Futsal is the format of Small Sided Football that is recognised and supported by FIFA and UEFA with World and European Championships for club and National Teams. Futsal began in the South American countries of Uruguay and Brazil. In Brazil, the large crowded cities and a shortage of playing pitches forced a football population to play small sided football. A version began to develop on the streets of Sao Paulo, leading to the publishing of the first rules of the game in 1936 from the country that would soon become the masters of the game.
Skills and techniques honed in Futsal soon began to become apparent in the performance of Brazil’s National Team - Pele, Rivelino, and Zico all played the game at some time in their development. Futsal was the name chosen by FIFA, the World governing body of Football for the only version of 5-aside football that it supports. The name simply combines the Spanish words for ‘Hall’ – Sala and ‘Football’ – Futbol into Futsal.
Futsal is a five a side game, played on a flat indoor pitch with hockey sized goals and a size 4 ball with a reduced bounce. It is played to touchlines and all players are free to enter the penalty area and play the ball over head height. In Futsal players are constantly placed in situations where they must receive or play whilst under pressure or in confined spaces. The demands of the game mean players must develop excellent technical ability, vision and awareness, decision making under pressure and cope with the fast paced physical requirements of the game.
For young players Futsal is an excellent development tool as players are provided with a far greater number of opportunities to be in possession of the ball. Playing Futsal allows the player to touch the ball a far greater number of times more than playing 11 a side association football. Whilst the game is different to 11 a side football many of the benefits of Futsal are transferable to the 11 a side game most notably making decisions under pressure, the principles of attack and defence, making Futsal a very useful development tool.
To see the dimensions of a Futsal court and the differences between Futsal, 5 a side and 11 a side click on the attachment below