Futsal has grown in popularity since it was formed in 1990 in England.
The game has origins in South American countries like Uruguay and Brazil in the 1930s and many players have developed a massive amount of skills from the game.
Quick breakdown of the rules
- The game is played by two teams, both with no more than five players each at anytime on the pitch. A goalkeeper and four outfield players. There are also nine substitutes for each team.
- Unlimited substitutes. Teams can make as many changes as they like and at any time they want whether the ball is in play or not.
- 20-minute periods. A game consists of two 20-minute halves that is played a fast pace. The clock is stopped when the ball is out of play and restarted when the ball is back in play.
- Time-out. Each team is entitled to one time-out during each 20-minute period.
- A player is sent off. If a player should be sent-off then a substitute may replace them two minutes after the incident or if the team should concede a goal after going a player down.
- Goalkeepers. The goalkeepers only have four seconds to play the ball whether it is rolled/thrown or kicked. They may not touch the ball again once they have played it out until an opposition player has made contact with the ball.
- Accumulated fouls and second penalty mark. Accumulated fouls are those penalised with a direct free-kick or penalty kick, regardless of whether advantage has been played or not. If a team commits a sixth accumulated foul, the opposing side may take the subsequent free-kick awarded to them without a wall, either from the second penalty mark, which is positioned four metres behind the first, or from a position even closer to the penalty area if the foul was committed between the goal line and the second penalty mark.
- There is no offside in Futsal and goals cannot be scored straight from kick off.
Makes for better players
Many countries encourage their youth teams to play Futsal to develop their players skills and mentality towards football.
Many top professional players started by playing Futsal, Kevin De Bruyne, Marcelo, Neymar and Ronaldo all learned their skills from the fast pace game Futsal.
Futsal has helped these players play better in tight spaces, pass quicker and more accurately.
Large social benefits
Due to the fast pace of the game substitutes are definitely needed and young players will start to appreciate the other players they have on the team.
Also, when a player is watching the game from the bench they will be learning and assessing the game therefore developing tactical skills.
Because of the small spaces there is a lot more physical contact between players. This will help young players learn a key part of football, shielding the ball and using your body cleverly.
Should youth football teams in England play futsal as well as football like they do in South American countries and maybe countries across Europe?
By Liam Amos