WHAT IS FUTSAL?
In the words of the Football Association:
“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. The name ‘Futsal‛ combines the Spanish words for ‘Hall‛ – Sal and ‘Football‛ – Futbol into Futsal. It is a five a-side game played with hockey –sized goals and a smaller ball with a reduced bounce. As a small sided game, players are constantly placed in situations where they must receive or play whilst under pressure or in a confined spaces and it places considerable demand on technique, movement, tactical awareness and fitness.”
When I was first introduced to futsal it shouted out to me that here was a great development tool, I was getting better coaching results and the players immediately bought into the game. A win win situation. As an amateur coach thinking you have found the Holy Grail is not a good position to be in, remember when I started back in 1988 the FA was politely adamant that the UK was not playing futsal. I asked FIFA to intervene and slowly from that point the game has progressed across the UK, with every professionally club participating in a BTEC futsal referee/coaching course for school leavers. Believing in something and proving it is useful is a major leap. Over recent years the back up evidence has been published for us all to access on the web. The Rick Fenalgio 4×4 Manchester United study, Derrick O‛Neill study on the FA of Ireland web site, North Carolina football study that showed full sided football is a series of 4v4 contests, so training should be 4v4 to replicate. Sheffield Wednesday has several studies to its name, largely due its working proximity to the Sheffield Universities.