Sport23rd March 2014

An Introduction to Futsal

With the first ever international between England and Wales Deaf Futsal teams taking place today, here's a quick guide to the game

by Sarah Lawrence

With hours to go to the very first Futsal International between England and Wales Deaf teams, we took a quick look at the game. A thriving craze in the UK, the game of Futsal has been about since the 1930’s when it was first developed in Latin America. Now played by an estimated 30 million people globally, Futsal is hugely popular, with many of today’s top football stars having learned some of their skills in the Futsal format of the game, including the likes of Ronaldo.

The development of Futsal has attracted Deaf footballers and the introduction of Deaf Futsal teams. Progress as a deaf sport is epitomised by the involvement by home nations sides in the Deaf European Futsal Championships this season and the first ever match between England and Wales taking place on Sunday 23rd March in Cardiff

For those of you new to the game, here’s SLFirst’s quick quide.

The term Futsal is taken from the Portugese, futebol de Saleo which loosely translated means ‘Hall Football’. As that names suggests it is played mostly (but not exclusively) indoors on a smaller playing area.

As in football, the game is played between two teams, each of which has five players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlike the traditional 5-a-side football, the playing area is marked out my lines, so the ball is not played against walls or boards. A smaller ball is used and it has less bounce to assist with control.

The game is fast and furious with players constantly on the move, with technique and movement critical elements of the game.

Unlike 11-a-side football, Futsal has unlimited rolling substitutions with players indicating when they are going off, meaning they are out of play at that moment. Whilst each team has 5 players on the pitch at any one team, the squad can contain a maximum of 14 players.

Matches are controlled by two referees.

A match is played over two halves, each of which is 20 minutes in duration. One of the biggest differences to the traditional game, is that there is no off-side line.

Easy to play and requiring a smaller number of players to play matches and run teams, Futsal now attracts a lot of Deaf players, although many of the players also play the 11-a-side game. Great for the development of close personal skills, passing and fitness, Futsal can be high intensity with very few stoppages, and a 4 second re-start rule.

At SLFirst we are looking forward to watching the best deaf players in England and Wales do battle for the first time.

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Deaf Sport / Sport

23rd March 2014