What is futsal?
Futsal originated in South America in the 1930’s when people in large, crowded cities faced a shortage of soccer fields. To adjust to the small availability of grass and reduced space, players in Brazil and Uruguay were forced into playing small-sided games. Using a 5v5 format, the game is played indoors on hard floors with a smaller ball that is weighted in order to reduce bounce. Much like the outdoor game, boundaries are marked by lines instead of walls.
Why we play futsal at Elkhorn Soccer Club
Futsal improves all of the fundamental skills young players need to develop. The smaller space and smaller numbers mean that each player will get more time on the ball in each game. Individuals playing futsal receive the ball six times more than they do in the larger outdoor game. More time on the ball means each player's confidence to perform skill under pressure will improve as a result. Increased confidence will lead to better decision-making and ball retention under pressure.
Playing indoors with lines marked as the boundaries allows us to maintain consistency as we transition from outdoors to indoors and back outdoors again. The presence of boards brings bad habits that are unrealistic to the game such as bunching along the boards and kicking the ball off of the wall without a plan. Eliminating the temptation of these bad habits better prepares players for the outdoor game.
Overall, we play futsal because it is the best way to give our players the opportunity to continue developing confidence on the ball and a solid understanding of the decisions that the game requires them to make. ESC is committed to creating the best environment for our players to grow and reach their full potential. We believe that futsal is the best way to do this throughout the winter months.
How is futsal different from indoor soccer?
In futsal, a greater emphasis is placed on ball control and technique. Players do not have the "safety net" of walls to keep errant passes or shots in play. This encourages precise passing and receiving, dribbling, and movement off the ball. A futsal court is also smaller than most indoor fields which means players must make quicker decisions. The need for quick decision-making is crucial to player success at a higher level.
What surface is the game played on?
True futsal is played on a hard surface similar to a basketball or tennis court (not artificial turf). All games will be played on a basketball court at Thrive Space.
What kind of ball does futsal use?
A futsal ball is a reduced bounce or "low-bounce" ball. It is smaller than a normal soccer ball and slightly heavier. These properties are designed to build confidence and technique on a hard surface. The low-bounce and weight to the ball helps to keep it on the floor and allows for more quality touches on the ball.
What kind of shoes should players wear?
Players should wear flat bottom shoes (no cleats). Indoor soccer shoes are encouraged but tennis shoes work as well.