Futsal General Information and FAQs
Futsal is FIFA's official indoor soccer game which is, essentially, a scaled down version of outdoor soccer played indoors. It is a small sided game (5v5) played on a smaller field (roughly basketball court sized) with a smaller (size 3-4) ball. Futsal is played with touchline boundaries. There are no walls in play. This is the game that outdoor soccer players around the globe play when they are indoors to refine and maintain their control skills and touch.
It is superior to walled soccer in terms of developing better skills and technique. In traditional walled soccer, players regularly whack the ball (and sometimes their bodies) against the boards which promotes improper technique and too often rewards errant play.
In Futsal, players are constantly reminded to play the same quality control game that is required for success in the outdoor game.
Futsal is the only indoor game sanctioned by FIFA. If skills development is important, Futsal is recognized as clearly the best form of indoor soccer. But that's not the only reason.
- Better Skills Development - Futsal promotes quality touches
IS FUTSAL NEW?
Futsal is the new rage in North American soccer. However, as is often the case, North America is just catching on to what the world already knows. Superior soccer skill is built by simulating the outdoor game indoors with small sided games and a smaller ball. World famous clubs such as Ajax have used this approach for years. Futsal has been around for over fifty years but North American interest in soccer skill development has only recently focused it's attention on the training techniques used in successful soccer powerhouses such as Brazil, Holland, Germany, France, and Italy. So, Futsal has been around for many years but interest is just starting to explode in North America.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF FUTSAL?
The origin of Futsal can be traced back to Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1930 when Juan Carlos Ceriani devised a five-a-side version of soccer for youth competition in YMCAs. The game is played on basketball-sized courts, both indoors and out without the use of sidewalls. The term FUTSAL is the international term used for the game. It is derived from the Spanish or Portuguese word for "soccer", FUTbol or FUTebol, and the French or Spanish root word for "indoor" or "room", SALon or Salle or SALa. Taken literally, Futbol means 'foot and ball' (i.e. playing outdoors) and Futsal indicates 'Futbol in room' (i.e. playing indoors).
The game is frequently referred to as Five-A-Side. Once Ceriani got the ball rolling, Futsal gained rapid popularity throughout South America, particularly in Brazil. The skill developed in this game is visible in the world-famous style the Brazilians display outdoors on the full-sized field. Pele, Zico, Socrates, Bebeto and other Brazilian superstars developed their skill playing Futsal. While Brazil continues to be the Futsal hub of the world, the game is now played, under the auspices of FIFA, all over the world, from Europe to North and Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Asia and Oceania.
The first international competition took place in 1965, when Paraguay won the first South American Cup. Six more South American Cups were held through 1979, with Brazil winning all of them. Brazil continued its dominance with a victory in the first Pan American Cup in 1980 and won it again the next time it was played in 1984. A U.S. team took part in the 1984 cup, but finished out of the running.
The U.S. Futsal Federation was incorporated in January, 1983. Osvaldo Garcia was the first president The game originally was referred to as Minisoccer and then became known by its official international name, Futsal. The current federation president is Alexander J.C. Para.
The first Futsal World Championship conducted under the auspices of FIFUSA (before its members integrated into FIFA in 1989) was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1982, with Brazil finishing in first place. The Brazilians repeated as champions at the second World Championship in 1985 in Spain, but lost in the third World Championship in 1988 in Australia to Paraguay. FIFA took over direct sponsorship of the event in 1989 in Holland and 1992 in Hong Kong. Brazil won both times. The U.S. Futsal (Indoor Team), finished third in 1989 and second in 1992. The highest showing by any team from the United States in a FIFA tournament until the U.S. Women's team won the gold medal in China for outdoor soccer. The Third FIFA World Futsal Championship was be held November 24 through December 11, 1996 in Spain.
The first international Futsal match in the United States was held in December, 1985, at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif. The U.S. select team, defeated Australia, 9-5.