Getting kids into playing futsal

Futsal is a counterpart of the game football which is played indoors. It is also known as ‘Indoor Football’. It was originated from ‘Soccer’ of South America as a fun, fast-paced game.

It is the only indoor game which is officially recognised by both FIFA – International Federation of Football Association, and UEFA – Union of European Football Association. It had become majorly popular in Australia since its introduction back in 1971.

Futsal is a young and growing game with many National and International registered players. It involves quickness of both, the mind and the physical body. Many children are into playing this game, and the count of the same is still increasing.

FUTSAL – How to play?
It is an indoor game which is played on a hard surface on a court of the size same as a basketball court. It has goal posts on its either sides of dimensions 4 foot to 3 foot.

Each team consist of 5 players each which include the goalkeeper and the ‘Futsal ball’ is comparatively smaller than a ‘Football’ and is more substantial to prevent high bounce than a regular soccer ball. A game starts from the centre circle of the ground with a kick on the ball, and the same process is repeated after each goal is scored.

However, there are also similarities between the two games. The objective is for the players to score points by kicking or heading the ball into the goal post of the other team without a touch of the hand. The game runs for two halves of 20 minutes each and the team which has the most goals by the end of time wins the game.

Also like soccer in case of a tie, extra time is added in the game and the first team to score wins the game. Sometimes there is also a penalty shootout wherein both the teams get equal chances to kick the ball directly into the goal post. The team with the most number of such goals finally wins the game.

Basic rules of the game are that the players (other than the goalkeeper) cannot touch the ball with their hands, but they can use any other body part to play the same, to dribble, to pass or to shoot the ball. If the ball crosses the limits of court, for example,  goes over the goal – line or the touchline or hits the ceiling. It means that the ball is deemed to be out of play and the game is restarted with a kick in from the opponents of the team that last touched the ball. However, a goal cannot be scored on the same.

Because it is a fast-paced game, so there is a 4-second limit placed on all the set plays (corners, free kicks, etc.) to prevent players from wasting the time of the game. Along with that, the goalkeepers are also restricted to keep the ball on their half of the field for more than 4 seconds.

This game is safe as tackling is not allowed in this game, only slide tackling is allowed that too just by the goalkeepers who are supposed to be confined to their penalty area. Sliding feet towards another player is considered, hence, not allowed. Also, there is no offside in this game because of the same reason.

Playing futsal does not only works on the physical skills of children but also on the technical skills and abilities as it involves fast thinking and decision making. Many world famous soccer players attribute their success to this game such as Pelle, Messi, Ronaldo etc.

Some of the significant benefits of playing Futsal are as follows:
1. Indoor: It is synonymous with safe. As it is an indoor game and tackling is not allowed, and physical play is restricted, it is considered as one if the most reliable game a child can play.
2. Ball Control: It develops a child’s technical skills and control over the ball. Due to limited availability of space and short boundaries, it becomes imperative for players to have better control over the ball to play Futsal in a more meaningful manner.
3. Continuous Play: Because the duration of the sport is short, there is no time to rest for the players during the game. This game may be physically demanding, but in turn, it develops good physical conditioning of the player.
4. The framing of Goal: It is an extension of the technical development of the player as the goal post is small and the player has to frame a goal in a better manner.
5. Fun: Of course, above all, it is a fun, fast-paced and skill-oriented game.