Time to push futsal in Canada?

The winter can be long in Canada, especially in provinces and territories that see more snow than others. It’s definitely a tough number of months for soccer players when they have no choice but to retreat indoors. You often hear players on the turf or bench comment how difficult it is to adapt from an outdoor frame of mind to indoor. I’m definitely one of those who doesn’t get the “feel” of indoor soccer until late in the season and by then, it’s time for outdoor. Don’t get me wrong. I do believe it’s vital for a player to be versatile, but with so much recent uproar on developing young Canadian soccer players, why not take advantage of futsal if you can’t play outdoors?

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

Source http://www.agenciabrasil.gov.br
Author Wilson Dias/ABr
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Futebol_Salao_Pan2007.jpg
Português: Futsal nos Jogos Pan-Americanos Rio 2007

While futsal and indoor soccer have a number of similarities, the differences futsal offers are beneficial for long-term development. First, there are no boards in futsal. The boundary lines force each player to scan the pitch to find a pass or to have the skill and technique to get around an opponent. I’ve always felt indoor boards are not only a crutch, but they also lead to awful pinballing, especially if a team lacks finish to put the ball in the back of the net. On any given night during an indoor match, you’ll see some teams constantly looking for a ricochet goal and unless this is a set play game in and game out, it’s fairly useless. It certainly won’t translate to the outdoor game and definitely doesn’t develop a goalkeeper. When the ball is out of play in futsal, it’s out. It forces players to focus on ball control and shooting accuracy, rather than pounding it against the boards hoping a play will develop.

While I don’t believe every Canadian city should switch all of their indoor leagues to futsal, it would be great to have the option to take part. I think it would benefit younger players, male or female, who are seriously thinking about soccer. Futsal can help develop skills that are brushed aside playing during the winter months.

Futsal is sanctioned by FIFA and the men’s World Cup is played every four years. The 2012 edition is currently underway in Thailand.

I came across the following two FIFA videos. The first is a compilation of the best goals from the 2008 Futsal World Cup in Brazil.  You’ll see the speed of the game at work, but also note the technique. The game’s so fast that players must make decisions very quickly. Here’s a recent video on one of the world’s best players, Brazil’s Falcao. It’s hard to keep your eyes off of his footwork. It’s inspiring.

On the Canadian front, there’s a fantastic resource available: Futsal Canada. There you can see if futsal is available in your area. Finally, here’s a link to Canada Soccer’s section on futsal.
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3 Comments

Filed under Canada, Soccer

3 responses to “Time to push futsal in Canada?

  1. This is just the kind of thing I’ve been looking for! Fantastic and cheers!

  2. Michael

    Great to find this. I have heard about my neighbours kid playing this and he absolutely loves it more than soccer.

    • Michael, thanks for your comments. Here in Calgary, futsal is an afterthought, unfortunately. There’s less than half a dozen places to play in the city. It’s really a shame because it’s so popular in Central Canada.

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