to Spanish as well as Portuguese origins and it basically refers to indoor football or lounge soccer. It is played on all the continents of the world. Futsal is played on a gymnasium hard-wood floor or all-purpose sports flooring. The game does not require the use of expensive dasher boards (like with other versions of indoor soccer), therefore making it a very economical and safe sport. The sport demands quick reflexes, fast thinking, and pinpoint passing. The small, heavier futsal ball requires players to hone their ball-striking and ball-handling techniques. Great soccer superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, etc. grew up playing the game and credit futsal with developing their skills.
What makes futsal and soccer different is where the game is played. While soccer is an outdoor game that is played on a grass field, futsal is played indoors on a court similar to those used by other indoor sports like basketball or handball. In futsal, you have a referee like in soccer, but the team size differs. Futsal teams are made up of four field players and a goalie, while soccer teams are made of 11 people. The play area in futsal is called a court (just like a basketball court) and it’s much smaller than a soccer field. The aim of the game is to pass the ball around among the players and finally score by kicking the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Meanwhile, the goalkeepers try to prevent this from happening. You cannot touch the ball with your hand since this amounts to a foul (excluding the goalies who can handle the ball with their hands).
The rules are moreover the same as football but the number of players, the size of the football, and the ground size are smaller than in regular football. Futsal is played between two teams each having five players, a total of 10 players; among them, every team has one goalkeeper. The ground where this sport takes place is called a ‘futsal ground’.
Futsal is played with touchline boundaries and without walls. This is the game that outdoor soccer players around the globe play to refine and maintain their control skills and touch. It is superior to walled soccer when it comes to developing better skills and technique. In traditional American walled soccer, players regularly whack the ball (and sometimes their bodies) against the board which promotes improper technique and too often rewards errant play. In futsal, players are constantly reminded to play the same quality controlled game that is required for success in the outdoor game.
Futsal is all about technique and individual control. Futsal is less tiring and less time-consuming than regular football. More involvement is seen from every player, increasing teamwork and gaming accuracy. Also, skilled futsal players can play in soccer leagues; it’s just a matter of personal preference.
Ushara Shamini is a freelance researcher, writer, junior SM executive, and translator.
Facebook: Ushara Shamini
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