Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided soccer game that originated from South America in the 1930s. The nature of the Futsal game accelerates ball control development and enhances other skills that translate to the outdoor game. As a matter of fact, many of the top world class soccer players played Futsal in their youth and credit it with supporting their development. This is why I was excited for my son to join the Hornets Futsal Club this winter.
Based out of Chapel Hill North Carolina, Hornets FC organizes youth teams that compete at various age groups and skill levels within the Durham Futsal League. From day one, I found the training and competition top class.
From a parent's perspective, I appreciated the fact that the club organized an official assessment training day for new players. This created a fun environment for the coaches to formulate balanced teams and an opportunity for the Futsal Director to provide written feedback to each family regarding their child's development. Regardless of your child's current ability, Hornets FC offers a variety of programs catering to the experience and commitment level of the player. To learn more, visit Hornets FC.
More Touches, More Touches, More Touches
Compared to the outdoor game, Futsal uses fewer players (5v5 or 4v4) playing on smaller fields. According to the English FA, research indicates that individuals playing Futsal receive the ball six times more often than they would play 11-a-side soccer.
Different Ball Improves Technical Development
Futsal uses a smaller heavier ball with a reduced bounce. This support closer ball control and greater manipulation. Additionally, a futsal ball is designed to keep play on the ground requiring greater skill and accuracy when passing. Anecdotally, with an outdoor soccer ball, my son has advanced juggling ability for his age. However, he could initially barely juggle the futsal ball. By the end of the season, he learned to juggle the futsal ball with confidence.
Speed of Play
Futsal is typically played at a faster pace than outdoor soccer. The speed and fluidity of the game improve players' skills in transition (counter-attacking). In Futsal, teams are often either defending a counter-attack or in the process of launching one after breaking down their opponents. This is a vital component for young players to understand and apply.
Due to the limited space on a Futsal court, the game intrinsically encourages movement and rotation from players as well as a sense of innovation and creativity to unlock defenses and to create space for yourself or team-mates. In many ways, it replicates what is required from attacking midfielders and forwards in the 11-a-side game.
My son loved playing Futsal and competing with new teammates. His Hornets FC team finished in second place this year after falling short in a spirited championship game against Durham based Dragonsitos. Futsal is also fun for young players because they generally get to touch the ball with greater frequency in a variety of different positions.
Most Hornets FC games and practices are held indoors. This means that it is a perfect alternative in the winter months when outdoor matches are regularly canceled due to inclement weather.
FUN FACT - FUTSAL ORIGINS
Futsal began in Uruguay and Brazil where the large crowded cities and a shortage of playing pitches forced a football-mad populace to play small sided football and in 1936 the first rules emerged. Futsal was the name chosen by FIFA, which is simply a combination of the Spanish words for ‘hall’ (Sala) and ‘football’ (Futbol): hence ‘Futsal’.